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A Dog’s Tail

By Tina Burns


It was late Friday night and I was bored – don’t ask what possessed me, but I decided to do the dog’s hair. Well actually I was going to French braid his tail. He is a mixed breed, blessed with this beautiful long flowing tail. So I, never having daughters to dote over, decided to play Beauty School with him that particular night. The dog, who was apparently not thrilled with this idea, gave a warning growl as I combed out his tail then promptly bit me. Actually, he grabbed onto my right index finger and held on for dear life. He had this wicked look in his eye that said, “Drop that comb lady or they’ll be calling you Lefty.”

After what seemed like a two-hour battle, but in reality was maybe only six seconds, I managed to remove my finger from the jaws of death. At first, I saw just the tiniest drop of blood. Then the dam burst, and blood trickled down my palm and onto my arm. I ran to the sink, washed the bite, applied pressure and waited for the bleeding to stop. I looked over at the mixed breed dog with the half braided tail, cursed him, cursed myself, then checked the bleeding. It was now flowing at a rather rapid volume. It occurred to me that getting my husband out of bed to help me before I bled to death might be a really good idea. With my finger now in full throttle throb, I screamed out the only word I knew that would wake him from his nightly coma.

“FIRE!” That got his attention.

“What happened?” he asked as he stumbled into the bathroom, still trying to get his glasses on.

“YOUR dog bit me” I replied.

“Why would YOUR dog bite you?” He shot back.

“Because he doesn’t like French braids.” I snapped.

“He doesn’t like what?” I don’t think he was sure he heard me correctly.

“French braids, French braids! I tried to braid his tail and he bit me, OK? Just help me get the bleeding to stop. I feel faint and I think I might need stitches.” I was angry, nauseaus, embarrassed and bleeding to death in my own bathroom.

“Good grief! Here let me take a look. Where’s the dog?” I couldn’t believe he was even asking about the dog.

“I don’t know where he went. Probably raiding the freezer for more raw meat to chomp into now that he’s tasted blood,” I retorted.

“You aren’t going to need stitches. Let me get the antiseptic. You and the dog will both live. You did get his rabies vaccination updated, didn’t you?” That was my husband’s lame attempt at 2 am comedy.

Fast-forward a couple of weeks. Once again it’s late and once again I’m bored. I spotted the bottle of Passionate Pink fingernail polish I bought earlier that day. Now, to find the dog…

Copyright Tina Burns

* * * * *

Tina Burns hails from Marietta, Georgia, home of the one and only Big Chicken. She currently resides in Woodstock, Georgia with her faithful dog, Jackson and her even more faithful husband, Bruce. Her greatest accomplishment, so far, was getting her three sons 'grown and gone' so she could return to college. She is currently pursuing a degree in Communications from Kennesaw State University and absolutely loves the fact that a lot of students suck up to her on the first day of a semester because they think she's the professor. Tina writes from her tiny home office where she has created shrines to fellow Georgia writers, Lewis Grizzard and Celestine Sibley. She also writes under her pen name, Athena Strickland. Look for her stories and poems in the fall of 2008 in Muscadine Lines, Dead Mule, Dogzplot and other publications. Read her blog devoted to a humorous look at diabetes at:


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