You have to admit that at first glance tails are not exactly awe inspiring. Anatomically, tails are just about the simplest body part around, which is why it is even more impressive just how much information our pets can convey with nothing but their tails. I swear, Eko is more articulate with his tail than I am with my words. Here are my top ten favorite types of tail-wag-messages that Eko sends.
1. “Where have you been all my life!?” – If I leave Eko for over a half hour, it might as well be a lifetime. This tail wag is definitely my favorite. He wags his tail so hard and fast that it seems to hit him on both sides of his body at the same time. You can see him swinging his tail with reckless abandon at the beginning of the above video
2. “Please don’t get mad!” – When Eko knows I’m upset he will run to the couch and look away from me. He wags the bottom third of his tail very rapidly against the couch begging for forgiveness. It’s hard to stay mad for long!
3. “Glad you’re home, but I’m pretty tired right now” – Normally I get the royal treatment when I walk in the door, but sometimes Eko just can’t be bothered to get up. He will lazily wag his tail in appreciation of my return but that’s all he can manage
4. “Is what I think is about to happen about to happen!?” – If Eko gets the inkling that something good is about to happen – a walk, a trip to the park, or an incoming treat (the above photo) – he immediately sits down and remains still. Except for the very tip of his tail, he just can’t help himself and those last few inches of tail wag with anticipation
5. “I’ll never eat the trash again, I promise!” – Once Eko knows I have forgiven him for his latest transgression he always comes over to apologize with lots of kisses. You can also see the relief in the way he wags his tail to disperse the built up tension
6. “Am I good, or what!?” – At the very end of the above video you can see Eko’s triumphant tail wag. He holds his tail high and shows off big time!
7. “Shh, be wewy wewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits.” – When he spots a rabbit Eko will initially freeze. Then his tail begins to slowly waver in excitement for the hunt. It is at that point I know to redouble my hold on the leash
8. “What’s that???” – Also known as “radar tail,” Eko’s tail will swing in low sweeping arcs when he is scoping out something new or trying to decide what to do next
9. “I have no idea what’s going on.” – When Eko’s brain gets scrambled, so do the signals that go to his tail. Meeting Emily’s niece was such mental overload for Eko that it broke his tail-control system. His tail would erratically swing all over the place and then just stop completely
10. “You said the magic word!!!” – If we’re home, “walk” and “hungry” are the magic words and if we’re out the magic words are “go play!” Eko’s tail goes from 0-60 in about one second flat and then is not much more than a wagging blur
There is a way to say just about anything with a tail. What your favorite tail-message you get from your pet?