Our family dog Snickers has had his share of vet visits over the years. Routine procedures, emergency trips for ingesting poisonous substances and minor surgeries. After each surgery he gets to have the dreaded cone of shame. Yep, the cone of shame, the lovely, plastic cone-shaped device that encircles your dogs head so they can’t do further damage to themselves.
I had never really been acquainted with ‘the cone’ before we had Snickers. Living on a cattle ranch we had dogs but when they got hurt, as they often did, you took them to the vet, fixed them up, brought them home and that was that. Maybe they didn’t do the cones back then, I don’t know. The only times I had ever seen them were on t.v. and of course I thought they were hilarious but again, no personal experience, until Snickers that is.
The first time Snickers had a cone was after finding a strange, bloody spot on his neck. Being good pet owners we took him to the vet. We thought he had injured himself but found out he had basically scratched a hole in to himself. So the vet cleaned him up, gave him a shot, sent home some antibiotics and the cone of shame. Naturally me and my young children thought this was incredibly funny just to look at but little did we know that it would get funnier.
We thought Snickers would just wobble around our house looking like some sort of freaky, satellite dish on four legs. That did happen but the funny part came later after we watched him with the cone for awhile. Anytime he would bump in to a piece of furniture or wall with the cone he would freeze in place and just stand there! At first we thought he was just a little freaked out and would figure out how to manage the cone after a few minutes but no, he would be there if you just left him, for 30 minutes or more and the only way to get him to move was to physically move him. He wouldn’t come if you called, wouldn’t lay down, wouldn’t sit, just lock-up and not move a muscle! It was weird. He also wouldn’t sit or lay down…at all! We would have to force him in to a sitting or laying position and there he would stay!
Snickers has had the cone of shame more than once and I’m happy to say has quit freezing up when encountering an obstacle. He has even gotten quite ingenious in eating and drinking with the cone. He has figured out how to place the cone over the dog dish, suction hose style and voila! problem solved.
The dog has however, developed a couple of other weird issues with the cone. Snickers is a licker. He licks his dog bed, carpet, blankets, etc. With the cone on, it’s not as easy to indulge in this habit but he has also figured that out. He just tilts his snout into the cone and licks the inside of the cone! It’s gross but I guess he’s keeping it somewhat clean?
Snickers is currently wearing a cone due to surgery on the side of his face and so of course there is some new issue with this one. This is the first time he’s had a cone in the winter and with snow. We were worried about him navigating our deck stairs because of the ice and snow so we were removing it when we sent him out to go potty but my husband caught him scratching his stitches so back on went the cone! Well, he’s handled the stairs just fine but when he comes back in, he’s shown us that the cone has an alternate use, as a snow scooper! Yep, every time he comes in from outside, he has managed to scoop snow down in to the cone. Sometimes it’s a little and sometimes it’s a lot but it’s always in there so apparently we have a very talented dog or a dog who’s learned to make the cone of shame just a little more awkward and weird!
Snickers and his ‘snow-cone’