That's right. The frog - called, variously, Whiskey, Buddy, and Frog - has changed residences. After eight years as mother to a South African Clawed Frog, I find myself frogless.
Just to be clear, he's not dead and he's not making his way through the sewer system to a freer life. We gave him away. Our friends Jarred and Whitney and their daughter Cammy have taken over the care and feeding of the frog. Cammy has announced that she will henceforth call him Whisker, although I'll betcha it won't be long before Whitney is saying, "Hi, Buddy," as she feeds him each morning.
Whitney is studying marine biology, so Whisker's life may be improved by this change - or at least his diet may be more exciting. Whitney says she'll feed him blood worms, which he loves but which I withheld because they made the water smell bad. (Now it can be said: changing the frog's water was right up there with cleaning toilets on my list of unfavorite activities.)
Here's a very short history of Whisker's life so far:
He arrived as a birthday gift for Recalcitrant Teen before she was recalcitrant, or teen-aged. He was supposed to be a miniature frog, but he never stopped growing. This was important because the miniature version of these frogs is legal in California, but the full-sized clawed frog is not. Apparently, there's no way to tell the difference in the tadpoles so it was an honest mistake by the lab which supplied him.
He had whisker-like threads growing from his face for a while; hence, the name Whiskey.
We thought he might be lonely, so we sent for a companion. The second frog bounced around the tank like a little rocket ship, earning the name Frisky. Frisky proved to be another full-sized male but Whiskey loved him anyway - yes, biblically. Whiskey would hang onto Frisky for hours, crooning a lovely mating song the whole time. We referred to them as our giant homosexual frogs. Our friend Claudia, assuming their attraction was the result of being held in captivity, called them Joe-Bob and Bubba. (Frisky, poor guy, was always Whiskey's bitch.)
Sadly, we soon learned that we had misinterpreted everything. South African Clawed Frogs are loners and carnivores, so Whiskey eventually dispatched his friend (whose frenetic flights take on a whole new meaning in this light), and returned to his solitary existence.
He sings at night. He tries to bite the tiny spoon I use to measure out his frog-tidbits. He comes to the surface when the top of the tank is opened because he knows it's dinnertime. I think he'll be very happy with his new family, who can expect to get another twenty years or so of enjoyment out of him, and I will put a nice plant on that shelf where he used to sit.