Canine Conenfreude

I always feel sorry for dogs that have to wear one of those neck cones.  They’ve got to be embarrassed.  Having to wear a cone shows that you don’t have the kind of control that a self-respecting dog really should have, and the only way you can be stopping from worrying stitches or constantly licking a wound is through some artificial restraint.  And, because you’re wearing an embarrassing neck cone, you can’t do what a dog needs to do — like chew from time to time on your back leg.

tmg-article_tallYes, I’ve always thought:  dogs must really hate those neck cones.

Now there’s proof of it.  Here’s an article about Barley, a golden retriever who lives in Amsterdam.  Poor Barley got one of those despised neck cones when he was neutered.  When Barley got the cone, he started moping around and not behaving like his normal, happy self.  Then his human family decided to see if Barley would feel better if they put one of the neck cones on the golden retriever stuffed animal that is Barley’s favorite toy and boon companion, and sure enough — Barley perked right up when he saw his pal in a cone, too.  You might call his reaction a bit of friendly schadenfreude.  In fact, you might call it canine conenfreude.

It’s nice to see a confirmation that dogs definitely have complex feelings, too.  Now if we could only figure out a way to test that The Far Side cartoon that postulated that dogs don’t like to stay inside playing the violin while other dogs are outside, pestering the postman.

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