For Our Own Good

A dog with a cone that is not FREAKING OUT

Chloe was injured on May 9th and it has been a LONG road to recovery. She had surgery following the accident to save a toe, lost 4 toenails… and it has been “3 steps forward and 2 steps back” ever since! Our biggest problem was getting her to leave the surgical site alone. Chloe is very smart. Chloe has been trained by the best. Chloe attends Fidos For Freedom for follow-up training and polishing. But Chloe? Well… she’s still a DOG. We were given a very nice cone similar to the one in the picture above. The only problem was that Chloe would go BERSERK when I put it on her. During the day, I could simply keep an eye on her while I was working at my desk. However, at night I needed a little assistance. The CONE was suppose to be my assistance. Every time we put the “cone of shame” (a line from the animated movie UP!), she went crazy… running into walls, dashing her head around, and inevitably breaking open the cauterizations and stitches on her foot. We ended up having to use “Bitter Apple” instead.

This saved my life actually! I wasn’t getting a “wink” of sleep and was seriously near a nervous breakdown from fatigue. One of my daughter’s friends at work recommended “Bitter Apple”, and it only took a few sprays for Chloe to LEAVE her FOOT ALONE! All night! (Thank you GOD… quite literally!).

I think part of the cone’s drawback was that it wasn’t transparent. Chloe couldn’t see to the right or left… all she could see was what was directly in front of her. It made her panic – the NOT knowing what was around and about. She could hear our voices, but her world had suddenly become very small. It was only as big as what she could see out the end of the cone.

You can’t very well explain to a DOG why they need a cone on their head. If you could explain that… well GEE! You could probably reason with them about why they should leave a surgical site alone! We could not explain to Chloe that the cone was for her own good.

For OUR Own Good

Isn’t that just like us? How often do we fight against what is only there to protect us? Some things that come to mind:

1. The speed limit. It’s not there to challenge you to see if you’ll get caught speeding. It’s there to protect you and others.

2. Exercise and eating right. How many thousands of Americans re-commit each January to make this change? It’s not because getting sweaty, pumping “iron” and eating fruits and vegetables are a lot of FUN. But we’ll live longer… and probably feel better too.

3. The 10 Commandments. Yeah, I know… it’s OLD TESTAMENT. But aren’t these things we should all continue to strive for even as “New Testament” believers? If you are a person of faith it normally means there is something different about you. If you covet, steal, murder, and hate, it is YOU who is scarred and broken in the end. Those “commandments” are for your good.

4. Taking medicine. Blech. But if you are sick, do you not take medicine when it may be what stands between you and good health… or life?

All 3 dogs were very concerned about my donning the "Cone of Shame"

I tried on the “Cone of Shame”. (Does that make me “game” or nutty?) The dogs were very concerned as you can see. All 3 sat in front of me and Chloe whined and breathed hard in my face every time I turned her way. It was very disconcerting to not be able to see around.

I believe that a “cone” is a good representation of how difficult it is to put your faith and trust in something or Someone that you can’t see. I have never seen God, yet He’s as real to me as anything I have ever experienced. I see Him in His creation. I see Him in the service and love of others. I see Him in answered prayer… even when He says “no”. Yet, I’ll admit to a major frustration in my faith walk. It is really hard not knowing what tomorrow may bring.

It can be very disconcerting to have a disability that may be progressive. It can be frightening to have an invisible disease like fibromyalgia, Meniere’s disease, or hearing loss. Have you ever been told “you’ll only get worse”? That knowledge can make it really difficult to have dreams and hope to see beyond “today”. We have to trust that what we have access too is enough for now. We should reach out to others and form strong relationships. We should research, prepare and educate ourselves. We don’t have to run around in a panic with this “cone” we didn’t ask for! Can you calmly and in faith, believe the “cone” is for your own good?

I have a “short-term” goal and a “long-term goal”. I strive hard to make every minute in pursuing both worthwhile. I know God has a plan for me that is not fulfilled as of yet. I know this because I am still here. It can be very frustrating sitting around with a “cone on my head and heart” — not able to see the big picture that God has access to  — since He PAINTED IT. I know keeping my eye on the short-term goals are important. It’s good for me. It keeps me focused, on track, and “real”. Yet I really want to be able to see 360°. I realize GOD can see the big picture… that’s what “omniscient” means… all knowing. I have to have FAITH that what I’m allowed to see and make sense of RIGHT NOW is enough. Having that “cone” on is for my own good.

It may not be very comfortable, but we have to believe that God has our best in mind.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

At some point… I’m going to see beyond the cone.

Denise Portis

© 2010 Personal Hearing Loss Journal