I do not LIKE the Cone of Shame, said the dog, miserably.

It all started when Guide Dogs of America decided she would not be part of the breeder program.

Cat: well, there’s a shocker.

Me: don’t be meanies.

Dog: I don’t understand

Cat: Exactly.

Dog: What?

So last Tuesday, Miss M went under the knife. With great kindness, they asked we bring her to the facility the day before… so we didn’t have to attempt to explain why, exactly, breakfast would not be forthcoming the day of. That’s always a tough discussion with an animal.

Dog in cone sitting on her bed
Recovering post-op

I totally get why she’s in the Cone. You only have to look at her “super tough for enthusiastic chewers” toys to understand… in minutes, these things are a pile of ballistic nylon threads and whatever fluff you were not able to yank from her maw the instant she broke through.

Me: Drop it!!

Dog: Mrrrrph?

Me, very cold and British: Drop. It.

Dog, bottom lip jutting out from the pile of toxic, synthetic fibers she’s got stuffed in her yapper: But ith tho tay-thtee

Cat: What?

Dog, drooling out bits of toy: It’s so tasty why you make me drop it?

Yeah. Those stitches in her belly would have a half-life of precisely three seconds before she tore them out. The Cone of Shame is awful but necessary.

But for ten days? OMG. This is torture. For all of us.

First off, she can’t get into her crate, and that’s causing all manner of distress. Normally, you just say “crate up” and she flings herself into her plastic den.

Now… BLAM! Her head reverberates as the Cone hits on one side, then the door rebounds, whacking her on the other side of the head gear. She rubber-bounces backwards, the force of the hit snapping her head back.

That happened exactly twice and now she runs to the crate and stops, looking side to side, despairing. It’s so pathetic. I fold her cone inwards so she can get in, then she struggles to make a u-turn so she can face outwards.

Dog in crate while wearing cone
In her crate. That cone requires careful passage (or folding) to get it in.

I know, I know, but it would take a crate the size of half our bedroom for her to maneuver comfortably.

Then… there’s the meds.

It’s not that she won’t take them. It’s that she’s all excited about them.

To entice her to swallow her twice-a-day antibiotic and pain pills, I smear them in peanut butter (I just typed that as softly as I could in case she could hear… and her tail started whacking the inside of her crate.)

PB is caviar in a plastic jar. You think the words and she’s running for the fridge (I know, you don’t need to refrigerate it but honestly, even after you tip off most of the oil from natural PB it’s still slimy as all hell. At least cooling it makes it a bit solid and prevents separation.)

Twice a day SOUNDS easy, and we’ve only messed up once (okay, okay, I have only messed up once.). I’m in charge of pills as Beloved thinks of pulverized legumes the way I think of cooked eggs… oh, hell no.

Me, at 1am: SHIT. Did you pill the dog last night?

Beloved: Mmmmrf?

Me: Did you give the dog her pills?

Beloved: You’re… waking… me… up to ask if I dug into peanut butter without first asking you to do it?

Dog from crate: Peanut butter?! PEANUT BUTTER?!! Lemme out lemme out I gotta get to the giant chilly can

Cat: would you all please shut up?

Me, moaning: oh, god, I forgot.

Beloved: Sorry (and buries further down under the covers)

Dog: Lemme out lemme out LET. ME. OUT

Cat: You all are very inconsiderate, you know that? I’ll bite your ankles if you don’t put a sock in it.

Groaning, I peeled myself from bed and, ignoring the puppy’s pleas for freedom, padded downstairs for supplies.

Arriving back upstairs, that incredible nose caught a whiff of impending deliciousness.

Me: you are a retriever. You are not a hound. Please stop howling.

Dog: I am getting treatieeeeeeeeeeeeeeees in the middle of the night my prayers are answered eeeeeeRRRRRROOoooo

Cat: My prayers aren’t answered. You’re still here. What’s a feline gotta do to get some quiet? F’in’ a, it’s only food. Shut. Up.

For a dog with that much anticipation about her favorite treat, she’s amazingly gentle. I’m covered in slobber from fingertip to wrist but nary a nibble.

The only problem is, after midnight for the next several days, she was banging away at the sides and door of her crate, trying to draw attention to her lack of midnight culinary indulgences.

The other issue we have is the cone’s effect on the cat.

I know, I know, she’s not wearing it, but the two critters have gotten to the point where MaeMae (cat) is pretty sanguine about Miss M giving her a healthy sniff as she walks past. The dog knows licking is not okay, and the cat keeps her claws in as she cuffs the pooch.

However, while the cone doesn’t actually have sharp edges per se, they are a little intense when pressed against you with some force. It’s unpleasant for me when the pupper pushes up against my leg, and she managed to bruise poor Granny, but I imagine it feels ten times worse to the cat.

Cat, scowling: STAY AWAY FROM ME.

Dog: But I loves you, MaeMae

Cat: You’re gonna chop me in half with that feckin’ thing around your neck!

Dog: Just a little sniffy

Cat: BACK. UP.

Dog: But… but…

The dog, six times the weight of the cat, pushes forward as I try to grab for her and prevent her from causing serious internal injuries. The cat, far more nimble as she’s not got a giant plastic cone around her neck, leaps out of the way, spitting.

Confused, the dog sits down, miserable.

Friday, the day of suture removal, cannot come fast enough.

Dog asleep on her bed
Sometimes sleep is better than being awake…

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