Indecent exposure!

Belle has just turned one year and, complete exhibitionist that she is, there's nothing she loves more than lying on her back, legs akimbo and tail beating furiously in expectation of a huge tummy rub.

Well, she perhaps also enjoys sniffing the cats' bottoms, sticking her head in Mrs Kipling's (the rescue Labrador) mouth, digging holes in the garden where she shouldn't and similar juvenile behaviour.

But one thing's for sure. Whatever she does and enjoys, that tail will keep wagging.

Yes she's a Cocker with more than a stump.

In other words, her tail hasn't been docked.

Breed standards in France still allow for tail docking, but thankfully some other more enlightened countries such as Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have introduced a partial or complete ban on it over the years.

Of course you'll hear the usual argument trotted out by traditionalists who live in the countryside and who might use Cockers for hunting through finding, flushing and retrieving game birds, that the tail needs to be docked to prevent injury as the dog runs through woods and bramble.

There again, although not as low set as Cockers, both Labs and Setters can and do encounter the same terrain (after all there are no signs saying "only Cockers allowed here") and they don't have their "appendage" lobbed off before their eyes open.

And let's face it, there are probably more Cockers kept as pets or shown for their beauty at exhibitions crammed full of pedigrees with ridiculous names than there are hunting, and their tails are unlikely to come to much harm.

Sure a Cocker without a tail can raise a smile or two or three because their back end is in perpetual motion.

In fact it's rarely just the rump: most of the abdomen seems to join in the rhythm too.

But look at fully-tailed Belle in all her cute and tarty glory - and turn around and tell me everything ain't just where it belongs.

Happy birthday Belle.

I have an Old English Sheepdog who does the same she actually sleeps like that lying perfectly still balancing on her back legs up in the air she's getting confused now not sure of her name Molly or little tart