A Temporary Tail Of Woe

We had the beach to ourselves on our run today, due most likely to the relentless rain and wind we’re getting now we’re into October. Things were very different a few days ago, when September gave us one last blast of summer.


The conditions were perfect: clear skies and warm sun, but with a pleasantly cooling breeze. We headed down to the beach around low tide, and Susan volunteered to tie herself to our two crazy mutts. It’d been a while since Susan had run with them, so this was an extra-special session for the pups, and Beanie marked it by doing her very best bouncing bomb impersonation as she bounded across the water.


Biggles just powered through it like normal, but all the while the naughtiness center in his brain was encouraging him to forget the running thing and just have a good old fashioned playfight with his sister. Eventually the naughty side won out!






That’s the funny thing about Biggles. When he’s in the house he’s very respectful toward his sis; he’s always doffing his furry ginger hat to Lady Beanie. But outside… a whole different ruleset applies. He instantly becomes bold and playful, and his respect for Beanie is replaced by an irresistible desire to shoulder-barge and wrestle with her. I can’t help smiling when this happens on a run. It’s kind of disruptive if it occurs in the middle of a speed workout, but fun nonetheless!


Unfortunately this great day out on the beach ended with a mild case of “Beagle Tail” for the Beanster. Apparently it’s a kind of whiplash injury to the tail caused by a particularly vigorous shake, often occurring after the Beagle has become very wet. So I guess it could have been this shake..



 ..that did the damage and gave Beanie a sad, droopy tail for the rest of the afternoon. Happily Beanie’s wagger was completely recovered by the next day, but thinking about it, it’s remarkable that neither of our pups have experienced this condition before now. Beanie often gets hyper when she’s wet and shakes very vigorously, and – wet or dry – Biggles sometimes shakes so powerfully that he nearly knocks himself off his own feet!

7 Replies to “A Temporary Tail Of Woe”

  1. Susan in Delaware

    Gorgeous photos as always! I particularly like the one of Susan running and dodging the two critters at the last moment before tripping over them. I thought the Tail of Woe might have been about falling over them! When people come over to our house, I always warn, “Even though they’re family, they do not share our last name. They are Josie and Lady Underfoot.”

  2. Beaglemom to Ben and Tito

    Beautiful! Your beags have the best life!

    Tito sometimes gets “cold tail” and he just looks so sad. Ben on the other hand has his tail permanently stuck at 6 o’clock b/c of a back injury. He just gives his downward tail a little wag and we know he is happy.

  3. Julie, JB & Cassie's Mum

    Cassie gets ‘beagle tail’ from time to time; we’d never heard of it until she came to live with us. I read up about it on the internet and it seems it’s a painful condition. So we give her half a paracetamol when it happens and she’s much happier after about half an hour. It takes about 24 hours to wear off but until then she can only wag the very base of her tail. She still tries to wag bless her, even though her tail hurts!

  4. Sue ~ Barney , Jodi, & Huggy Bear's Mom

    Beautiful scenery. Hope to see it myself some day. Love that you take your dogs on outings, ours are not well behaved. Someday hope to take them to the ocean.
    I was surprised that they didn’t trip each other or Susan. Off Lead? Boggles my mind.

  5. Paul Post author

    Thanks for the kind words everyone!

    @Susan: Yeah “Lady Underfoot” would be a great name for Beanie. Her habit of being right where your next footfall is due to go isn’t so bad on the beach, but I can get really grumpy with her when we’re coming down a mountain and I’m tired.

    @Sue: Over the last 2 years we’ve built up a little beach ritual (chicken is involved!) which lets us get them off-lead for short periods as long as we keep it interesting (sprints, direction changes and such). I don’t risk it anywhere but the beach though; it’s about as safe a place as you can get without a fence!

  6. Paul Post author

    Thanks Jill! I’m happy to report that her tail was fully back to normal by the next day, so it must have been a pretty mild case of Beagle tail. I’m not saying Beanie’s a whimp, but on a recent walk she started limping and holding a paw up for a road-side service, and after very close examination I found a “huge” splinter of a thorn sticking in her pad. Must have measured nearly 0.25mm across (and no, I haven’t got those units wrong!)

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