Willy and the Toad

Our toad to be?
Our toad to be?

Willy is my 7 year-old Italian Greyhound. He’s neurotic and sweet.

I “rescued” him from a pet store. He’d lived in a cage for 4 months and I couldn’t bear it. He came home with me and soon exhibited all the problems expected of an IG who has lived in a cage. I made every mistake that can be made in buying a puppy – puppy mill dog from a pet store, lived in a cage, etc. etc. But he’s loved me from the beginning, and, with only one exception, loved every other critter I brought home.

He likes to cuddle. Indeed, if not on my lap, he must be as close to me as possible. In moments of supreme affection (every 5 minutes or so), he kisses my ear. He’s a sweetheart.

My air conditioner (actually, heat pump) died two summers ago. Since I wasn’t refrigerating the house, I began leaving the patio door open for the dogs to run in and out. It was a win/win situation. I wasn’t greeted each evening with dogs in desperate need of peeing and they could romp around the backyard.

Sun Worshipping, Yet Vigilant Willy
Sun worshipping, yet vigilant Willy

Willy likes to sit on top of the hot tub. It’s warm up there, gets lots of sun, and he can peek over the fence to check for marauding wildlife, potentially postal postmen, and my car.

Well into that first summer of no AC and an open door, I became accustomed to bugs in the house, leaves in the house, and dogs tracking stuff in and out. One night while cleaning up the debris, what I thought was a leaf under my desk chair leaped at me. After a suitably embarrassing startle response, I said, aloud to the dogs, “Leaping leaves! WTF was that?”  [I didn’t say W-T-F; I said, well. . .you know.]

Soon, I was chasing a toad around the family room. Willy was, even for him, supremely interested and somewhat alarmed. Eventually, I evicted the toad and all was well.

I came home the next day and the toad was in the exact same place.  I yelled at the dogs for not being better watchdogs. I put it outside.

I came home  the next night. . .Rinse and repeat.

Finally, the weekend arrived and I watched in astonishment as Willy carefully scooped the toad in his mouth, carried it into the house, and gently placed it under my desk chair. It seemed Willy had a pet toad. 

We had words.

All summer long, we argued about the propriety of toads in the house.

All summer long, I scooped a toad from underneath my desk chair and put it outside. I even took to putting it on the other side of the fence. The toad was as enamored of Willy as Willy was the toad.  The toad,  Toady, was fond of afternoon naps under my chair.

Finally, summer came to a close and the door remained shut during the day.

Last summer, we had no toads.

This summer it looks like the toad has returned. So far Willy hasn’t noticed it.

So far.

6 thoughts on “Willy and the Toad

  1. Ha! Thank you for the grin. What a great story. We had rescue racing greyhounds–one lived to be 16 years old and was dearly loved.

    He never fell in love with a toad, though. That is just amazing.

    • ‘Twas my pleasure!

      Willy’s a cracker jack. Besides toads, he’s also uncommonly fond of wood beetles, but in that case, as hors d’œuvres. I’m kind of fearful, though, in Hawaii the toads were exceptionally poisonous for dogs and I have lots of memories of friends whose dogs had to have their stomachs pumped and/or died from toad poison.

  2. Willy’s a character. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The toad hasn’t been seen since and I’m pretty sure Willy is unaware that there’s a potential Beloved Toady in the garden. I hope that lasts.

  3. Pingback: Where’s the stick? « W. Va. Fur and Root

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