Friday, June 18, 2010

The Frog in the Atrium

During the process of buying my house, the closing had originally been set for October 20, 2009. Because of the hoops that Wells Fargo wanted me to jump through, the closing was delayed until November 4. The seller had previously planned on being here for the October 20 date (he’s from Ohio) and maintained his plans. He signed the closing papers and handed over to me the garage door opener. (I resisted meeting him at the house – but did so most reluctantly… he handed over the garage door opener as if it were the Olympic torch…). There was a period of two weeks in which I had access to the house via the garage, but didn’t yet have title or the front door keys.

One afternoon I went by my soon to be new house and pulled in to the garage. Right now I don’t remember why I went there – probably just anxious to make it a done deal. The garage opens up into an atrium, which then opens up into the master suite.

See blog entry, Anticipation October 24, 2009 :

I stopped by my new house two days ago to bring in the trash cans, and so I popped my head inside the atrium. It had just rained so it was good to see how wet it gets and where. I noticed a small tree frog in the atrium, and pondered how he could have gotten inside. I thought perhaps he was born there. Then I looked up and noticed a rip in one of the screens in the skylights. Darn. That'll need to be fixed pronto, as I plan on opening the doors and windows to the fresh air outside.

That was my first encounter with the frog in the atrium.

I moved in, and one evening Sarah asked me whether I’d partied in the atrium, yet. So we wiped off the chairs and enjoyed cosmopolitans as the moon shone through the skylights. Peeking around from behind a planter was a small tree frog. I chuckled to myself as I saw him staring back, but Sarah wasn’t laughing – she really really dislikes frogs.

One evening I sat in the atrium by myself, with the gentle spray of a light rain dusting my face. It felt magical. Then I heard the Splat! As the frog lept by and landed squarely on the glass door. He looked a little larger….

One Saturday afternoon I was cleaning the sliding glass doors between the bedroom/bathroom/atrium. I opened the one door completely wide, and as I did, up in the track of the door I saw Frog inching back out of sight….(he thought I didn’t see him, but I did…!)

Enter Gracie……
Gracie is quite unlike the labs I have had over the years – without a doubt! – but especially in her fierce hunting. Of course I add to the frenzy by making a game of it: I’ll open the door to the outside as I most excitedly exclaim: “Git-m!!” She would charge out the door on a true hunt – chasing birds, squirrels, lizards, and…..frogs.
Gracie discovered the frog in the atrium one evening, as did her buddy, Ruca. The two dogs made themselves crazy whining, howling and barking at the small tree frog that managed to stay out of range. I nudged the frog so he was forced to lunge from his perch. (Git’m!). I decided enough was enough; Frog attempted to hide under one of the patio chairs, so, I took the chair – frog and all – out to the front yard and left him there. That should be the end of it.

But NOooo. Darned if Frog either found his way back, or one of his buddies decided to take over, because there was again (or still), a frog in the atrium.

Earlier this week, Gracie was sniffing around outside the atrium. She knew Frog was there. With the heat, now, the doors are closed, so I would hear Gracie’s tap-tap-tap wanting me to open the door so she could hunt. I did – and I closed the glass doors to the air conditioned area, but left the door open to the garage. Gracie and Ruca were dancing in the room trying to get Frog. I laughed and walked out to the living room. Shortly after, I heard the loud barking of two dogs. I went in to the atrium, and there was Frog on the ledge, out of reach. Being a brat, I grabbed a broom and nudged him til he jumped to the floor. Gracie was on him instantly. Now I really believe that Gracie has the taste of blood. Ruca, a lab, much like my other labs in years past, has a “soft mouth” and can retrieve and hold objects without biting down. Not Gracie. I think she had Frog pinned between the planks. Ruca stood there looking at her with apparent disbelief. I walked away, not wanting to be witness to the slaughter.

That was three days ago, and I have not seen Frog, or signs of his ‘remains.’ Hard to say whether Gracie ate him, or he managed to escape to a safe place and recuperate. Each evening I pause to survey the room looking for any evidence of the Frog in the Atrium.

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