Amanda rushed our dog, Charlie, to the twenty-four-hour clinic. There appeared to be a problem with his backside. Amanda would waste no time in addressing the issue.

The whole situation was pitiful. Amanda was concerned, the children were worried, and Charlie was in pain.

Charlie required a procedure which required a little cutting and some heavy sedation, which he made it through just fine. Everyone was relieved to know that Charlie had made it through surgery and was on his way to recovery. There was one problem though…..

Charlie had been prescribed the great cone of shame.

The cone of shame is every dog’s worst nightmare. Is there anything worse than being cursed with wearing the big contraption around your neck?

Charlie was sentenced to the cone to keep him from licking at his sore area. It was for his greater good. No one was trying to hurt or insult Charlie, but the cone was a necessary evil.

Charlie was not doing well. He would not eat or drink and seemed to not even have the energy to stay up. Amanda took off work and laid by Charlie’s side. The vet said that he should be drinking by this point and if he was not drinking by 3pm, we needed to bring him back in.

Nurse Amanda had me a list of things to pick up at the store- Pedialyte, Ensure, popsicles, and crushed ice. She was determined to get Charlie to drink some fluids and digest some nutrition.

Our efforts proved futile. Charlie wouldn’t budge. He was too sick. At least, he appeared to be.

Against doctor’s orders, we decided to remove the cone from around Charlie’s head, as it was noticeably uncomfortable to him. No sooner than we could get the contraption off from around his ears, Charlie sprung back to life. He energetically rubbed his face across the carpet, he began drinking his water, and he licked at Amanda’s face with the loving energy that Charlie is known for.

Charlie was back.

It wasn’t the injury, infection, or illness after all.

Charlie had a problem with his backside that required him to wear something on his front side, that gave him problems on the inside. It seemed to me that the problem was not so much the injury, but the stigma that was attached to it.

Charlied was forced to wear a cone, a symbol of weakness, a neon sign that says, “I have a problem, a weakness, something is wrong with me.” The cone on his head was the discomfort, even moreso than the lacerations on his rear.

The stigma associated with something going on in my life can be just as difficult as dealing with the actual problem. The cone around my head that indicates that I am weak, injured, afflicted, and broken can be a heavy burden to bear. Often times, the guilt and shame associated with having an issue can be the most painful part of the issue itself.

I think it’s important to remove the cone. I think that sometimes I need to step back and take a look at what is really going on. I need to be aware that a lot of times my problem is the outward appearance of my inside situation more than the situation that is going on with my inside.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,