In a ‘Pickle’

Photo by Gerald Santana

JULY 21 - Young Mary’s birthday wish was “a frog” placing her mother in quite a pickle. 

“Where was I going to find a frog?” asked Mom. “Thankfully, a friend and her children found a small Pacific tree frog, so I was relieved to fulfil my daughter’s 4th birthday dream.”                                            

Mary was thrilled and said, “At first I did not know what my present was, then I saw a frog and named it Pickle because it looks like a pickle. We put him in a Terrarium and bought him some crickets.” 

“There was no long-term plan for Mary’s gift,” said her father, Gerald Santana, Cottage Grove Sentinel’s editor. “ I wasn’t home when she ‘opened’ him so I wasn’t aware we had a frog. At night, I’d hear light tapping and thudding and thought there was a mouse trapped in a wall. I was relieved to hear that Pickle was a member of our family explaining the weird sounds after everyone went to bed.

I asked a friend who knows about frogs, ‘What kind of life span would the frog have in captivity?’ She responded by guessing, ‘He will probably live a month, but no longer.” Pickle has obviously been happy with our family because he's occasionally become social and isn't frightened by four children's faces staring at him from the safety of his terrarium.”

It is now nine months later, and Pickle has doubled in size!

“My parents feed our frog and spray him with water,” said Mary. “He eats crickets and I change his water. My sister Lucy says that there's a circle behind frogs and if it's bigger than its eyes then it's a girl and if it's smaller than their eyes it's a boy.”

“Pickle didn't hibernate last winter like frogs in nature,” said Mom. “Probably because of the light in his terrarium. Frogs are nocturnal so he's more active during the night, as Gerald discovered. Our amphibian is a Pacific tree frog which is a species toxic on human skin, so we don't handle him often. When we do, we wash our hands before touching him and after. Mostly, we leave him alone. We plan on switching his terrarium to bioactive with only living native plants that are natural to his original habitat.” 

“Pickle is funny, he sleeps with his eyes open, he has changed colors and he likes to jump a lot and eat a lot,” adds Mary who is now 4 1/2 years old.

Her ten-year-old sister, Lucy, adds, “Pickle changed his color! He was beige but now he has lighter spots and is greener with darker spots. I think it’s because his environment changed, and he used to be with dead plants so that's why he was more beige.”

Mary’s eight-year-old brother, Robin, said, “We have never had a frog before and they are a different kind of pet than our cat, Mouser.”

“We recently upgraded our frog’s habitat so, I'm monitoring how he enjoys living there and when to feed him,” adds Papa Gerald. “When it's dry inside, we water his habitat and spray him with cool water, he loves it and doesn't move when the mist comes his way.

Teaching our children to be empathetic to small creatures allows us to reach into feelings that may not be there if we didn't have Pickle. Though the kids enjoy having Mouser, our cat, as a pet, Pickle is a completely different animal, and they care about Pickle in the same way, though affection is displayed differently.”


On July 4th, we were nervous for our rescue kitty, Shasta,” said Angel Scribe. “I put her in her harness vest to simulate an anti-anxiety Thunder shirt and gave her Bach Flower's'Rescue Remedy and Homeopet’s ‘Anti-anxiety’ formula.  Several firework bombs exploded at once and I found her not hiding, but on top of her scratching post looking out the window, not terrified, but enthralled with the sparkling lights. 

Summer heat: Roads and sidewalk surfaces heat up to 40 to 60 degrees warmer than the air temperature burning and blistering your dog’s feet. 

Prevent pain for your pet and financial pain at the veterinary clinic. 

Teach others that air and pavement temperatures are not the same.

Do a quick test by placing the back of your hand on the walking surface and if it is too hot for your hand, it is too hot for your dog’s bare paws.

Air Temperature Vs. Pavement Temperature

77 degrees F      125 degrees F

86 degrees F      135 degrees F

87 degrees F      143 degrees F

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Cottage Grove Humane Society for Neuter/Spay Assistance Program. (541) 942-3130