The swimming pool seems to be a sort of love hotel for cane toads…you can hear them croaking endearments until the early hours of the morning, probably lolling on lilos and sipping cocktails adorned with paper parasols, before doing what one goes to a love hotel to do….but cometh the morning, cometh nemesis – me – armed with a dustpan, ploughing through the water to trap those still entwined and to evict them over the side with no more compunction than that shown by a caribbean pirate.
I loathe the things. They pop up everywhere, even in the house if the doors have been left open late into the evening, leaving their slimy calling cards to mark their passage, but they are incredibly toxic to the dogs. The slime they give off if attacked goes to the nervous system, the heart and the gastrointestinal tract and can kill a small dog very quickly if not treated.
Our dogs vary in their reaction to cane toads…most like to hunt them out and wait for me to dispose of them. Bunter likes to kill them ,so I have to be sure that I always have milk and lemons on hand,,,the milk to rub on his gums and round his mouth and lemon juice to round off the treatment. Fine if I am here, but it has happened that he has caught one while I was out and needed milk poured into his stomach – not so easy with a forty kilo dog who is becoming comatose.
Thus you can imagine with what delight I empty the pool and flush future generations of cane toads down the tubes…
But the pool has been emptied for the last time.
Leo cannot use it any more…the steps are too much for him…so it is being covered over to provide an extension of the balcony for plants which do not need to have shelter from the weather. In theory this leaves space on the existing balcony for patio furniture but as Leo is of the opinion that hammocks make him seasick and that any soft furnishings just encourage the dogs to use them as bedding I suspect that the extension will be just that…an extension of plants….
So far, no covering has been envisaged, but let one cherished plant be upset and I guarantee that before the sun sets on the next day we will have enough awnings set to rival the Sydney Opera House.
I shall miss the pool…but not the cane toads.