The canine cone of silence

May 23, 2017

November 2016

It’s been a slow week in lawnmower land watching a small dog negotiate a new landscape, while a New York real estate czar tries to form a government. 

Both have provided hours of idle entertainment. 

Billy the sharp-tongued little bruiser has become Billy the blunderer as he wears a giant cone around his head to stop him removing his own stitches after skin cancer surgery. 

Quite how he managed to get skin cancers on his belly is beyond me. 

He must have spent several hours a day on his back lying quietly in the sun without anyone noticing. 

Now that is a remarkable ability for which I salute him. 

I have been trying to do that all my life, but people keep giving me bills and hauling me off to work to pay for them. 

Anyway, Billy is now being punished for his hours of sloth by wearing an anti-scratch collar which makes him look like the HMV gramophone dog in reverse. 

His free-roaming world has become a prison with corners, table legs and newly-narrowed gaps everywhere. 

Where yesterday he could slip through the garden fence to freedom, or ambush rude magpies, today he has to turn corners carefully and negotiate gaps with skill. 

The big green cone has shrunk his horizon to exactly what is in front of his nose, and just like Donald Trump, Billy has turned from a bull in a china shop to a wary little lamb. 

Billy has to deal with the reality of a new landscape involving chair legs, steps and corners. 

Mr Trump’s chair legs are government staffers, a media corps, advisers, lawyers, lobbyists and administrators. 

These annoying things have always been there, but now they loom large and the big grand picture has been reduced to the nuts and bolts that make it all work. 

Apparently, when Mr Trump met President Barack Obama this week he was surprised at what a big job it is running the most powerful country in the world.

He was unaware that the entire presidential staff working in the West Wing has to be replaced at the end of Mr Obama’s term. 

Billy used to scamper through the house like a little diesel train, pawing at doors shouting ‘‘comin’ through!’’ and barging anything out of his way, including Cleo the tiptoe smoke ghost. 

Now he nods his way around and examines his world like a gem specialist with a headlamp. 

On the campaign trail, Mr Trump threatened to tear up the NATO alliance, chuck out the Paris accord on climate change, ditch the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement and revise the nuclear agreement with Iran. 

That’s big talk, akin to barging through doors and frightening cats. 

Now Mr Trump has to appoint some 4000 people to help him run the world. 

I reckon he needs an anti-scratch cone to help him focus on the job. 

And Billy could be a presidential aide. 

His cone experience means invaluable presidential fly-away hair advice is only a barking phone call away. 

All we have to do is get Billy on the US federal payroll. 

Then I could retire and spend more time on my back in the sun and tell more huge whopping stories.

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