God gave me a pretty good little inner voice.  The problem is sometimes it’s too little and I don’t listen to it.  Take this Christmas morning, for example.  I was outside enjoying absolutely gorgeous weather.  Still in my comfy pajamas and slippers, I was watering various plants as my dogs were romping around the backyard, and I noticed my little hunter, Annie, was preoccupied at the corner where the trash cans are stored.  My little voice noted, “Could be a bufo toad.”  Then my logical voice said, “No.  Winter is here.  No bufos.”

OK, there was a cold spell for a couple weeks, and I hardly saw a lizard, which are usually out and about wherever I step. So Logical Voice won out. Made sense. I continued watering, and a little while later, I noticed Annie was still over there in that corner. Again, my little voice said, “Bufo?” Logical voice said, “No. Been too cold. And you don’t want to spend the morning chasing a toad that isn’t there.”

Shortly after that, Annie had moved from that area a couple yards away to where I pack my crates.  It’s quite a stack, but I have no room in my small house, so I manage with a spot under the awning of the house.

When I glanced over at her, I saw the dreaded Bufo mouth foam all over her little snout. “Eeegads!” I then went into emergency mode. It’s automatic now as I’ve gone through this many times before, but usually not with my Aussies. So this was troubling me. Would the Bufo poison be too much this time for her size?

Everyone, but Annie, went into the house, and I grabbed a leash to put around Annie and connected her to a fence while I turned her head down towards the ground and hosed her mouth out. The most important thing was to keep her head and snout facing straight down to the ground, so the water went down to the ground and not down her throat, which could easily choke her. I hosed with one one nozzle, then took a break and got a sprinkle nozzle to do the job. She didn’t like either, but took it. Only because I had her connected to a fence. She would not participate in this otherwise.  I just wish I could explain to her that I am helping her.

After minutes of hosing her mouth out, I got the foaming under control and took this picture of her. What a festive Christmas morning photo with the poinsettias, Christmas bones collar, and red and white leash, tongue and foam. The main thing was she was all right. So I left her at the fence while I undertook the next, step of emergency bufo mode. Search out and destroy the toad.

I had to look for clues, and didn’t have to go far to find them. At the base of the crate stash was plenty of drool. I was now facing having to unpack that load of crates to get under the board to catch the thing. At least, that’s where I thought it would be. Though I got on the ground to look beneath it and didn’t see the reptile, I knew it had to be there somewhere. I’d taken a quick look at the other location by the trash cans, and there was no evidence of it being there.

So to work I went.  I pulled each crate off the board, having my net ready for when I picked that bottom board up, I would snatch the thing right up and do it in.  Piece by piece, I pulled the massive structure apart, and when I was down to the last two wire crates, I got a big surprise!

Tangled in one of the wire crates was the reptilian beast!  The disgusting blob of Bufo Toad lodged itself into a no-way-out position.  I was relieved to find it and I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to pull up that big board and do a wild chasing game with the thing.  Even wounded, the toads are not always easy picking.

I was facing a dilemma, though.  How was I going to get the thing out of there?  I double checked that Annie was still secure to the fence, and she was, so I grabbed the net with one hand and turned the crate upside down.  Somehow, with all the shaking and praying I was doing, I dislodged the toad, and it took a leap.  I slapped the net over it and it hopped immediately through one of the holes of the net.  I realized I wasn’t prepared for the next step.  I needed plastic bags to get it into.  I had been thinking it would be close to mortally wounded, but evidently that was not the case.

The thing was really emitting poison.  Look closely at this picture and you’ll see around the head all the white poison coming from its glands.  Any predator that grabbed that bufo with its mouth now would get a mouth full of poison.  Insidious blobs!  (Click for a bigger picture.)

I grabbed a big plastic bag that was nearby.  There was a small hole in it, but if I could get it in there, I would maneuver the toad, so I could find another bag.  I just needed something to contain it.

The spare poop bucket!  Perfect!

Getting the Bufo toad into the first bag was again, no easy feat.  I worked it backwards, and once it plopped into the bag, it hopped up.  I am proud of myself for not screaming.  In the beginning of these Bufo Toad wars, I was much more likely to yell at the jumps and movements of these gross creatures, but the more I live and think about the fact that this blob of fat is a deadly poison that could take the life of one of my beloved baby dogs, the madder and harder I get.  I had the upper hand.  It was in the first bag, so I quickly twisted the top and got another bag to put this one in.  My final feat was getting the thing in a big, tough black trash bag.  I tied it up and could finally celebrate the capture of the horrid creature that interrupted our peaceful Christmas morning.

From the great outdoors to the great chest freezer in the sky!  It will stay in the freezer for 3 days, which is the length of time to humanely kill a reptile – they don’t survive in freezing “weather.”

By the time I finished with the capture of the Bufo Toad, Annie was completely free of foam, and ready to enjoy the rest of Christmas Day.  I’m just thanking God for the good ending to this morning’s events, and am going to start listening to my inner voice the first time it speaks!

Look at the beautiful Fort Doberdale Christmas morning sky!

Merry Christmas!

One Response to “Christmas Morning at Fort Doberdale”

  1. Kristine says:

    Nasty, nasty, nasty! I would have done the same thing. It’s way too cold for toads, isn’t it? Obviously not. I am so glad this story has a happy ending and you were able to get rid of that disgusting creature. Poor Annie! Not a fun way to spend the morning.

    Hope the rest of your weekend went much better!