Tasting the air

When I use my excitement-voice with Connor, he reacts by licking the air. He can't help it - Dachshunds are famous for being a "licky" breed and his sense of taste is crucial. As he encounters the world around him, his tongue leads the way, slightly ahead of his more prudent nose.

This means that his tongue goes places where angels fear to tread; of this we need say no more.

Let's simply pay tribute to the pink miracle that is a pet's tongue - and to the fact that pets are a lot less shy about showing them off than humans are.

This is Nico, tasting spring, and finding it piquant with a touch of grassiness.

Alo's neat curl.

Reg's tongue goes side-saddle.

And because any day is improved by a Golden Retriever's smile, here's another. I don't know the dog's name, but that tongue has been somewhere, uh, interesting.

Sleep tongue, part 1: Tinkerbell.

Gus's tongue is a taste-budded dinner plate.

Ski-jump tongue: Bella.

Excitement tongue: a game of laser pointer always makes Jynx pant.

Happy tongue: Jack, Dash and Britty. How can you not smile back?

Beach tongue: Timmy.

Happy tongue plus beach tongue: Jedd.

Full length and unabridged, the tongue of Maisy Moo.

Spoon tongue: Falcon the Husky. A dog's tongue is a heat regulator as well as a sense organ.

Play tongue: young Diego is up for some fun.

This chair is taken, Molly will have you know.

Sleep tongue, part 2: Lily.

Here's a cat's tongue doing its job, as Nitro grooms Cullen. The natural velcro of a cat's tongue allows the cat to groom itself to a state of perfect scent-free cleanliness - just what a predator needs in the wild, and one of the things that make cats such things of beauty.

Nico has been redecorating. The untucked tongue signals satisfaction with a job well done.

Paintbrush tongue, part 1: Ahi creates an artwork.

Paintbrush tongue, part 2: Tilly makes her mark.

Vanity tongue: Cullen settles in.

Runner's tongue: Billy the Kid.

Sideways excitement spoon tongue: Bear, photobombed by Boi.

Finally, possession tongue- as in "I possess this drawer for the time being, hence do not attempt to store items herein or close without consultation." The occupier is named Blaze.

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