Friday, February 20, 2009

Everybody Must Get Stoned

A dog may be man's best friend. But one dog, Lady, decided she needed more friends -- and she found plenty in the knot of toads living at the local pond. A suburban family's secret struggle with an uncommon addiction comes to light in this personal essay by NPR's Laura Mirsch.
Lady "was really perky, and happy, and generally excited to see you when you came in the door every day," recalls Andrew Mirsch.
But that was before the Mirsch family moved into a new house.
"We noticed Lady spending an awful lot of time down by the pond in our backyard," Laura Mirsch recalls.
Lady would wander the area, disoriented and withdrawn, soporific and glassy-eyed.
"Then, late one night after I'd put the dogs out, Lady wouldn't come in," Laura Mirsch says. "She finally staggered over to me from the cattails. She looked up at me, leaned her head over and opened her mouth like she was going to throw up, and out plopped this disgusting toad."
It turned out the toads were toxic -- and, if licked, the fluids on their skin provided a hallucinogenic effect.
What followed was the Mirsch family's quest to stop their cocker spaniel from indulging herself. But it wasn't easy. Lady was persistent, and resourceful.
The situation seemed to resolve itself when the toads went into hibernation for the winter.
But when they returned, so did Lady -- and with a vengeance.
"We couldn't keep our dog's addiction a secret any longer," Laura Mirsch says. "The neighbors all knew that Lady was a drug addict, and soon the other dogs weren't allowed to play with her."
In the end, Lady seems to have found a way to manage her problem.
"She seems to have outgrown the wild toad-obsessed years of her youth," Mirsch says, "and now only sucks on weekends."

Lady pass that toad please!
And remember.........
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
And as always, thanks for listening!


Rose said...

I heard about those dangerous toads if a dog even licks them.......Ugh.

Hugs, Rose

Linda's World said...

I would have put that druggie dog into an enclosure so she couldn't get to the toads. It's a wonder she didn't crump from her over indulgence. Linda in WA

Unknown said...

What a crazy story I never knew that about toads. I would of kept Lady on a leash or in the house.

Missie said...

Enjoy your weekend!

Sugar said...

i've heard of that for yrs, but not of a dog addicted to them. she needs to go to a doggie rehab!!!

*Tracy* said...

wow thats crazy! hope you have a great weekend! hugs

Amelia said...

I had a cocker spaniel named lady...

Paula said...

One time Susie's personality changed for a while then I read about this. We did have some toads around the front porch at the time. She is okay now and the toads are gone too.

Indigo said...

Ah, poor lady. Certain Native tribes used to use the toxins for spirit quest. (Hugs)Indigo

Marty said...

What's worse, I hear that Poor Lady had a permanent frog in her throat.

Joann said...

I've heard of this, but wasn't sure it was real... WOW!!

Lisa said...

I gave up kissing frogs in search of a prince and started licking toads!