No one actually looks forward to the day their pet gets neutered.

No one actually looks forward to the day their pet gets neutered.

But you do it because you know it's the right thing to do and you don't want to be responsible for anymore unwanted animals in the world.  

Still, when the day arrives, it's hard not to feel really, really guilty, especially when your dog stares at you with his big brown eyes as if to say, "Really?  I thought I was getting a cookie and instead you're having THIS done to me? That bites!"

I actually didn't feel bad about having the surgery done. I felt bad about the fact that the dog was going to be uncomfortable for a week afterwards.

And then, to add insult to injury, he would have to wear the cone of shame, too.   Personally, I wasn't that unhappy about the cone. With our last dog, we found that if we pointed him toward the sky when he had the cone on, we actually got better TV reception.

But I felt bad for the dog.  The plastic cone is a good look for a lamp. For a dog?  Not so much.
Although I knew it wasn't a big deal, I was still relieved when the vet called to tell me everything was done and Monty made it through with flying colors.  

But when I went to pick him up, he just wasn't his usual cheerful self.  Of course, he'd just had some parts of his anatomy removed, so I could understand he might not be feeling that peppy.  

But the issue didn't seem to be the surgery. The issue seemed to be the cone.

"He's REALLY unhappy about the cone," said the vet's assistant.

"Wouldn't you be unhappy if you looked like a satellite dish?" I responded.

As it turned out, the dog wasn't merely unhappy. He was despondent.  Something about the cone completely freaked him out.

He wouldn't move with it on. He just stood in the middle of the room and stared.

"I think he's afraid to walk because he keeps bumping into things with the cone," I explained to my husband when he got home.

"Did you try to bribe him?" he asked.

"Yeah. I offered him treats and toys, but he wasn't having it."

We debated taking the cone off, but knew that the dog would immediately try to lick off the surgical glue, because he's a licker, and then he would end up back at the vet.

"Is there anything else we can do to keep him from licking that area?" I wondered.

We all stared at the dog in the cone, and then my son jumped up.

"I have an idea," he announced brightly.

He ran upstairs and came back down with a pair of boxer shorts. We slid the cone off the dog's head and put the boxer shorts on him, backwards, so his tail could come out through the, er, escape hatch.

The dog seemed very pleased with this solution and pranced around in his new underwear, wagging his tail as he modeled his new look for us.

"Do you think that will keep him from kicking the glue?" asked my husband, dubiously.

"Oh yeah," I responded.

"Nothing gets between Monty and his Calvin Kleins."

Tracy's new book, "Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs" will be out April 2 but you PRE-ORDER it now!  To reserve your copy, go to Amazon or any online bookseller.