Monday, July 29, 2013

Pixel Blue Eyes' Dream - A Special Poem for No Tail Left Behind

I dreamed I had a tail to wag, I dreamed that I was whole.
I dreamed I had a tail to wag, it made my spirit soar!
My tail was oh so beautiful, its fur was brown and white.
My tail was long and slightly curved, it was such a pretty sight.

I wagged my tail all day and night, I held it tall and proud.
I was so glad to have a tail, I even barked out loud!
All other dogs around the world, they all had their tails too.
Each docked dog now was perfect, their cut tails now brand new!

I didn’t feel a single pain from where my tail was missing.
With so much joy inside my soul, I couldn’t keep from kissing
My Mommy, family, all my friends, no single face left out
The reunion of all happy tails made everyone want to shout!

“Oh happy day! A Miracle! All tails have been returned!
All docking dangers lessons have finally been learned!”
I sang and danced, and danced some more. I twirled and twirled and twirled.
The joyful news within my dream was shared around the world.

But in a flash, my dream was gone. I suddenly awoke.
I turned around, looked at my tail and saw it still was broke.
I cried as Mommy held me close, she told me I was strong.
“We still have much to do my love, we must continue on.

So many pups depend on us to go and spread the word.
Tell the truth of how it hurts til’ every ear has heard.”
My role in life is clear to me; I know this doggie’s task.
I need to face the ones who maim, hard questions I must ask.

Like “Why inflict such awful pain on puppies just by breed?
Why do you want to cut off tails? Is it because of greed?
Just think of it, how would it feel if this was done to you?
A vital piece of body, gone! Such needless pain put through!”

No matter what “tail takers” say, the pain is oh so real.
How can they cause such suffering? This pain no dog should feel.
I promise I will always fight for dogs to keep their tails.
“Don’t take away our right to wag,” our message must prevail.

So please think twice before you chop or cut or shave off tails.
The puppies that you maim…a life of suffering they travail.
“Every dog deserves a tail!” I cry out in my mind.
My dream forever lives in me, that No Tail is Left Behind.

©2013 Jenny Lewis, Pixel Blue Eyes & No Tail Left Behind

Friends, please help us in our cause. We wish to educate everyone on the dangers & truths about tail docking. No matter what 'tail takers' say, tail docking hurts. It hurts the day it is removed from millions of puppies each year, and it hurts for many years cosmetic docking really worth all that suffering for the dogs? Find us on Facebook, Twitter, right here. Remember, ALL dogs deserve a tail!
We're in it to end it ...are you?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A BIG Apology - No Tail Left Behind thanks you all for your comments!

Dear friends, sometimes Mistakes Happen and today such an event occurred. I was checking comments for the blog and found several very nice comments that I thought had not been published yet. I selected ALL of them at once and had full intent of publishing them. Unfortunately, instead of the normal 'Publish' button that I have selected dozens of times for Pixel's fun blog to publish comments...somehow the button was the 'Delete' button and ALL comments for No Tail Left Behind have been wiped out! I am SO sorry. They all were great comments full of encouragement and sharing of your hearts. I tried to get them back but there is no 'undo' for deleted comments. Searching for an answer on Google and Blogger came up with no remedy.
So for all of you who spent the time to write a comment to No Tail Left Behind here, please forgive this mistake. Keep commenting, keep sharing. Sometimes technology works against us. I promise that from now on, I will let Pixel take care of publishing them. She no doubt will have better success than I did!

Docked Tail Pain is Real - Signs Your Dog is Suffering from It

Pixel is the only dog I've ever had with a docked tail. Before I had her, it never occurred to me the serious ramifications that tail docking posed to dogs. I never liked it, but it never dawned on me that tail docking is actually an amputation and very painful. I just didn't know. It is an unnecessary removal of an important body part...part of the spine. Docking removes vertebrae (and not always cleanly), muscle, tendons, and nerves. The tail is removed in a number of ways, including cutting it, banding it  until it falls off, and even vets will use things like dog grooming razors to dock a new puppy's tail. I know this because I've seen it. There is no anesthesia and no 'surgical precision', so it is no wonder that there are so many dogs running around with docked tail issues. It has taken me years of studying Pixel, doing research and talking to hundreds of dog owners who have docked tail dogs with pain and discomfort at varying levels, to compile this list of signs to look for in a dog with a docked tail.

