This Halloween I wanted to get away from the hundreds of trick or treaters who descend upon our neighborhood. Some are respectful, while others drop candy wrappers, and treats along the sidewalk near our home. For days afterwards, our beagle, gobbles as many discarded goodies he can find, including chocolates.
In order to avoid a potentially dangerous situation for our pet, my husband and I decided to take Buddy camping at Johnathan Dickinson State Park in south Florida. Herb suggested I bring candy to the campsite. “After all, some trick or treaters might show up at the park.”
As any good wife would do, I packed a bag of assorted miniature chocolates. (Even though I knew we would be eating all of them.)
Our first night at the park was special. The campground was located near the Atlantic and we appreciated the cool ocean breeze. Although the sparse trees gave little shade, we marveled at the beauty of the night sky.
When our campfire was reduced to embers, we took Buddy for his last walk of the day. Outside the community shower-house we noticed a huge toad sitting in front of a Pepsi machine. “That toad looks like it’s trying to decide if it wants to drink Pepsi or Mountain Dew,” Herb chuckled.
By the time I snapped a photo, the toad had hopped around to the side of the machine. It was very sensitive to our presence.
Soon a neighboring camper joined us. “Keep your dog away from that toad. It’s poisonous.”
Lucky for us, Buddy didn’t approach Mr. Toad. Still, we were thankful for the information and walked on.
The next day we asked a ranger about the toad at the Pepsi machine. She informed us several Bufo toads live under the machine. They come out at night to catch the insects attracted by the light. They are very dangerous and dogs can die within minutes of licking a Bufo toad. Although the park staff has tried to get rid of them, they keep coming back.
Herb and I were shocked. In our efforts to protect Buddy from “dangerous trick or treaters,” we put him square in the path of a deadly toad!
We were successful in keeping Buddy away from the Bufo toads for the rest of our long weekend. As we drove home we congratulated each other for being such good pet owners.
Then Monday came. Herb noticed Buddy licking his doggie lips on their morning walk. He reached in Buddy’s mouth and pulled out a bubblegum wrapper. Sigh…
For more information about Bufo toads and dogs click here.