It’s Tongue Out Tuesday!

Tongue out Tuesday - 5

Have you noticed all the pictures of dogs with their tongues hanging out that are plastered all over Facebook often under the caption Tongue Out Tuesday?  There certainly are some cute ones out there.   There was one in particular that made me pause for a second and ask myself, “Just why do dogs stick their tongues out?”  I know Jellybean does it quite often.  Of course I’ve caught several adorable pictures just at the right moment with my ever ready Smart Phone.  I was curious enough to do a little research and here is what I found. There are actually some very good reasons for this canine phenomenon;

  • A dog with its tongue hanging out could simply mean that the pup is enjoying total relaxation.  Just let the good times roll!
  • Dogs also use the tongue as a way to cool down. They do not sweat like their two-legged counterparts.  Instead, they pant, which in turn allows moisture to evaporate off the tongue as it hangs out.  The actual term for this is “thermoregulation.”  Now there’s a word of the day for you!
  • A tongue hanging out could also mean you are in for some good old fashioned slobbery dog kisses. Yay!  Who doesn’t love them?
  • A dog that has its tongue out excessively, or for no apparent reason, could actually have a medical problem that requires a visit to the vet. An example of this would be that your dog is taking a new medication and you notice that its tongue is out even when afore mentioned reasons do not apply.  This could signal an allergy to the medication.
  • There is also a condition known as “hanging tongue syndrome” in which the tongue hangs out of the mouth at all times. In this case, the dog has the inability to pull it back in, as there is a lack of muscle control.  What a challenge this must be for the pup, as it could potentially impact eating and drinking.

Of course I would be remiss for writing a blog without including pictures of my silly little Jellybean participating in Tongue Out Tuesday.  Here are a few of my favorites, although I am not sure they all fit into what would be considered the “norm” as discussed above.  Well, Jellybean has always marched to the tune of her own dog bone, if you know what I mean.  Enjoy!

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

 

Stop, Drop, and …..Stop!

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Have you ever been walking your dog, trotting along at a good pace, and all of a sudden your pup just stops and does a full body plant in the middle of the street or on the edge of someone’s yard?  This is a regular occurrence for us.  Jellybean and I take six to eight walks in a day.  Don’t worry, though, they are not excessive.  A normal walk consists of fifteen to twenty minutes for my short-legged furry friend, depending on time and weather.  I can count on Jellybean becoming one with the ground at least twice during any of those walks. It happens to me more often that I would like to admit and immediately my impassioned pleading begins.

“Come Jellybean.”  (Nothing)

“Let’s go, Jellybean.”  (Nada)

“Come, my sweet little puppy.”  (No eye contact)

“Let’s go Jellybean, time is a-wasting.”  (Disinterested glance)

“Hidy ho my friend, let’s go!”  (Flat to the ground)

“Well alrighty then.”  (A crooked dog smile)

I find this behavior very puzzling and I must admit, a bit embarrassing.  Obviously, I am not the one in charge here.  It’s all about Jellybean.  I won’t even begin to argue that one.  As a result, I have done a bit of research on this very topic. As it turns out, Jellybean is not the only pup with a penchant to end her walk on her own terms.  There are quite a few articles and blogs out there that address this very phenomenon.  There could actually be some valid science behind the “mid-walk flop,” a phrase coined by Allison Gray on a website titled petful.com.  After reading several articles and blogs, here are just some of the possible reasons for this behavior:  injury, illness, tiredness, laziness, stubbornness, and weather-related issues.

Hmm….interesting stuff.  I must admit, however, I am well-aware that Jellybean’s short snout does not tolerate breathing in extremely hot air, nor do I allow her to walk on scorching hot or freezing roads and sidewalks – they’ve got lawns and doggy boots for those situations!  I groom her thoroughly every day, so I am quite cognizant of any injury.  Even with having a good awareness of Jellybean’s overall health, the information I gleaned through these readings resonated enough that I certainly will pay more attention and not just assume she is playing the part of Diva Dog.

I also came across a great strategy to end simple stubbornness when walking.  Two leashes; the normal six or four foot length, and an additional leash or cord about twenty feet long are the only things needed.  Attach both to the collar.  Walk as usual, but when the stop, drop, and stop occurs, simply keep walking.  The twenty foot leash allows you to move ahead quite a bit.  It seems many pups do not like this, as suddenly their need for attention is not being fed.  I like that!  No more pleading and begging her to move.  I think I might try this!

Through all my readings, however, I have not found a solution for Jellybean planting her furry little body at the end of every driveway in the neighborhood that has an open garage door.  In these instances, I often text my friend and quip “I can’t get my turtle to move.”  As kindergarten teachers, we often read a story of the same name by Elizabeth Lee O’Donnell to our students.  It is the perfect descriptor of Jellybean’s statuesque position near the curb. In this dog-friendly community, it appears that an open garage door often results in the owner walking down the driveway with a small treat for the waiting dog.  Oh, Jellybean, my little sweet pea, didn’t the Vet just tell us again last week you are a bit chubby, not yet obese, but a bit chubby?  My, oh, my, what is this manipulated doggy mama to do?

 

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here!