The Pedigree Pup & The Frog

Written By: Christine & Robert Weiss




Robert and his mom were staying at his Grandma Mari’s house in Rampasture Point, Hampton Bays, during the summer of 2001. Robert loved all kinds of animals and insect, ants, dogs, cats, snakes, rabbits, turtles, fish, horseshoe crabs, snails, starfish and even SLUGS! As a six year old, he was remarkably curious, had an intense love of nature, great respect for all living things and a passion for preserving the environment.

Although he had a pet fish at home, he longed for a pet at his Grandma’s house. Grandma lived onShinnecockBayand Robert would spend endless hours searching and playing with the horseshoe and hermit crabs, jellyfish, guppies, clams, mussels and give them all names.  He would search the lane and the woods to find turtles, rabbits and insects.  One day he found a turtle and he called him HERMIT.  Grandma knew how much he wanted a pet so she said it would be fine to keep HERMIT but only for a few days. Robert knew that God created HERMIT to wander the woods and not be a house pet. After a few days, Robert knew that the right thing to do was to put HERMIT back into the woods. He did and when he awoke the next morning HE WAS VERY SAD. He wanted a pet to keep and take care of. HE WANTED A PET OF HIS OWN!

He asked his Grandma “What about a snake?” She didn’t think that was a good idea. He asked “What about an iguana?” She didn’t think that was a good idea. He asked “What about a lizard?” She didn’t think that was a good idea.  Robert mom knew how much he wanted a pet. One day when she picked him up from Raynor Country Day Camp in Westhampton, she said “Today we are going to find you a pet of your own and one that Grandma will love.” They went to the Westhampton Pet store and all they




found were puppies and kittens. He knew that Grandma would not think that was a good idea. Mom said “We will drive to Riverhead and go to the pet store there. Robert explained his dilemma to the woman in the pet store and she said “I have the perfect pet for you.” “How about a frog?”  Mom and Robert looked at each other with big smiles. They had not thought of a frog. They both exclaimed “WHAT A GREAT IDEA”.  The saleswoman told them all about frogs and what  a wonderful pet they make for children. They do not carry disease, they’re easy to take care of and they do not smell. Robert said.  “I think Grandma will think this is a great idea.” and Mom agreed. The woman told Robert that the frog eats live crickets and must have 15 minutes of mandatory exercise each day.

Robert and Mom left the store elated. ROBERT FINALLY HAD A PET OF HIS OWN! He came rushing into the house and said “Grandma, Grandma”, I FINALLY FOUND A PET OF MY OWN.” When Grandma saw the frog she laughed with such delight. “Whatever made you think of a frog?” she asked. He told her that the lady in the pet store highly recommended this frog. He is a White’s Tree Frog and if he was well taken care of he could live for 30 years! Everyone was very happy with the new pet. Robert decided to name him RIZZ. RIZZ went everywhere with Robert, his mom and Grandma Mari.  They would go take RIZZ to Reptile Bob’s in Quogue to buy live crickets.  Once he had a leaping contest with another frog and he won. RIZZ would go in the wagon down the lane for his exercise. He would jump from rock to rock on the beach at Rampasture Point. People would take his picture and he became a celebrity.

One day, the Tierney family was visiting Grandma. The Tierney’s are Aunt Barbara, Uncle Bill, Cousins Sarah and Lauren and, of course, THEIR PEDIGREE PUP NAMED BASIL. BASIL is a Lapps Opsa and from a very “Blue Blood” family inChina. His lineage dates back centuries. He ate royally and was supposed to behave royally. For the most part, he did thanks to his master,  Aunt Barbara.  BASIL would do all kinds of tricks but his best performance would be when he would go on the carpet – not very nice for such a royal pedigree.