#334–A tale of tails . . .

I had a dream the other night about pets I’ve had and their tails. Who knows why!  I have no idea, but I got up and started writing. I’ve put the dates of when each pet was mine.  I’ve written just as I remembered them but from each pet’s point of view. I know, it’s quirky and just for fun! So, enjoy!

Pepper in a rare moment of rest. He spent most of his time running for that was what he enjoyed most. –Painting by Karen D. Nichols

Pepper, 1969–‘79 (a 40-pound English Setter given to a family in a suburb when he was two years old, where they kept him tied in the yard where he barked and barked and was miserable, and after the neighbors complained, that is when they gave him to me during a time I lived in a cabin in the woods)––“My tail wags to show how happy I am to be running free and not tied up. It wags when I’m running on the beach, running through the woods, actually running anywhere. I also wag my long, white tail with its feathering inside the cabin while lying on the rug, so the cats can play with it. They don’t think I know what they’re up to. And when I’m in trouble, it seems to wag on its own, while I look away and hope the lady won’t notice me or my tail.”

Eric was a 90-pound, beautiful Irish Setter that loved attention and ran off whenever he was outside and not on a leash.

Eric, 1971–‘73 (an adorable Irish Setter puppy from a line of national champions that turned into a gorgeous but spoiled, 90-pound adult that we finally ended up giving to a family with many children)––“I have such beautiful feathering from the top of my head to the tip of my tail. Such a beautiful tail! I wag it, so everyone will notice me. I love attention. I enjoy sitting on the couch, which is very comfy, but I’m not supposed to. If I keep my tail still, maybe they won’t notice. If the lady sits down, she’ll let me sit next to her. Maybe I can sit on her lap. If I do it slowly and keep my tail still, she might not notice. Last time I tried it, my tail tickled her chin because I couldn’t keep it still, and she made me get down. Here she comes.”

Whenever he was doing almost anything, his tail would be wagging.

Asa, 1992–2002 (a hyperactive, 65-pound Standard Poodle rejected by a dozen families before we took him)––“Wagging my fluffy, round pouf of a tail shows everyone how happy I am to be here where these people kept me and didn’t take me back to the animal shelter. I am sooooo happy! I wag to show it––going for a walk, welcoming home my wonderful people, being petted, eating food, rooting through waste baskets, dragging toilet paper down the hall, and barking at anyone who comes to the door. I just keep wagging. Life is good!”

Jetson was only 10 pounds, but one tough dude.

Jetson, 1989-1994 (neighbor’s cat that visited nearly every day) 1995–2008 (became my cat when I rescued him after being injured after family moved and he came back cross country; wasn’t long before he returned to being alpha cat of neighborhood)––“My tail let’s people know my mood. Fast moving means don’t mess with me. If I’m focused on any other critter trespassing on my territory and my tail is moving slowly and deliberately, keep your distance. If I’m stalking a mouse, I don’t move it. I keep it as still as the rest of me. In the house, I enjoy chasing my tail, but only if no one is watching!”

Sir Groucho went from scruffy, malnourished stray to a lovable, beautiful pet

Sir Groucho, 2009–‘22 (a rescued stray that had been abused in an earlier life and became a contented indoor cat)––“My tail flips up and down, up and down to show how much I enjoy being petted—sort of keeping time with my purring. When I’m sitting on the narrow deck railing outside, my tail helps keep me from falling off. On the king-sized bed, I stretch out my tail to make sure I get my half. If I’m walking between breakables on top of the hutch, I try not to knock anything off with my tail––­unless I want to.”

Actually, I have no idea how my pets felt about their tails. I’m just letting my imagination run wild. But everything I wrote was based on how I knew them, and I knew each pet very well. I miss them all—especially Sir Groucho who was my companion the past 12 years and just passed away in January.

This was great fun to write––a real trip down memory lane.

Maybe it reminded you of one of your pets or triggered memories of one you’ve had. At any rate, I hope you enjoyed it.

Note: If you wanted to read more about any or all of these pets, check out my book Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known.

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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4 Responses to #334–A tale of tails . . .

  1. Evelynecarson says:

    Lovely write up, Judy. What would life be without our faithful animal companions…

  2. Sue Martino says:

    Enjoyed reading about your wonderful pets. Most of us have fond pet memories. Maybe I’ll pick up the pen, too.

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