Tongues out in the open

NICK BARNETT
Last updated 08:00 01/02/2013

It's pink, it's perky, and one sees it more often in the summer. Yes, I'm talking about your pet's tongue, that multipurpose miracle of nature - healer, heat pump, taster and greeter.

Sometimes it gets caught, like a sock in a drawer that's been pushed shut hurriedly. That's when you get the syndrome of Tongue Sag to which cats, especially, are prone, but of which they are sweetly unaware. As in the case of Skye, our cover-cat.

Skye

Tongue Sag often strikes at moments of sleepiness, as with Mala.

Mala

Gombi left the drawer open.

Gombi

Zeb is out like a light.

Zeb

Same syndrome, different species: Jimmy is a huge sofftie, huge being the operative word for this big casserole of Mastiff, Rottweiler and sundry other ingredients.

Jimmy

Another of the tongue's multiple purposes is as hanky. Keeping herself tidy here is Milly.

Milly

The classic dog pose: ears forward, eyes sharp, tongue everywhere. This is Jemma, whose 14 years as Best Mate ended a year ago.

Jemma

Luka the Kelpie-cross is known as Admiral Barky Pants - "He was Captain, but got a promotion."

Luca

Bruno, like any dog, needs his tongue as the main means of shedding built-up body heat.

Bruno

Here's one-year-old Arlo, whose owners are training him to do things like shut the door (any dog owner's dream). "He's so social he'd much rather play with other dogs than listen to our instructions, but even then who can stay annoyed at this cute face!"

Arlo

A Tongue Sag that's getting toward canine proportions - though Dexter's all cat.

Dexter

Tassie is keen...

Tassie

Jake is eager...

Jake

Ernie is shifting into standby mode.

Ernie

The handbasin is cool for cats. This languid chap is named Cullen.

Cullen

Khepra responds to being on a comfy rug.

Khepra

Moglet has had enough.

Moglet

Oscar must be one of those driving dogs I keep reading about.

Oscar

Ollie and Miss Jynxy keep their eyes on the road.

Ollie and Miss Jynxy

Mani tastes the breeze during what looks to be a traffic jam.

Mani

Roxy is caught in candid conversation.

Roxy

Remember Anya from last week? Here she is again.

Anya

Along with tongue can come drool. Lucifer is sometimes prone to it.

Tania's rotti

Darwin spies something appetising.

Darwin

Pip and Macy play a game of clobber and slobber. Amazingly, though a dog's tongue takes a pounding, serious tongue injuries are quite rare and heal well.

Pip and Macy

One more use for a tongue: to savour spicy pasta sauce. I'm not sure if it was to Billie's taste.

Billie

Finally, the best possible purpose for a tongue - lapping up ice cream on a hot day.

Linda's dogs

Thanks to all for posting your photos. Please email me your own photos, or go to the Four Legs Good Facebook page and use the Upload Photo button. While you're there, browse through the 2000 photos that readers have posted by clicking the Photos link.

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