Dogs are creatures of narrow habits. Even before my yard was fenced there were trails on the hill where my dog always walked. A perfect day for my dog is the day where everything is done exactly the same, at the same time of day. So when we rushed off to the veterinarian without even eating breakfast, she might have suspected that something was up.
She had surgery to remove a cyst on her left side, and while they were in there the vet found two small lipomas ( fatty tumors that dogs get) as well. I picked her up, got her pills and instruction and we were off for home. She immediately started to panic when they stuck the cone on her head, so I was driving along telling her what a good girl she was and trying not to have an accident. The vet had said “It’s okay to take the cone off when you’re supervising her, but don’t go to sleep without making her wear the cone.” “and no stairs”. No stairs is sort of easy, I live in a three level house, so we would just live on the first level like I did when I broke my ankle. There’s television and food, what more do I need? (as it turns out, quite a lot).
I blocked off the window seat where she likes to sit and survey the neighborhood. I put up the baby gate to block the stairs. And I had various movable bits to block the other rooms. I pulled up an extra mattress from the basement so I could sleep in the living room. This did not fall into the dog’s narrow experience of habit. She stood at the stairs waiting to go to bed and gave me ‘the look”, it’s bedtime and we can’t sleep here! I slapped the cone on her, then she went into total freak out. She was hyperventilating and pacing back and forth bumping into everything. I eventually gave in (I know I’m a soft touch), disobeyed the vets orders and took the cone off. She got into bed with me (well on mattress anyway) and fell asleep. I did tell her I would kill her if she touched the stitches, but I wasn’t sure if she believed me. It was very unfair of the vet to give her pills and not give me any, because at this point I really needed something!
She is healing up and starting to feel better, and she is even getting used to the idea that we can live on the first level. Only ten more days of this and then it will back to the old way, if she can deal with that change.