Before Pixel's current vet, Dr. Mask, I actually had one vet tell me that it was probably all in Pixel's head. They did not even want to bother to look for physical issues in her tail. Six months later, it was found that Pixel had a shard of vertebrae at the tip of her tail nub, several scar tissue adhesions and definite nerve damage from the docking. Don't believe anymore that tail docking does not hurt or do any long term damage...the truth about tail docking is that it very much DOES hurt, and often for the life of the dog.

Remember that every emotion that a dog feels, whether it's joy, excitement, uncertainty, fear, all goes through the tail. You can tell a lot about a dog and how they are feeling by their tail, so when that tail is missing, or halfway cut off, those nerves still want to do what is normal for them, and that is why their tails can give them such a fit at times.

There are many symptoms and behaviors that a dog can exhibit when they are having docked tail pain. Some might seem unrelated, but they are. Here are just a few signs that a puppy or adult dog is having pain, irritation or difficulties with a docked tail:
1. Biting, licking, 'chasing' or whining at the tail or back end. Scooting or rubbing their bottoms or tails on the floor or against a piece of furniture.
2. Hiding under a bed or in a crate. Isolation from the family or laying alone in a back room.
3. Delayed or difficulty potty training, either on paper or outside. Often difficulty having a normal bowl movement (BM), including running away from a BM as it is occurring. Pixel is 5.5 years old and she still sometimes runs away from her BM's while they are happening.
4. Unexplained potty accidents, even if they are potty trained. If you are paper training and you occasionally have rogue locations where pee or poo will occur. Sometimes they have trouble holding it due to the cut tail muscles. They rely on the entire tail for this body function so it can be hindered with a docked tail.
5. Redness, inflammation or scaling at the tail nub tip. Before Pixel's surgery to try and correct her tail pain, would get seriously red and inflamed at times. Now it gets red after she has 'gone after it' due to pain & discomfort.
6. Sudden and unexplained moments where the dog leaps, jumps, or catapults themselves off of a bed/couch/chair and either runs away or goes after the tail. Leaping up suddenly then leaping down again off the furniture is often a sign they are getting sudden stabs of pain or stinging at the tail nub and are trying to 'get away' from the source of discomfort.
7. Sulking, having head down, and acting like they are in trouble or are being punished for no apparent reason. Dogs often associate the stabbing, stinging pain as something that is being "done to them" so they might very well feel they are being punished when they feel it. It's very psychologically traumatizing for them.
8. If someone goes to pet or touch the dog near their back end or tail, is there occasional crying out, yelping, or even nipping at that person (or another pet  if that pet gets too close to the tail). This can occur when someone is trying to either pick the dog up or move the dog for whatever reason.
9. Refusing to come when called, even though the dog knows and usually obeys that command. When you try to call them, they might sit in a bed, on a rug, in the corner, etc, just looking at you while you are calling them, trying to get them to come to you. This can be an infrequent occurrence where other times the dog obeys with no problems or hesitation (again, this refers back to them either thinking they are in trouble when they are hurting or that you are the cause).
10. Playtime, happy reunions, and/or meal time excitement getting interrupted by a sudden tail biting episode. Getting excited over a loved one coming home or a fun play time, can often cause a sudden bout of pain or stinging that results in yelping and 'going after' their tail. Excitement runs through the nerves in all dogs tails (or tail nubs) as they wag with joy, so docked tail dogs get 'punished' (in their eyes) for being excited.

This is one of the hardest things for my heart to deal little one, your little one, being in pain or discomfort just because they are happy. Whenever Pixel gets excited to see me, especially when I come home from being gone, and sometimes during meal time or play, her tail will give her a fit and she will even scream like I have hurt or hit her, then she either runs away or desperately tries to get out of my arms. I used to think something else was going on. The fact is, during these excited times, when she should just be able to enjoy my homecoming, she is being stung by the nerves in her tail. Pixel can't even show how happy she is to see her Mom without her tail stinging and hurting.

The above list is just a few of the signs and behaviors of a docked tail dog. Docked tail pain is a very real and very serious issue that should be addressed as soon as possible for any dog who exhibits signs and/or behaviors that their tail nub is bothering them. Quite often, things are overlooked, missed, or misdiagnosed, and the dog suffers silently and without understanding. Make sure your vet validates the issues your dog is having and that they really analyze the tail nub to see what is wrong.

Don't despair though, because there is hope. You can still have a happy dog, you just need to help them deal with docked tail pain. In my next post, I will share ways to help dogs with docked tail issues.
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