Nancy Davis Kho

Nancy Davis Kho
Oakland, California, USA
April 30
I'm a writer, a reader, a bike wife, a mom, and a music fan. And they don't call me Aunt Blabby for nothing. I figure if half of you are laughing WITH me and the other half AT me, we're all still laughing. I look forward to finding out which side you're on.

Nancy Davis Kho's Links

MAY 9, 2012 12:43PM

I’ll Take One Dog Cone, Size Large

Rate: 3 Flag


My dog is under the impression that he is both paralyzed and in big trouble. All it took was a cone.

In the past I have openly mocked dogs wearing the big Cone of Shame as my prancing, handsome dog Achilles trots alongside looking like he is on parade duty. “Oh, no, the cone of shame!” I have said to other dog owners, chortle chortle hahaha. “Poor thing.” In my head I have thought, “That is just so undignified.”

But one run through a patch of something itchy last weekend and we booked Achilles a one way ticket on the Undignified Express. It was that, or watch him remove his own back right foot using his tongue and a determination heretofore seen only on women at the Title 9 Warehouse Sale (3 Days Only!) in Berkeley.

I loved the term the vet used as she handed over the healing sprays and antibiotics at the end of his short appointment. “Does he have an Elizabethan collar?” No, but his velvet damask cloak and his scepter are in the car. The vet tech approached with a monster sized translucent cone bigger than any lampshade in my house and pulled it gently over his head. And with that, Achilles stopped moving. His knees locked, his eyeballs bulged, and his ears retreated to the back of his head. He was obviously waiting for the other shoe to drop.

We only made it back to the car through a combination of dragging, coaxing, and pleading – if anyone walked by and thought “That is just so undignified,” they were 100% right. Forget his usually bounding leap into the trunk of the station wagon. The dog just stood looking up at me from his cone, his eyes like saucers. I hefted him in and out of the car, and somehow got him inside the house. By then his expression had changed to one of utter guilt, trying to figure out just what he had done to deserve such medieval torture.

And now, when the satellite dish-sized cone is on his head, he believes he cannot walk. He stands there, alone, in the dining room and whines for rescue, though we are all seated at the kitchen table four unrestricted steps away. We hold out treats for him, we pet his face, we whisper and shout encouragement. The look on his face says, “Freeze, people, or they may put one of these on you too!”

On his first night with the cone he lay in his bed at the foot of ours emitting an unrelenting high pitched nose squeal – the German Shorthaired Pointer’s special gift of communication is nose whistling. After 15 minutes my husband bailed to the guest room. I made it another 8 minutes before pulling the cone off and wishing his foot good luck.

As of this writing he’s still suffering acute psychoparalysis and has to have the cone removed to walk up or down stairs, from the kitchen into the adjoining dining room, or down an empty hallway towards the front door. He is lying on his bed, depressed, wondering why we spend so much time being nice to him for the past six years if this was what we had planned all along. The foot, by the way, is healing nicely and will be ready for summer sandal weather in no time.

But even when he’s better I’m keeping that cone close at hand. I’ve tried everything else to get him to stop kitchen counter surfing for food. I think I finally have my solution.

Author tags:

funny, itchy, allergies, cones, dogs

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
You may want to try trimming the cone by six or eight inches so the edge is just past the tip of his fully extended tongue. It's all that's nessesary to prevent the licky-lick action and should cut down on the tunnel vision effect that has the poor thing so perplexed.
I'm feeling a little bad for laughing at this, but it is very funny. My sister's golden had to wear one on and off (but mainly on) for years because of some recurring skin condition. She actually got to the point where she kind of liked it and would trap balls, new puppies, treats and other odd things to keep them away from his sister dog. Fast healing wishes to Achilles.
Oh, the poor guy. The Elizabeth collar/cone reminds me of Monty Python's "Spanish Inquistion" skit with the comfy chair.