Dilly’s tasty tail

Steve and I have long been interested in the tails of the CCI puppies we’ve raised over the years. They’re not all the same. Dionne (puppy number #5) had one with a distinct twist at its tip, which gave it a slightly porcine look. The tail of Kyndall (#6) appeared to be kinked, just about an inch from its end. You could see and feel it.

For some time, we nursed a theory that the longer the tail, the more dominant the dog. This notion was fed by the fact that despite his size, Tucker (#1) had a rather wimpy little tail and a docile, submissive personality to match it. Dionne and Darby (#4), both smaller physically, had long tails and — bossed Tucker around unmercifully. But our Tail Dominance theory took a beating with the arrival of Kyndall, who had a nice long tail but was more subservient to Tucker than any other dog he had lived with.

The fact that Dilly’s tail is in a class by itself is hardly surprising. He’s the only purebred Golden Retriever we’ve raised for CCI. Matching the rest of his body, his tail is a magnificent feathered scepter. It’s hard to capture its beauty with a camera; so often it’s in motion, wagging.

We have thus been dismayed recently to notice that very end of Dilly’s tail has begun to resemble… a bony finger.

Notice how it narrows down to an almost furless section.
You can almost see the tail bone that should be holding the fur.

We know why this is happening. We have on occasion caught Dilly in the act of ripping the fur out, though of course we have no idea what would move him to do this. Boredom? Neurosis? Hunger? (Once ripped out, he seems to like chewing the fur. We do not know if he then swallows it.)

We haven’t yet consulted with any authorities about this problem. Steve found an old bottle of bitter apple in the garage, so he is spraying it in the hopes that the bad taste with discourage this bad habit.

We’re not wildly optimistic. Look at the way he’s licking his lips. (Seasoning!)

Kinky

“Kyndall’s got a kink in her tail,” Steve called out. “Did you know that?”

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Dionne’s piggy tail tip.

I had not noticed, which is surprising. Steve and I take some interest in our dogs’ tails. We were struck by the distinctive twist at the very tip of Dionne’s tail, which gave it a slightly porcine look.

For some time, we also nursed a theory that the longer the tail, the more dominant the dog. This notion was fed by the fact that despite his size, Tucker has a rather wimpy little tail and a docile, submissive personality to match it. Dionne and Darby, while both smaller physically, had long tails and — bossed Tucker around unmercifully. But our Tail Dominance theory took a beating with the arrival of Kyndall, who has a nice long tail but is more subservient to Tucker than any other dog he’s ever lived with.

If long, I saw that it is true Kyndall’s tail appears kinked, just about an inch from its end. If you feel it, there appears to be a clear bend there.

052115 kinky

“Do you suppose it’s my fault for pinching it in the car door that time?” Steve wondered. If so, he seemed ready to take credit for the effect. “I think it looks very stylish,” he pronounced.

I don’t know if that’s the right word for it; the bend at the end reminds me of the way airline wing tips turn up these days. But one thing we all agree on: better a kinked tail than a drooping one.