When we picked Daisy out of a litter of absolutely adorable Australian Shepherd’s the owner warned us that she had not had their tails clipped. No problem, I said. I never understood why they clipped their tails anyway. So unnecessary. Dogs need tails.
We brought our little Daisy home and she grew and grew. Now she is a big dog, over 50 pounds, with a large, furry tail.
A tail that Hazel loves to bite and hang on. A tail that seems to grab ahold of every briar in our yard. Then she drags the briar around hitting everyone with it as she wags her tail.
You may remember that Daisy is our perfect dog. Her only offense being a tendency to over lick the hand that pets her and clean the faces of small people. I was sure she was going to be my house dog. The dog I could call my own, who would be at my feet when I sat down, my constant companion as I walked around. But it turned out, she has a hard time settling down in a house. She paces. She’s constantly on alert. Her nervousness made me nervous. We were both happier with her outside.
But late yesterday evening my daughter had trouble getting her up in the pen. I was busy with other things so I said just leave her out. She can sleep inside.
And so she did. We went to bed and she found a spot near my side of the bed and laid down.
I watched TV a while, then laid down to sleep. But Daisy couldn’t seem to relax. With every turn in the bed I made her tail would, “Thump, thump, thump,” on the hard wood floor. I’m not sure if she could sense when I was waking up and that would start the thumping or she began thumping and then I woke up, but just about every hour of the night, I was alerted to the, “Thump, thump, thump,” of her tail.
I tried luring her out of my room, but she wouldn’t budge. By my side she faithfully remained.
Somewhere between 5 and 6 in the early morning when my husband left for work the, “thump, thump, thump,” beat constantly.
At eight when I got up to let Hazel out of the laundry room and outside, I tried to persuade Daisy to go out too, but no. Her mission was to remain with me. Ever watchful, her tail beating out a rhythm, as I tried desperately to sleep.
At nine the, “thump, thump, thump” was beginning to drive me insane, reminiscent of Poe’s tail tail heart (misspelling intentional) (surely something similar to this inspired his story) and I attempted to drag her from my room. The over 50 pound dog whose head refuses to contain a collar, resisted all my efforts. With no collar to pull, I pulled legs, neck, even that blasted tail until I had pushed and pulled her just outside my bedroom door where I slammed the door on that horrid thumping and stuffed my ears with my iPod earbuds.
But by that time, the kids were up and my efforts were in vain.
I now know why the Australian Shepherd must lose their tales. Some poor owner centuries ago was driven mad by the thumping of a tail in the night.