Speedy went outside just after full dark last night. I was in the bedroom when I heard his door flap magnets clack. He started barking in an unfamiliar pattern. When I got to the the patio door, I could barely see him circling something on the patio, nose to the object. Once I flipped on the lights, I could see that a toad had hopped up onto the concrete.
I went out and got the poop-scoop to encourage the toad to leave the fenced portion of the patio. Unfortunately, I didn't grab Speedy first. The instant the toad moved, Speedy was on it. "No! Drop it! Leave it!" Speedy complied, somewhat reluctantly. The toad appeared unharmed; it hopped off through the fence and off toward the unlit part of the patio.
As dogs have no lips, you can't say that they exactly spit. However, Speedy was making the attempt to spit out that nasty toad-taste. He wouldn't take a drink, so I held him over the sink and managed to rinse his muzzle, although I don't think I got any water on his tongue. So he sneezed and spat for the next half-hour. This morning he is fine. He may have learned a lesson, but I don't intend to bet the farm on this. The weimaraner that lived across the back fence used to spend much of the summer and fall catching toads and "spitting".
The word of the day for October 1, 2009 is "toad" Pronunciation: \tōd\
Etymology: Middle English tode, from Old English tāde, tādige
Date: before 12th century
1 : any of numerous anuran amphibians (especially family Bufonidae) that are distinguished from the related frogs by being more terrestrial in habit though returning to water to lay their eggs, by having a build that is squatter and shorter with weaker and shorter hind limbs, and by having skin that is rough, dry, and warty rather than smooth and moist. 2 : a contemptible person or thing.
Our quote for the day is from William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I:
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelt’red venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.