Saga of a woman old enough to know better who lets her life be governed by the ridiculous hobby of breeding and showing dogs, musing on life, the twenty first century, Cameron and his mini-me, and the occasional sheep.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


It`s that time of year again.

We went out just at dusk, and suddenly the ground was moving.   Little dark scuttlings here and there.  Desperately excited dogs.


The toad hatch was underway.,

I have a wet area fed by a little burn which comes across the road at the gate in the field drain you always see me complaining about.    And that`s where the toads breed.  I leave them strictly alone, and there is nothing to disturb the tadpoles….and then suddenly they all come out into the world.   Not sure where they go. but there`s certainly a lot of them.

I was always taught that the toad is the gardener`s friend, happy to eat all sorts of pests.   Well, I`m not much of a gardener these days, but I do like toads.

The dogs are not so sure.  They dive on the little dark hoppers – and then relearn the lesson that toads taste REALLY nasty if you pick them up.  I believe that their skin secretions would be not at all good for dogs*, but the fact is in my experience they will only pick up a toad once and drop it immediately, so no danger, either to dog or toad.  But the size and the sudden movements make them so attractive to Papillons!   Cue hysterical barks and screams.   Every Papillon knows it is possible to bark any creature to death if you just try hard enough.   The toads are totally unimpressed, scuttling on in their nocturnal journey.

Toad hall
The entrance to Toad Hall

Probably the rest of  their lives seem uneventful compared to running the gauntlet of Papillons!

*  In the UK we do not have toads which are as toxic as many of those abroad, which could kill a dog if it caught one.
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