Okay, long story short: Sid’s wearing a cone around his head:
We recently weaned him off his hydrocortisone for the winter (which will be explained in a future follow-up post to my earlier allergy post), and ever since, he’s been gnawing on all four of his feet and scratching away at his poor little chin.
I’m half-convinced that all of this paw chewing is due to boredom, so I thought a “comfort cone” (or “cone of shame,” if you’re a pessimist) might help him break his current cycle of destructiveness and find some other, more productive, things to do with his time.
In theory, it’s a brilliant plan, but unfortunately Sid’s a flat-faced dog with a giant neck. Therefore, the only cone that fits him is comically large:
So, yes, the cone throws off his balance a bit, but it’s for his own good! We’re not making him wear it all the time – only when the paw chewing gets really bad. To tell you the truth, though, I think he kinda likes having it on. From the very first day, he’s let me put the cone on him without even a hint of a struggle, and by the second day, he figured out that when he was wearing his comfort cone he could have his favorite potato toy with him at all times:
Without the sounds of Sid gnawing at his paws all day (snort, snort, slurp, snort, sluuuurp, hack, snort, and so on), the atmosphere in the apartment suddenly became so peaceful and relaxed.
Peaceful and relaxed, that is, until the act of snapping the cone around Sid’s head, somehow, at some point, became a trigger for super-maniac-potato-playtime.
Super-maniac-potato-playtime is fine within certain parameters. When constricted to the confines of Sid’s bed, for example, it mostly involves a whole bunch of snorting, thrashing, jumping, and sharp pivoting:
It’s when that potato leaves the safe borders of the bed that that super-maniac-potato-playtime goes from a harmless amusement to a mildly terrifying, should-I-really-be-laughing-at-this, dear-lord-he’s-going-to-kill-himself guilty pleasure.
As you can imagine, a slightly off-balance pug wearing a giant plastic cone on his head while chasing a tiny potato on a slick wood floor in a cramped New York apartment has the potential for mega-maheim and destruction. But, no matter how long it takes or how many obstacles he must overcome, Sid always gets his potato: