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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Welcome to My Green Vermont - A Blog by Eulalia Benejam Cobb.
By Eulalia Benejam Cobb

Girl dogs, that is. And, in Bisou\’s case, they just wanna have fun with frogs.

Ever since the frogs moved into our fish pond, Bisou has been obsessed with them. Wolfie was obsessed for several days, and then he gave it up, but Bisou continues to think about frogs day and night, despite having fallen into the pond twice.

I must say, those frogs are quite endearing. They are mostly on the small side, with iridescent green heads and mottled brown bodies. Their eyeballs are bronze. They do all the adorable frog things, such as squat on the lily pads or under the spray of the little solar fountain, or float around in the heat of the day, their heads out of the water, their muscular, human-looking legs splayed out behind them.

Periodically they come out of the water, hop across the patio, and dive into the mint-filled flowerbeds next to the house. I can\’t decide whether these frogs are lethargic–you hear about all kinds of frog diseases and malformations these days–or extremely courageous, or simply friendly, because they let me walk right up and practically touch them.

So I can see why Bisou likes our frogs. I, however, don\’t like what the frogs are doing to Bisou, namely, taking over her brain. Every time she goes into the back porch, from which you can see the pond, she flings herself at the door, moaning and whining in the throes of frog frustration. She wants to go out to chase the frogs. Never mind that she was out there just three minutes ago. She wants to chase frogs again.

The frogs are o.k. as long as they\’re in the water. All Bisou can do is stand teetering on the edge, her ears soaking in pond scum, pointing like an Irish Setter at the disappearing frogs. If, however, a frog happens to be in transit between the pond and the apple mint, that frog is in danger. Bisou goes right up to it and bumps it with her nose, at which point I yell \”LEAVE IT!\” and she does. If she caught a frog, what would she do? Would she eat it the way Wolfie eats turtles? I can\’t have two wildlife-crunching dogs.

At one point last week, Bisou started pooping in the house, in the mornings. I was outraged and confused. What was causing this relapse? Would she never be reliable? I thought we were done with house training, and now this!

Then one dawn, when I first let the dogs out I saw that Bisou, instead of focusing on doing her business, like Lexi and Wolfie, was standing with her ears in the pond, watching frogs, and didn\’t move until I called the dogs inside. No wonder that, after breakfast, her peristalsis had been getting the best of her. Now in the mornings I have to chase her away from the pond, shouting \”Bisou! Do your business! Right now!\” Not a gentle way to ease into the day.

Will Bisou ever get over this obsession? By the time the frogs go into hibernation, will I have any voice left? Will she ever figure out that if she gets too close to the edge and cranes her neck too far, she falls in?

Here she is. Guess what she\’s thinking about? (Photo by Alix Leopold, Bisou\’s breeder.)

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