Two Mondays ago - the day after my birthday - our dear little dog, Nicholas, started feeling very ill. We had a few really scary days, going back and forth to the hospital, before they finally figured out that he'd ingested part of a doggy toy. That Wednesday he had surgery. We had more vet and hospital visits in the days after that, mostly because we wanted to be very sure that everything was going the way it should be and that he was as comfortable as we could make him. He's doing fine now and almost finished up with his convalescence. He's been a total trouper through the whole thing; G and I were completely wrecked!
(G tells a more detailed version of the story on her blog.)
One of the most challenging aspects in the week and a half or so since his surgery has been sleep time. We arranged our schedules so that, during the day, one or both of us was here to watch him, because the biggest concern was that he'd try and fuss with his incision. But at night we needed to put him in what they call an e-collar, so that he'd be protected from himself while we slept. At first he was quite obviously very uncomfortable and none of us slept much at all. It's progressively gotten easier. Everyone's seen the sad little dogs and cats burdened with what looks like a inverted lampshade on their heads. Nicholas' versions were slightly different, and he has kindly agreed* to model them for you.
Pluses: See-thru and Astro-chic.
Minuses: Stiff and too small; it was right up against his chin and he couldn't move his head at all. Also gave him a bruise on his neck.
Verdict: Thank you. We've got enough problems right now. We'll keep looking.
Model number two: Stiff but quite pliable blue synthetic fabric. White edging and drawstring.
Pluses: Softer and more size-adjustable. Adaptable - can be worn facing out for sleeping, or folded back for day wear. (see below)
Minuses: It's a collar. For a dog. And Nicholas doesn't find that color blue at all congenial.
Verdict: It's still a big, floppy, annoying thing. Thank you, but we'll keep looking.
[Folded back when worn during the day.]
Model number three: Green cotton onesie, size: 3 months. Embroidery of an effeminate monkey on the side.
Pluses: Our vet told us that Nicholas might be more comfortable sleeping in a onesie for the last few days of his convalescence. It fits perfectly and is a nice chartreuse color. The monkey embellishment is a nice - if rather ironic - reference to the cause of all his problems. The manufacturer placed three snaps at the butt-end; if one only connects the two outer snaps, there is ample space left to accommodate a dog's tail. It's cuuute!
Minuses: He wiggled out of it the first night.
Verdict: He goes back to model number two for the duration.
* No dogs - meaning Nicholas - were harmed in the production of this photo shoot. Mr. O'Dittle is displaying that rather pathetic aspect merely to give the public some idea of his recent suffering. In reality - finally, happily - he's feelin' fine!
Happy 97th Birthday Ilona Royce Smithkin
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