Dog in a Ruff

cat in a ruffMy mutt’s gone Victorian. Wearing a ruff. There’s a famous painting, “Cat in a Ruff,” which is as false as a wooden nickel. The cat looks complacent, almost bored, and yet he’s shackled with this silly looking paper accordion around the neck. Has he not seen the looks he’s getting from other cats?

Our dog’s venture into Victorian art began a few weeks ago when he kept working at a spot on his side — biting, licking, tearing fur. Eventually there was a porthole to misery in his side.

The metaphor proved more apt than we thought when we took him to the vet, fearing some kind of cancerous lump. Turns out it wasn’t the Big C but the little one — cuterebra. That’s the fancy name for botfly larvae, the eggs of which are picked up by dogs near rabbit or rodent burrows.

So, yes. The hole. We thought maybe bee sting. But no. Breathing hole. Of a parasite. Under the skin.

All together now: Eew.

It was surgically removed and now the beast is on antibiotics to prevent any secondary infections of the area. Because the incision was stapled, Doggie Dearest was given a ruff to prevent his my-what-big-teeth-I-have from serving as staple removers.

Hey, I’ve seen ruffs on little dogs, but seldom a lug like ours. He’s big and black and his ruff is bigger and blacker. While airing him today, it looked like I was walking a lampshade. And it’s both funny and heartbreaking to see our Wookie bumping into trees, plants, chairs, end tables, etc., as he tries to negotiate his formerly-familiar world in this ridiculous vortex of a collar. He can’t even scratch his eternally scratchy ear!

Who says owning a dog isn’t an education? Watch out for rabbit burrows, people! Our dog loves to dig, and yes we have rabbits (and fox and coyote and skunk and possum and raccoon) in the area. It’s only the botfly we couldn’t see. The periscope in poochie’s skin was too small, perhaps.

Refrain: Eew.


2 thoughts on “Dog in a Ruff

  1. Wow, poor big thing. The Elizabethan Collar sir is the correct name. The (ugh) catty had one with Van Gogh Sunflowers. Since he had to wear it, he needed to make a fashion statement. Tell the big lug to stay out of the rabbit patch. Hope he recovers his health and his dignity soon.


    • It is what it is. He looks depressed. Or maybe oppressed and picked upon by some ruff and vengeful god. In the words of the prophet, I tell him, this too shall pass — but dogs, being perfect Buddhists, live in the moment.


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