Taunting the Tail-less


“Lookatme, lookatme, lookatme!

Flying around, nothing but a yellow blur with a black nose to cut through the air like butter, Saki ran circles around Jake. After a few seconds, Jake just stopped to see where Saki would touch down.

In contrast to Saki’s lithe speed and allergy to gravity, Jake is stocky, solid, and yes, tail-less. He lost the length of his tail last spring. The vet couldn’t tell what had happened to sever the bone and tissue almost completely through. The end result was a docked tail. He looks buff, and he knows that’s his forte. Buff, and ground bound.

The final trip around and Saki takes a flying leap, landing atop the half-eaten round bale. He stands still, ears and tail up, eyes fixed on Jake.

“Look at me.” Jake does, his nose sniffing the air, his tail held at ready. But, he won’t follow. He won’t take that leap.

“I could. Yes I could. But, I don’t want to.” Jake can jump up on the bed, but leaves the round bales and truck bed to Saki. “I’m buff, not a bird.”

Odin, not interested a bit in the dog’s antics, stands beside me, sniffing at the iPhone extended at the end of my arm, taking photos of I-don’t-know-what since I left my glasses in the house and can’t see it. Not only can I not see the phone’s screen, I have a big nose blowing warm air over my hand when my thumb hits the shutter. Odin stays close to me knowing the dogs won’t pester him as long as I’m close.

And, Jake is sneaky. He just follows his cattle dog genes and darts in to quickly nip a fetlock or pastern then darts right out and away from the defensively flying hoof.

Then, the barking begins. Odin will stand there until he’s had enough, then chase the dogs away. Those big hooves shake the ground when they pound down, and the dogs obediently scatter every which way.

Saki tears off again, this time with Jake in hot – albeit slower – pursuit. Saki’s quick eye spotted a bird and his super fast feet got him just about in range before the bird took flight. Perhaps that bird took off because Jake was barking as he ran, the vocal eruptions visibly altering his stride to slow him down even more. If he can’t get there to his piece of the pie, Saki won’t get any either.

Not missing a beat, Saki turns and heads toward the road. Jake cuts the corner to catch up. They are joined by Hiro and his strange, three-legged run. The dirt bike’s wing-ing-ing is headed their way, their favorite chase. The bike has to slow at the corner, so all three dogs head that way. Only when the dirt bike is beyond the border of the pasture do the three turn back to head home.

The yellow streak is back to running circles, Jake is back to standing still to see where Saki touches ground again, and Hiro is off in Hiro-land and his own distraction. This time, Saki bounds up the side of the new round bale, five feet tall and packed solid.

Saki looks down at me, Odin pins his ears to shake his head at him, never dropping a strand of that delightful hay he’s stuffed his mouth with, and Jake stands looking up at Saki.

Yes, Saki is King of the Heap and he knows it. He suffers my hand reaching up to pet him, instinctively knowing I’m laughing with him, not at him. He is proud, strutting and jaunty.

“You can’t compare, you tail-less wonders,” I imagine him saying.

Odin pins his ears again and reaches up to chase Saki off from the top of his food heap. Before the horse’s nose can get within three feet, Saki is gone in a flash. The yellow streak is out of sight almost immediately.

“You can’t compare…”


  1. Love it! What a tale of the tail-less! I enjoyed following along to see what would happen next!

  2. Looks like your snow is melting and loved reading about all the fun your wonderful animals are having. I hope your holidays were good ones, take care...Jude

  3. Even though I'm with these animals every day, they amaze me every day. They are fantastic.

    Jude, I hope our winter is over. Were the holidays good for you?