Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bisou's Tail

Thwap, thwap, thwap. Thwap, thwap, thwap.

In the six weeks that Bisou has been with us, this metronome has become the measure of my days. I walk in front of her crate when she's supposed to be napping and thwap, thwap, her tail lets me know she knows I know she's awake. We're waiting our turn to demonstrate our (meager) skills in puppy class and thwap, thwap, THWAP, isn't it our turn yet? I pick her up out of the welter of her siblings at the end of a play date and thwap, thwap, her tail beats against my side—oh, there you are, SO glad to see you again!

Her tail is only 10” long, so no threat to coffee tables. It's a skinny tail—partly from all that wagging, but partly because Bisou hasn't grown her “feathers” yet. For those of you who don't know about “dog feathers”: they're the swishy bits of hair that swing in the breeze when dogs such as setters and spaniels run through meadows. The beginning of Bisou's feathers is showing as basically a bad haircut—random long hairs sticking out along the back of her legs, between her toes, and at the tip of her tail.

At the very tip of her tail, Bisou's future feathers, instead of hanging down like icicles off an eave, project in four different directions--north, south, east and west--on an axis perpendicular to her spine. In other words, she looks like she has a set of tiny helicopter blades at the end of her tail, and she could take off any minute.

Not that she needs helicopter blades. This is a dog with wings. She long ago mastered leaping onto sofas, and from there onto occasional tables. She transitioned to beds by leaping onto her crate, then clearing the gap between it and the bed in one graceful leap. Now the crate is obsolete, for leaping purposes anyway. She can go anywhere she wants to, and does.

Someday Bisou's feathers will grow in, and her shiny red coat will look sensational in its longer version. But I will miss the silly puppy look, and I hope the tail, in all its flaming glory, doesn't lose its wag.

7 comments :

  1. Why would anyone that belonged to you ever stop wagging their tail :-)

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  2. You didn't mention how she often maniacally chases that tail of hers (just as I did yours!) -- and usually catches it, briefly, so the tip of her tail is usually wet.

    You also didn't mention that the main reason her tail's no threat to the coffee table is that it's only about six inches off the floor at its base (in contrast to Wolfie's 20 -- see previous post).

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  3. there is nothing like a puppy. i'm glad to live vicariously through bijou's puppy years.

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  4. Oh, I loved the post. But oh, I loved Ed's comment.

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