“Happy Paws” is no laughing matter…

In spite of its innocuous-sounding nickname,  Ecstatic Omniphilic Paw Syndrome, or “Happy Paws” is a very serious condition that affects a growing number of pets.  EOPS often presents with an inability to keep still, excessive tail wagging, and rapturous dancing on hind legs.  Sometimes the paws may move at a rate in excess of human perceptual limits, with observers reporting the appearance of multiple “ghost” images trailing the movement of the hind legs (Fig 1, Schutz, Sept. 22, 1965).

Snoopy can't stop dancing.
Fig 1: An example of “ghost” images surrounding the hind legs of a male beagle, shown here with noted behavioral psychotherapist and existentialist Lucy Van Pelt (b. 1946-).

The exact cause of this condition is still being investigated, although early studies point to a set complex interwoven environmental, genetic, and socioeconomic factors which are known collectively as “Being A Dog”.    Also, “Being In Love With Everything Everywhere”, although some argue that this falls under the larger “Being A Dog” umbrella and should not be counted separately.

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