Danny and the Toad

Danny the Dog here with another tale of lust and depravity—oh wait, that’s Andrew’s bailiwick. Andrew, for the few of you who don’t know, is my human. He’s not around at the moment. They opened a new bar in town and Andrew flew down there to give them some business. I’ll probably get a call later tonight asking me to bail him out of jail. But that’s later. Right now I have access to the computer and I can post my own story without him editing out all the good stuff.

Today’s tale has to do with an incident that took place almost ten years ago when I was just a pup, so to speak. What reminded me of it was something that happened this morning while I was walking Andrew.

It was still dark out; we were in the park, and I caught the scent of something vaguely familiar. I put my snoot to the ground and tried to search it out. Andrew stood there tapping his foot and saying, “Come on, let’s go,” over and over again. But, as usual, I ignored him. Finally, I got a bead on the elusive scent. It was a toad. I found his hiding place and the little bugger hopped away, with me in hot pursuit. That’s when I was almost yanked off my feet by Andrew as he pulled on the leash, that damn insidious leash. Andrew said to me, “Haven’t you learned your lesson? The last time you caught one of those, it cost me a lot of money to save your life.”

Let me back up for a moment and explain something. Here in Florida, we have these toads. They have a special name. I think Andrew calls them Bufo toads. When they feel threatened, they secrete a poison on their backs, and evidently it can kill you.

A while back, when we lived at another marina and I wasn’t on a leash 24/7 like I am now, I had a run-in with one of these toads. I liked that marina. Andrew and I were the only ones who lived there, and because it was all fenced in, Andrew would let me roam around at night. It was six acres (whatever an acre is) and I had many adventures on those nights. Someday I’ll tell you about them. However, now it’s about the toad.

I had the entire marina to myself, and I was having fun running and sniffing all over the place. Then this big toad had the temerity to jump out in front of me. Me, Danny the Dog! So I took out after him. It was a short race and he ended up in my mouth. I chewed on him for a minute or so, but then spit him out. He didn’t taste so good. Seeing as how it was near the end of the night (I wasn’t allowed to run around during the day when the gates were open and people were around), I trotted on back to the boat and lay down on the dock to get some much-needed rest. It had been a good night.

Andrew must have heard the jingling of my medals (that’s what he calls my tags) because he came up out of the boat, took one look at me, and raced for the hose. Now, you folks who know me know that I do not like water and my first impulse was to run. But I couldn’t move. Andrew later said that I was foaming at the mouth and he knew I had met up with a toad. He washed my mouth out as best he could, and when he saw that I was paralyzed (his word), he picked me up and placed me on the front seat of his car.

It being a Sunday, my regular doctor was not around. Somehow Andrew found a place. This was before he had a computer. I think he used what the ancients referred to as a “telephone book.” Anyway, he carried me in and laid me on a table. A human in a white coat came over and consulted with Andrew. Even though I couldn’t move, I could still hear. The gist of the conversation was that the poison from the toad caused me to be—among other things—dehydrated. The vet stuck a huge needle in me; if I could have moved, I would have bit him. We were there three hours, and the whole time Andrew stroked my head and talked to me. At one point, I saw a single tear roll down his face.

As Andrew likes to tell it, seven hundred dollars later he carried me out … alive.

In a day or so, I was my old self again, making Andrew’s life miserable and causing all sorts of trouble. But I did let up on him a little bit because I remembered that single tear.

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