The Conehead

Published on March 29th, 2011

Discovering a lump on someone's body can be terrifying because of all the cancer horror stories one hears about anecdotally. We recently had such an experience with Linus, or 85 pound doggy, when it was revealed to us that he had a weird looking growth between his 4th and 5th digits on his right front paw. At first it looked benign, but it kept growing and looking more insidious each day. So my wife and I had it removed as soon as we could.

Several hundred dollars and one slightly sedated Linus later, we have a cone head. Or more specifically, Linus has a cone that must be placed on his head in order to prevent him from swallowing/eating/licking and otherwise destroying the bandage. All are possibilities. At least than 1.5 years old, he's already swallowed 2 gloves (whole) and we had to induce vomiting so as to not allow further complications and require abdominal surgery to remove.

The cone brought me back to my own injury 3 years ago where I had ruptured some ligaments in my foot and was using crutches for 6 months—3 of them were non-weight bearing. It was a humbling and yet confining experience. Even the simple joys in life (a nice warm shower) became a 30 minute ordeal with a preparation list. One time I forgot my towel and had to call the whole thing off, already exhausted by the journey and unwilling to make a second round trip.

Needless to say, I can definitely empathize with what he's going through with respect to the injury: limping around the house, unable to play, and clearly in pain. But what I have no comparison for is cone aspect. Even when I had the chicken pox, I had enough discipline (even as a young kid) to not itch them to the point of scaring. I don't imagine I would have taken too kindly to my mom saying something like the following:

"Well Rick, since we can't trust you and because its for your best good, we decided to put a cone around your head. Sure you won't be able to see where you are going and you'll constantly bump into things. But at least now you can't scratch that itch."

So for the next several days/weeks, we'll be living with our very own cone head. I look forward to when we have our normal dog back, one that isn't prevented from eating his food out of a bowl without removing this enormously tacky head dress.

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: CTO of Contact Mapping. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.