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SC Press: Frog outlasts other pets

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Posted by: W von Papinešu at Wed Apr 19 15:45:26 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papinešu ]  
   

HERALD JOURNAL (Spartanburg, S Carolina) 19 April 06 Easygoing frog outlasts an assortment of Hindman pets (Debra G. Lester)
Sally Hindman doesn't do much. She likes to swim and sing. And hide under her rock. Sally is an African clawed frog.
She has an "electronic voice," said Patrick Hindman, 22, one of Sally's lifelong companions.
Even he hasn't paid much attention to her for the past 14 years. "We knew the frog was there for about a year," he said.
Sally actually belongs to Patrick's sister, Deanna, 17, a Dorman High School junior. She got her as a froglet, because Patrick had gotten Tally as a tadpole. Deb Hindman thought it might be a good idea to have two frogs to keep each other company, anyway. Both came in "Grow a Frog" kits.
Deanna's interest in the frogs waned even faster than Patrick's. Of course, she was only 2 when Sally came to live with them.
That's right. Sally, an African clawed frog, is 15 years old -- two years older than the Hindmans' youngest child, Casey, 13, a student at Fairforest Middle School.
And according to www.africanclawedfrogs.com, Sally could easily be around another decade or longer.
She's already outlasted an assortment of guinea pigs, hamsters, fish, a dachshund and Smoky, the cat that, as Patrick puts it, "assassinated Tally."
The three pets co-existed peacefully for years before Smoky decided she had to have the frogs -- for dinner. Literally.
Smoky managed several times to knock the frogs' covered containers off the kitchen counter, but someone in the family always came to their rescue. One time Sally was found hiding in some bags of oranges.
But then there was the night they were all at dinner.
Smoky must have decided she wouldn't get a kitty bag anyway, so she'd have frog legs. She'd planned on four, but had to settle for two. When Patrick came into the kitchen he found Tally's remains, but Sally was nowhere to be seen. Deb thought she was a goner, but helped look for her. Eventually she thought of looking under the refrigerator and found her disguised as a live dust ball.
Smoky was banished from the house and eventually ran away. Although the legend is that cats have nine lives, frogs must have at least four. Deanna admitted that one time when she was changing the water in Sally's habitat, she dropped the frog down the disposal.
Changing Sally's water usually falls to Deb now and Casey usually feeds her. Deanna still does the best impression of her "singing," which Patrick describes as similar to the sound a telephone makes when it's been left off the hook.
Deb said aquatic frogs are low-maintenance pets. All they need is commercial frog food and water in a habitat with a cover so they don't jump out. They like to have a rock or something to hide under, but don't need any land mass, even though they breathe air. Sally has never been sick, so she's had no vet bills.
Aquatic frogs just don't interact with humans too much. You can watch them, but you can't touch them, a sore point when Sally went to each child's kindergarten class.
Unlike Smoky, Patrick said, "Sally doesn't cause mischief."
Deb said she likes to watch Sally and enjoys the noise she makes, but she doesn't think she'll be adopting another frog. Badger, the vocal dachshund who likes to be the center of attention, woofed a second to that.
Easygoing frog outlasts an assortment of Hindman pets


   

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