For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill, she’s asked us to use “tail” and/or “tale” in our posts — one, the other, or both.
To that end, I’d like to tell you a tale about a dog’s tail. Our dog’s tail. Well, our old dog’s tail, that is.
Our dog was a chocolate Lab by the name of Cocoa. Cocoa was a lovable dog, a real sweetheart of a dog. But she was a nervous dog and kind of ditzy. Her nervousness manifested itself by her continually and quite vigorously wagging her tail. And if she was near any object, like the base kitchen cabinets, the dining room table, or even just a wall, her tail would wap, wap, wap against whatever object it came in contact with.
Cocoa would wag her tail so vigorously and wap it with such force against whatever it hit, that it caused the tip of her tail to bleed. If we were away from the house for a few hours, she’d be so excited to see us when we got home that she would leave blood spatter on the cabinets and walls.
So we took Cocoa to see the vet, who wrapped her tail in some sort of soft protective material and bandaged it all up. But within a day, she had wagged the bandage and protective material right off of her tail.
The vet ultimately said that the tip of her tail was so banged up and covered with scabs that the only course of action was to surgically remove about an inch from the end of her tail.
But even with the shortened tail after the surgery, Cocoa continued to wap her tail to the point of bleeding. Long story short, we ended up having to remove about half of the poor dog’s tail in order to finally stop the bleeding.
People would ask us about her tail, noting that it seemed quite short for that of a Labrador retriever. At first we’d explain what I just explained to you. But after a while we were sick of telling that long, drawn out story and getting “looks” when we talked about having cut off half of Cocoa’s tail. So instead we made up a tale about how Cocoa was a rare, special breed of stubby-tailed retrievers.
People seemed to handle that tale better than the truth about what actually happened to half of our ditzy dog’s tail.