Thursday, July 1, 2010


(This is a frog that was in our pool, but not THE frog.)

Abby loved to give chase to some animals, in particular squirrels and frogs. Her encounters with squirrels will be discussed later and will take at least a couple of entries. For now I will say that because she loved to chase the squirrels in our yard, I installed and maintained a couple of bird feeders for the sole purpose of entertaining Abby. Just the exercise alone it gave Abby chasing the squirrels made the purchase of the bird feeders worthwhile. Anyone who has a bird feeder knows that the birds are not the only animals dining on the bird seed at those feeders. If there are any squirrels around, they will find it, loot it and empty the contents of the feeder.

The focal point for the frogs was the pool in the backyard. I don’t know how they know our pool is there, but they do. There have been times when I have super chlorinated the pool when the next day I’d find over a half dozen dead frogs floating in the pool. I can’t say I remember the first time Abby saw frog, but it didn’t take long after her first sighting of one that she developed a keen fascination of them. It also didn’t take long for her to learn a new word in her growing vocabulary “Frog.” If Abby didn’t spot a frog in the pool before I did, I would point at a frog in the pool and yell to Abby “What is that?” Abby would trot to the pool ledge and frantically look in the pool. I could tell when she had locked in on a frog by the way her ears dropped down and her brows furrowed, that and she would start whining.

Then the teasing would ensue. I would repeat the word ‘Frog’ over and over. In addition to that, I would tell her to ‘Give me that’ or ‘Getty it, Baby Girl!’ This would cause Abby more anxiety and even louder whining. She would then tip, tip, tip to the stairs (walk-in stairs), slip into the water and swim after the frog. Almost inevitably, the frog had the good sense to dart away from Abby. Once in a while, Abby would draw close enough to one to have a reasonable chance to grab one.

I always wondered what she would have done if she had caught one. I know she had a taste for some live animals, such as ground moles, but I doubt they put up much of a fight when she ate them. Killing and eating a frog would be different than killing and eating a mole. One day she did catch a frog. The thing lollygagged around; Abby swam beside it, snapped at it and took it in her mouth. She got it! I thought that was the end of the story, but a moment later when she opened her mouth to breathe, the frog leapt out of her mouth to freedom and swam away. Obviously Abby didn’t chew it or swallow it; Abby didn’t have that killer instinct. The puzzled look on her face after that frog escaped was funny. I guess she thought the frog would lay down and die like the mole did so when the thing jumped out of her mouth, it must have scared her quite a bit. I wish I could portray the look of consternation on her face.
I’m fairly sure it scared her because after that incident she would continue to stare down any frogs in the pool, cry and whine at them. She would even give chase to one from time to time, but she didn’t try to eat a frog again. She would swim beside them but never again would she try to bite at one.

1 comment:

  1. So funny about the frog that jumped out to freedom! LUCKY FROG!

    I asked my trainer about Abby biting you while sledding. Trainer said her predator-prey instinct probably kicked in because of the movement. I argued that you could run and play with her, and she never bit you before, but she said that given that your body was lower to the ground, that gave you a little less "status" (you lost alpha points, if you will) since you were down closer to her level. In addition, the movement of sledding is quite fluid, and that definitely helps highten that instict as well.

    Of course without knowing Abby, the trainer can't say for certain, but she felt fairly positive that was what was going on. Thought it was interesting!