Phelps, Jr. Update

He’s back.

Haven’t seen this summer’s primary amphibian for a few weeks, but tonight he was enjoying the cool, late-night breeze by paddling in the dogs’ water bowl on the patio. Either he’s returned from mysterious toad perambulations or we caught him by going out for the bedtime stroll a few minutes early.

He’s grown larger. No doubt he’s thriving on a luscious diet of June bugs. He’s not remotely a Jumbo–no toad obesity yet. But he’s taller and fuller. Instead of floating spreadeagled on the bottom of the bowl as before, he was sitting up with his head above the water.

I always keep two outdoor bowls of water side by side although my dogs seldom drink at the same time. One of my dogs was lapping away, ignoring Junior’s perky pose in the adjacent bowl. Even when I took the garden trowel and gently nudged Junior to vacate, his wet splodging about provoked no more than a Scottish look with no pause in lapping.

(You know a Scottie is getting old when former prey hops right past the beard and jutting eyebrows and no terrier fizz ignites whatsoever.)

My aim was to herd Junior off the patio, but he escaped me by diving for cover beneath the wrought-iron fern stand. I let him be. No doubt the moment we all trooped indoors, he slipped back into the water bowl to finish his swim.

Ah, summer. When even the toads have it easy.

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