Bet and I were snuggled up in bed (Mark was working last night) when our sweet dreams were intruded upon by a barking dogs. It wasn't, to steal and misuse a phrase from Cesar Millan, a 'Red Zone' bark that would have gotten me out of bed before I was really awake. I listened for a minute and decided that it was really a situation I needed to follow up on.
I grabbed the flashlight that sits next to the back door, slipped on the shoes that sit outside the door for this very sort of situation and headed out into the night. The commotion came from the pens, specifically it was Olena, Tramp and Nahanni SCREAMING at something that was lurking in on the edge of the yard or in the woods just beyond.
I looked around for my killer guard dog, who was no where to be seen. I called for her a few times but nothing. Great she is off partying and leaving me to deal with rabid moose or an enraged bear.
I took a deep breath and rounded the corner of Nahanni's pen. Sure enough, there the beast was - flinging itself against the chain link to Tramp's pen.
It was a toad. Yup, a toad. And it was indeed flinging repeatedly trying to get up on the railway tie that borders Tramp's kennel. Tramp was attempting to assist him by grabbing him through the chain link. How kind.
I watched for a minute and came to the conclusion that the toad must be suicidal. After all, there was no other outcome then death should he succeed in his effort to get into the kennel (which I didn't really think was possible, but I've seen stranger things happen).
I debated attempting to rescue the guy, but past experience in steering toads to safety has not been successful, and besides it was 2am. If he was really just looking for help and someone to listen to his problems, he picked the wrong person and the wrong time of the morning.
I shut off the flashlight, watched the night sky for a minute, called for Cricket a few more times, and then headed back to bed.
The yard barked for a few more minutes, then all went completely quiet. I figured either the toad had been put out of his misery or had wandered off into the woods in search of a sympathetic coyote or moose (Good luck with that).
This morning I walked up to Tramp's kennel. There was no sign of Mr. Toad.
I did alittle search on the Internet this afternoon about toads in Alberta and found this - Canadian Toad
Apparently the 'Canadian Toad' is a 'Red List' species. Well, no wonder I figured, they obviously aren't too bright. But then I got thinking, maybe because he was a 'red list' species he couldn't find a date. Lord knows that is stressful. And we are having a drought, so maybe he was depressed about not being able to find a snazzy little pond or swamp to call his own. Or maybe since the fly and mosquito population is down this year he was hungry and looking for handouts.
I got to feeling alittle bad about my callus disregard for Mr. Toad's situation.
I think if he comes back tonight I'll be more compassionate - well, that is if he shows up after 5am. I've been yawning all day and waking me up before 5 am he well may be moving from the 'red list' to the endangered list.
PS. Cricket was back in the yard this morning to greet Mark when he got home for work. She vehemently denied being away from her post during the night. The lying furball!!