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I know better.....

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Funny story.... sorta....

I was at the pet store yesterday getting dog and cat food, and I was looking at these cute little frogs – bright red and black bellies, green and black tops. Fire bellied toads… so cute! I got to thinking about DS’s merit badge he still hadn't completed from summer camp, "Reptiles and Amphibians"….. So I asked her, ya know – how long do they live, what kind of care, food, prices, etc…

Oh – easy. They only live a few years tops (I made sure she understood we might move and couldn’t move them), a small plastic-pet thing (you know the little ones with plastic vented lids), throw some rocks and some water in there and feed them a few crickets every week. Easy peasy.

But – I say, “their bellies are very colorful… are they toxic?†“On – no, of course not!!!†she laughs at me and smacks her hands on her leg.

She swore she never did a thing for them, and they didn’t need anything else. Change the water occasionally so it doesn’t stink.

The frog was $5 and she had a used plastic thing for $7 – good to go, even threw in some crickets and a rock to get us started.

DS was thrilled.

I should know better. I do know better. I really really know better.

I made the mistake of Googling the darn thing.

Oriental fire bellied toads: (which are actually frogs…. But who cares). Toxic. Not real bad for humans (rashes, don’t get it in an open wound or your eyes), but don’t let the dogs and cat get them! Could even kill the cat…. Don’t handle them much, of course, and when you do – wear latex gloves, or wash your hands really well.


Oh – but that isn’t the half of it.


They are social, the only “communal†frogs in the world. Will die by themselves. They need a big tank, and rocks, and dry places, and places to hide. Better dust the crickets with vitamin and calcium powder or the buggers will literally croak. Gotta filter the water - or their toxins build up in it and they will, again, croak.

Oh – and they can live up to 20 years. Yep. Twenty.


DS was, of course, already hooked – and I was feeling like a sucker. Of course, she may have really had no idea. Hers might only live a few years because she abuses the poor little things to death.


So, being that I got DS all excited and he’s talking about names and finishing his merit badge, I think – ok, no biggie. A small tank, etc. not the end of the world.


Pet Smart carries the frogs, and everything else.


We went up there this morning. The frog now has two cute little buddies, a 10 gallon tank, places to hide and a water filter. Oh – and the crickets have vitamin dust. $65.00. The crickets now reside in the plastic pet box thing. That $5 frog ended up costing $77.00.


Still feeling like a sucker.


Now – I found the middle ground, mind you. I didn’t do what all the frog nuts on the internet would have you do. In fact, what I have set up here would still be considered froggy abuse. But it won’t kill them, and I don’t feel like a horrible person.

DS is still thrilled, of course. Watches them forever. Funny to watch them lunge after the crickets. They do really like each other. Spend a lot of time right next to each other in the water. Crickets are pretty cheap – other than replacing the filter every few months, they won’t cost anything else. I refuse to take a frog to the vet…..

So – yeah. Funny…. Hahahaha.

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