“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.”
― Charles M. Schulz
When I was just a boy, I wondered why dogs would sniff each other under the tail. My grandfather told me why in a story.
“A long time ago, there was a big party at a luxurious mansion and all the dogs in the world were invited. Big dogs, little dogs. Fat dogs, skinny dogs. Some with long hair and some with no hair. It was promised to be the party of the century.
“Because it would have been dangerous with all those tails whipping around, all were required to check their tails when they arrived. The butler gathered all the tails and hung them in the cloak room. Small tails, long tails. Fat tails, skinny tails. Some with long hair and some with no hair.
“Sometime during the party, when all the dogs were dancing and drinking champagne, a fire broke out in the kitchen and soon began to spread to the ball room. The fire alarm sounded. Some of the dogs in the ballroom thought it was part of the gala and began howling in unison with the whooping tone of the alarm. But when smoke began to billow through the double-doors that led into the kitchen, everyone knew it was an emergency.
In a panic, all of the dogs grabbed a tail as they ran out of the mansion. They didn’t bother to see if they had gotten the right one. And as it turned out, most of them grabbed the wrong tail!
“So when you see a dog sniffing another under the tail, they are just checking to see if it belongs to them.”
I don’t know if he made the story up on the spot or if it was told to him as a child, but it’s still one of my favorite childhood stories.