Pettigrew has many sides: playful, soulful, sleepy, cuddly, frisky, curious, cagey, but throughout, he maintains a certain je ne sais quoi: an air of dignity that rises above it all.
Yet, it takes a special dog to keep his poise when forced to don the cone of shame and a sock on his right, front paw. Even Pettigrew was challenged.
Sometime in Pettigrew’s dark past he tore a ligament and lost a claw. With every step he lands unevenly, which can lead to irritation, a limp, and even a trail of bloody paw prints.
He could have surgery to try to fix the ligament, but we opted not to put him through the procedure for something that causes us some distress, but doesn’t slow him down.
To heal the paw we covered it with a baby sock.
He tore off the baby sock.
We tapped it on.
He tried to shake it off. It stayed on. He hunched his shoulders, raised his eyebrows, kept his ears low and droopy, and stared at me with a look that could kill. He knows all about pay back.
In private he chewed off the sock.
And so, one morning found Pettigrew with baby sock tapped to his paw and a cone of shame around his neck so he couldn’t reach the sock.
My husband had the misfortune to be walking Pettigrew, so attired, when a carful of male 20-somethings drove by.
I’m not sure either Pettigrew or my husband has recovered from the mortification.
Pettigrew is free to leave bloody paw prints around the house whenever his paw is irritated. The cone of shame sits, unused, in the basement. Sometimes the emotional cost of treatment is just too high.
One thought on “Affronts to a Dog’s Dignity”
Yes, exactly: The emotional cost of treatment and being aware of the choices we have.
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