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Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Dog is Throwing Up Money and How to Drown a Toad

Not all mornings are created equal. Depending on how you look at it, this morning ranks up there with the one of the most bizarre we've had in the Southworth house for a long, long time. 

I have been taking one Motrin PM nightly and enjoying a full night's sleep for almost a week now.  No night sweats, no bathroom runs, just peaceful uninterrupted sleep until the alarm chimes at 5:30 am.  Only this morning I am awakened by a strange sounding owl.  It's not really a hoot hoot, it's more of a gurgling sound and I suspect this is no owl at all.  It's not a ribet, ribet sound either.  This creature is of French origin as he's rolling his r's and there is a guttural sound to it. (Wasn't I just dreaming about river barge travel in France?).  Instead it's my dreaded enemy, the Colorado Toad!  I have history with this nasty creature.........

Many years ago, when my children were quite young and our first golden retriever, Hampton was only 5 years old, we first encountered the toad in the worst way.  Bill and me were at work and Darcy, our nanny, was playing with the three kids in the backyard. Hampton spotted the big toad and decided to test the theory that the toad would taste just like chicken.  The toad was in the dog's mouth for about 5 seconds when Darcy raced over and forced Hampton to release the gross toad.  The dog almost immediately went into a catatonic seizure.  Darcy splashed water from the pool all over Hampton, gathered up all three little children, loaded them into the car and within 5 minutes, arrived at the vet's office.  The doctor later told us, had she not gotten the dog to help so fast, he probably would have died!  I will be forever grateful to Darcy and her heroic efforts.  Best.Nanny.Ever.   

Ever since that episode, I have been wary of the dangerous toad.  It was 4 am when I was listening to this toad and his bizarre chant to the bright, full moon.  It got louder and louder as if he was saying, "I own this backyard, this pool, this's all mine!"  Just about the time I was considering waking up Bill, I hear in the living room a grunting, convulsing sound.  What now?!  But, I know this sound all too well.  It's the sound of Wrigley (second golden retriever) throwing up.  For those of you who do not know Wrigley well, he'll eat anything.  And I mean anything! Whole socks have gone through his body.  Once he pooped out a lovely beaded necklace my daughter and her friends made at one of their sleepovers.  It's always a delicious surprise when picking up his excrement. So, I race off to the living room to see what surprise awaits me.....

My living room is a rather large room with wood flooring and a smallish area rug.  Of course, Wrigley has selected a nice corner of the rug for his surprise dropping.  I shoo him away and begin to pick it up before he tries to eat it again.  (Hope it's not lunchtime for you now!) I discover a few twigs and a squished up piece of paper money.  I am curious to see what denomination of money he has decided to swallow, so using the paper towel, I unroll it and discover it's a $1 bill.  I decide to throw it away.  I thought, if it was a $20, I'd wash it and lay it out to dry.  But, I draw the line at $20.  What does this say about me?  I must be some spendthrift person, throwing money away.  Money doesn't grow on trees!  But, I just couldn't imagine how I would ever use that piece of money once it was washed and dried.  Imagine handing it over to the girl at the Starbucks counter!  Ugh....  

Fifteen minutes later, I have spot cleaned the rug, washed my hands and have returned to bed.  Bill says, "anything special?" but I say, "only a dollar bill".  At this very moment, the toad's lullaby starts up again.  I sit up and say, "Bill..........."

I don't have to explain this to my married readers, but to the rest of you, I'll explain.  Wrigley threw up in the house....the women of the house picks it up.  A poisonous toad is in the backyard, the man of the house must go out and dispose of the toad.  This was determined during the 60s and 70s................................ 

So, at 4:15 am, Bill heads out to save our kingdom from the enemy.  The 4" toad is lallygagging at the edge of the pool.  He is wet as he has already taken a dip in the pool.  Bill, in his undershirt and boxer shorts takes his long-handled pool net and scoops him up as he tries to make a mad dash into the pool to escape.  But to no avail.  Bill has caught him in  the net and now traps him in using the side of the pool.  And then he waits......

4:30 am, I step out and ask if Bill wants some coffee.  He is standing there with his pool net and the captured toad and looks at me as if I had 3 eyes. Well, I didn't know what else to say!

4:55 am, the toad has drown.  It's kind of sad, but survival of the fittest, right?  Anyway, for a brief moment I feel sorry for God's ugly creature.  We fill the pool with a large amount of chlorine... and I am not sure I will be swimming anytime soon.

The morning is just about over and the house is beginning to fall back into its regular pattern of life.  Or has it?  (During the writing of this post, a tiny 2' baby bird flew into the Arcadia door.  I took out a paper towel and placed him in a shaded and protected area, praying he lives).

I am almost afraid to start the afternoon......... 
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Blogger EmptyNester said...

That is quite some start to the day indeed! I think I'll just keep my boring daily life!

June 16, 2011 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger beth said...

Boring sounds nice right now! So does a nap!

June 16, 2011 at 7:37 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Oh wow! What a day, already!

June 17, 2011 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Captain Dumbass said...

I'll keep my racoons. They're fairly quiet thieves if you keep enough weight on top of the garbage cans.

June 17, 2011 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Casey said...

Gotta love the dog who eats anything. We had a $500 vet bill when we first got our now 6 year old dog (she was 1) and she broke out of her crate while we were at work and ate the BIGGEST bag of M&M's they make. I called the vet and they told me to give the dog peroxide to induce vomiting but we weren't sure which dog it was and had to do it to both. That was a long story for no apparent reason.

We have the cane toads here, deadly to dogs and small children as well and I'm scared shitless we'll have one in our yard.

June 23, 2011 at 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Martin said...

Whatever your day thankful for a new day!

August 3, 2011 at 6:54 AM  

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