Pueblo Voices | Austin Belore

No ‘shame’ here: Life lesson was frustrating but sweet

<a href='https://pueblostarjournal.org/author/austinbelore/'>Austin Belore</a>
<a href='https://pueblostarjournal.org/author/austinbelore/'>Austin Belore</a>
Austin Belore is a proud pet parent and a senior studying English and media communication at Colorado State University Pueblo. He is the design director for the university’s student-run newspaper, The Today.
April 28, 2022

Living with an 8-year-old Labrador/blue heeler mix and a 7-month-old golden retriever is both rewarding and disheartening. The afternoons playing ball in the backyard, the lazy nights curled up on the couch and the morning treat round-up are pure bliss; however, as pet parents will tell you, there are just as many frustrating moments as there are happy ones. 

This is one of those frustrating stories – but a sweet one, nonetheless. 

Our golden retriever puppy Winston, who has been a member of our family for only a few months now, had to wear an Elizabethan cone – more commonly known as the cone of shame – after we got him neutered. 

Chaos, of course, ensued. Need to get outside but can’t fit through the dog door? No problem! Just ram the door as hard as you can and bend the cone to your will. 

Now, before you shake your head, we were doing our best to let him in and out in accordance with his wishes. What we couldn’t predict was the taunting from Harley, our older dog, who would run outside and look back at Winston, practically mocking him for not getting outside with ease.

The poor cone couldn’t handle all the abuse and it finally started to break. Duct tape to the rescue! It wasn’t the cleanest repair, but it did get the job done, even if Winston lost some of his peripheral vision. 

After more than a week of unrelenting abuse by Winston, the cone finally gave in and was nothing but a strip of plastic hanging off the bouncing gentle giant’s neck. Of course this wasn’t on the day Winston was supposed to go back to the vet to have his stitches removed, but the day before. 

Being a good pet parent, I strapped a new cone onto Winston. It took an hour of love, frustration and dog wrestling on the pantry floor to get it done. By the end of the ordeal Winton was wiped out and decided to lie in my lap and try to take a puppy nap. 

It’s been a few weeks since this little escapade and now I can only look back and laugh. I never imagined I would spend my morning figuring out how to put a cone on a dog, but I’m happy that I did. 

Like I said, frustrating but sweet.

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