For some unknown reason, Chloe the dog was completely obsessed with toads. In fact, when the amphibians visited her garden, she would spend hours just watching them hopping around. In the end, the pooch’s passion for frogs became so intense that her family decided to intervene.
Before Chloe found love with her forever family at just four weeks old, she had lived in a public shelter. Being so small and weak, the beagle mix was not in a good state when she arrived home with owner Shelby Pittsley.
In fact, Chloe was extremely ill and weakened. As a result, Pittsley dedicated herself to nursing the pup better. And soon enough, her efforts paid off. Before her owner’s eyes, Chloe transformed into a healthy and happy little dog, which seemed to have a natural wonder for the world.
Despite her traumatic start in life, Chloe seemed to have a passion for everything living. However, her favorite animals in the world were toads. The dog grew fascinated with the amphibians after finding some in her backyard, and she’s been smitten ever since.
Unlike Chloe’s three furry siblings, the beagle mix could spend hours simply watching toads jumping around. In fact, she spent as much time with the friendly frogs as she possibly could. Not a day went by when she didn’t venture into the yard to find the toads.
Describing Chloe’s toad obsession, in July 2018 Pittsley told The Dodo, “She loves watching them swim and hop. She knows not to stomp on them or nibble them; she just enjoys watching them. Sometimes she casually walks on the side of them and follows them wherever they hop to.”
Pittsley continued, “Every night at 9:30 exactly, little Chloe can be found scratching at our back door hoping to play with some toads. On nights when there are no toads to be found, Chloe becomes depressed, sulking in the middle of the yard.”
Presumably to keep her four rescue dogs cool during the summer months, Pittsley erected two pools in her yard for the pooches to play in. However, before long, toads had commandeered them too. That’s when Pittsley had the idea to convert one of the pools into a dedicated “toad hotel.”
Not one to undertake such a task lightly, Pittsley put some effort into thinking about what exactly a toad would expect from its accommodation. “They needed easy access in and out of the pool, water to swim in, dirt to hide in, and plants for shade,” she reasoned.
However, Pittsley wasn’t the type of person to do something half-heartedly. So she went the extra mile to insure the amphibians’ comfort. “I also made dirt mounds which extended over the rim of the pool, so the toads could hop in and out at any time,” she revealed.
Soon enough Pittsley’s “toad-tel” was ready for its grand opening. It was sure to be the height of luxury for all toads and featured a large swimming area complete with a charming duck-shaped statue and a sandy, foliage-lined beach.
Now all that was left for Pittsley to do was to find the perfect spot on which to sit her grand design. In the end, she decided upon a sheltered plot beneath some shrubs. That way, it would be out of the way of pesky birds and other potential predators.
After opening her hotel, Pittsley had little option but wait and see if any guests would arrive. And it didn’t take long for word to spread among the toads. In fact, on its first functioning night, the toad-tel attracted a total of 12 visitors.
But while the toads seemed to be happy with the hotel’s facilities, no one was a bigger fan of the establishment than Chloe. Now she had a steady flow of amphibians coming through her back garden and she couldn’t have been happier.
Commenting on the success of her unique venture, Pittsley later revealed, “To this day you can find the toads resting at the toad-tel.” Seemingly pleased with the guests it had attracted, she added, “They have really formed their own family.”
If, like Chloe, you are a fan of toads, there are many ways to attract them into your garden. One of the best ways is to offer them shelter, just as Pittsley has done. To prevent dehydration, toads like to stay out of the sun, so a damp, shaded area should do the trick.
You could make a shelter by using stones to form a little cave. Otherwise, an upside down flower pot propped open by a rock is equally as enticing for toads. Whatever you decide, just ensure your shelter is in a quiet area of your yard.
Since toads absorb liquid by sitting in water, it’s also a good idea to provide your garden guests with some kind of pool. That way, they can dunk themselves whenever they see fit, keeping them nice and healthy in the process.
The benefit of encouraging toads to visit your garden is that they keep the pest population at bay. A single frog can chomp through 10,000 insects each and every night. So the addition of the amphibians to your green spaces can reduce the need for nasty pesticides.
However, before you make like Pittsley and transform your yard into a toad-hotel, insure that your pets are not likely to see the new additions as food. To ward off predators, toads and frogs produce strong-smelling secretions, which can be toxic to dogs.