Unrelated Things

Today when I arrived at PT, my therapist informed me rather unhappily that it was his last day at this clinic and he would be moving full time to the practice’s other clinic which is 45 minutes away. He made it clear that he had no choice in the matter, was upset at how quickly it had all happened and how he was having to abandon all his Tampa patients without notice. I’m really disappointed myself as I had grown to really like and trust him and have made fantastic progress since we started working together. He seemed very invested in my progress. If the other clinic wasn’t so far away, I would just go there but it’s too long a drive to go twice a week. I do feel that I am getting very close to regaining full strength and stability (largely thanks to this guy) but I’m just not feeling like starting with a new person.

Now for something totally unrelated. This morning, Husband sent me this photo.

He found this guy (I’m deciding he’s male) in the back porch in our Jacksonville house. I was immediately concerned that he was a Cane toad (also known as a Bufo toad). Cane toads are an invasive species in Florida. They are rampant in south Florida and have made their way up to central Florida although in lesser numbers. When touched they emit a toxin which can be bothersome to humans but is almost always lethal to dogs and cats if they try to pick the toad up in their mouth. Based on the size of this creature and his lack of features common to the benign Southern toad, I spent the morning worrying that we would not be able to let the dog out into the backyard or off the leash for the next six months. Some googling around lead to the University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation’s site and the professor of invasive amphibians and reptiles. You know you are dealing with an expert in this area when their email handle is tadpole@….In any case, Husband emailed the professor who responded promptly that obviously this was a Cuban tree frog, not a Cane toad. Obviously. Cuban tree frogs it turns out are also an invasive species but not a threat to pets. The University does however recommend humanely euthanizing them if found because they are a menace to local species.

With no threat to the puppy’s life neither Husband nor I feel inclined to kill this frog no matter how humane the method. As it is, the back porch is already a lizard sanctuary. When we first moved in there was a particular green lizard that would hang out on the screen. We named him Frank. Although it is highly unlikely to be the same lizard, whenever we see a green lizard out back we assume it’s Frank. At one point we even had a resident named snake. He was a rat snake. He hung around the back shed, and, as all good rat snakes do, worked diligently at keeping the rodent population down. I called him Socrates but unfortunately shortly after his promotion to named backyard creature he slithered off to greener pastures. All of this is to say that if the Cuban tree frog shows himself again, he is probably in greatest danger of receiving a name he doesn’t like.

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