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       At the very onset, apologies to Charles Dickens for this travesty. Such a subversion of the title of a great classic is nothing short of blasphemy. But try as I might, I couldn’t think of a better title for this little tale that is about my canine friends and their tails. Dicken’s masterpiece was set against the backdrop of the French Revolution with legendary characters like Madame Defarge and Charles Darnay. This tale is nothing even remotely near anything half as monumental. The borrowing and similarity ends where it began – the title.

      My tale revolves around my two dogs and their and our trysts with their tails. What, one may ask, is so important about their tails? One of them is a Rottweiler whose tail it seems should have been docked. However we didn’t do that finding it to be utterly inhuman and needless. In retrospect I do wonder if we were wrong. This tail has been the source of much misery and anguish to him and us alike. To begin with, our distress arises from the ceaseless wagging of the tail. A dog is supposed to wag his tail but perhaps there should be some method to this never ending madness. Anyone who is even remotely knowledgeable about Rottweilers will know what a ferocious breed this is supposed to be so much so that it is even banned in certain parts of USA. Google it and you will know what I’m talking about. Why we got such a dog is a tale for yet another day. For now, I’ll just leave it at “security concerns”. This gentleman’s tail however caused us more trouble than his jaw. For a breed such as this to keep wagging its tail is nothing short of an anomaly. Talk to him, ignore him; have friends over, have strangers at the gate, the tail never sleeps. Cute and adorable though it may sound, it pretty much defeats the purpose of having a guard dog. As it is, he can’t even guard himself from little pups on the road that threaten him with their ceaseless barking, forget guarding us. On top of that the tail is a dead giveaway. We often think of tying him to create an illusion of ferocity, but what do you do with the tail? A dog wagging his tail with all his might has no intention whatsoever of attacking. Every one knows that. Our warning to others to stay away from the ferocious dog are rendered futile by the tail. Very soon everyone realises that the only danger from him lies in being mauled to death by his love and drool. Give him a chance and he’ll roll at your feet, lick you to death and even try and squeeze himself in your lap. So much for our lopsided security concerns!

             DSC06467 The other tail in this tale belongs to my Apso, the furry little things with an attitude. Not the ones that the celebrities carry around in their hand bags but the unkempt looking scruffy things you are likely to come across just about anywhere. Now this guy has no concept whatsoever of his tail. In fact I often wonder whether he even considers himself to be a dog or just a four legged hairy version of us humans. He’ll rarely, if ever, wag his tail even when he is at his friendliest best. Nor does he indulge in the oh-so-cute pursuit of his own tail going round and round till he exhausts himself. His tail for him, if I might hazard a guess into dog’s psyche is a useless appendage meant to alienate him from other humans. For all the ignoring of his own tail, he is quick to bite and hang on to the tail of the Rottweiler. Whether the swaying tail seems like a lucrative target or he just wants to terrosrise the Rottweiler further I can’t say. The Rottweiler running ahead with a white appendage hanging onto the tail is a fairly common sight in our house. With this appendage, the wagging tail ,that has already martyred quite a few mugs, glasses and flower vases becomes a doubly potent weapon albeit only against us the inmates. And so continues the chase until one of us comes to the rescue of the gentle giant.

                 Oh yes! Before I wind up, how can I forget to mention their names. The Rottweiler is called Luca after the notorious Luca Brasi of The Godfather fame. The person from whom we got him however called him “Bholu” as according to him Luca was the simpleton of the litter. But we in our infinite wisdom found “Bholu” infra dig for this potentially champion guard dog and hence chose Luca instead. How he lived up to his name is however a different matter altogether and I have given a glimpse of his achievements. The Apso didn’t have a name before coming to us and  was christened by us without much thought. My son, who was at that time around 5 years old, found the cuddly little ball of fur quite like a rabbit so Bunny he was called . Today however we realise nothing could be further from the truth. Had it not been for his size, this Bunny would be the rock star of the family, the true alpha male. “What’s in a name?” said the great Bard long ago and I couldn’t agree more.