Tail wags reveal genuine emotion

My son sent a picture to me yesterday while on a day trip in Glenwood Springs. He had stopped at a convenience store for a cold drink, his eye drawn to the quote inserted on a marquee hanging near the door. The words, simple and real, create a powerful statement.

“A dog has many friends for he wags his tail instead of his tongue.”

There is no truer saying than the above quote. How many dogs have been in your life that allowed you to witness the bonding contrived from the wag of a tail? Even if you do not share the companionship of a canine friend in your home, I’m sure you have family or friends that do.

The motion that a dog exudes from its tail end is usually a sign of happiness. Whether it is a full-coated breed with a bountiful plume or a short, stubby variety that wiggles its whole hind end when thrilled, the aura of an excited feeling is generally exhibited through the wag of its tail.

Now, on occasion, the wag of a tail can signify an aggressive nature.

If a dog feels threatened or is protecting its possessions, it will often wag its tail due to heightened adrenaline. Sometimes it is hard to read a dog that is coming at you, barking and snarling as if it would bite you, tail wagging in harmonic unison. I have learned from past experiences to always respect the situation and realize the animal’s intent upon approach.

Sometimes fear will initiate a sharp state that accelerates the blood flow to begin motion in their hind ends. Fireworks, thunderstorms and unusual weather phenomenon often induce panic emotions that will cause pacing, panting and constant tail motion. A dog’s tail wagging will often express their feelings, regardless of the circumstance.

However, more often than not, the wag of the tail is usually synonymous with friendship. You see, unlike their human counterparts, dogs are genuinely happy beings. Their lives are simple and free, they live in the moment. Typically, a dog’s worries are few unless extreme circumstances provoke uncertainty.

They happily wag their tail to express appreciation toward others. Whether a chance occurrence with another canine pal or a happenstance with a friendly two-legged acquaintance, a dog will often express their joy through the motion of their tails when encountering others. 

People, on the other hand, without being equipped with the physical makeup of possessing a posterior attachment to relieve emotion, use their mouth as a means of communication. At times, the wag of the tongue can produce jubilance upon greeting a colleague or an old friend. Catching up on recent life activities is often pleasantly refreshing.

Unfortunately, though, there are times when tongue wagging actually yields disdainful contempt. Unpleasant words revealed in conversations can sometimes create frustration and anger. Gossiping and negative connotations typically evoke disagreeable situations.

Perhaps, if people had been adorned with a wagging tail instead of a wagging tongue, the world might be a happier place.

Charlé Thibodeau has been a passionate pet caregiver for more than 30 years. If you have a pets question you would like Thibodeau to answer in her column, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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