The Cone of Shame

Ferris has been stuck in the cone of shame for the last two weeks. (Maybe more? I can’t remember when he first had to get it put on.) A few weeks ago, he started worrying at his tail, chewing on it whenever he was particularly bored. (A dog’s gotta have a hobby, I guess?) This was fine for the first while. If he wants to chew his tail, let the dog chew his tail. But his tail started getting . . . problematic. Chewing is one thing. Chewing until it bleeds?


So Denisa took him to the vet, who diagnosed him with a hot spot. Apparently dogs will sometimes have a cut or a bite or something that bothers them, and then they start to focus on that spot, and it snowballs out of control. They keep fussing with it, and it just gets worse and worse. The way to stop it? Make it so the dog can’t worry at it anymore.

Enter the cone of shame.

Ferris actually had to get a particularly big cone of shame, because his tail was just too easy to access with a smaller one. They also taped his dew claws to make sure he couldn’t use them on a fallback. He is very much not a fan. For the first while, he kept running into random things around the house, just because he had a hard time figuring out where the cone ended. It didn’t help that he discovered if he rammed into something hard enough, the velcro on the cone would come undone, and he could take it off. (A regular Houdini, that dog.) So we taped the cone shut, and that took care of that.

Now he’s pretty much got the hang of it. He still likes to chew things, but he can’t reach them easily on the ground, so he will pick something up in his mouth and then tilt his head back so he can just sort of gnaw on it in mid air. He still looks like a satellite dish, but we’ve been able to take it off for his walks. (The problem is he still keeps going for his tail when we let our guard down, so he clearly hasn’t learned his lesson yet.)

I will say that the cone of shame is quite effective, and it’s made me wonder if there’s not something in it for humans. How many bad habits could we do away with if we had to wear a giant funnel around our necks until they were gone? Not saying I want to volunteer, but something tells me it would be fairly effective . . .


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