Overcoming Obstacles: Howard the Dog

Overcoming Obstacles…Is this a friend of Howard the Dog?
Photo by: Jon Hurd

In light of my rather quirky mood, I just have to say–Howard the dog has a cone head. Yup, you heard me. Howard the dog has a cone head.

My husband and I always laugh when we see a dog wearing one of those funnels from the vet. You know…the white plastic funnels that looks like the dog had so much fun at last night’s party that he ended up going home with an upside down lampshade around his neck? Or, he looks like his loving owner dressed him up for Halloween as an ice cream cone?

Oh, I know it’s really for the dog’s good. He probably had some kind of medical procedure done and the funnel is there to prevent him from biting at his stitches or from scratching his ear. But, it just makes us laugh. (And I’m sure it makes you laugh, too, doesn’t it?)

Howard (name of dog has been changed to protect his identity) amazes me, though. He just doesn’t care. Oh sure, Howard’s probably uncomfortable running around with the funnel bobbing up and down, bopping the top of his head with every move. And, he is probably very annoyed that he can’t scratch that menacing itch on his head. However, Howard still trots majestically around his kennel, quite oblivious to the way it affects his image.

Compare that to a human. Think about it. If you were given a cone to wear around your neck, what would your rate of self-consciousness be? How about walking around the grocery store, looking for your carton of milk, (of course, you can’t see it on the bottom shelf in the dairy section because you have this big clunky cone blocking your view,) only to run into your old classmate, Sally.

She smiles at you with a questioning look and runs to give you a hug, only to stop…because she just can’t reach you with that great big cone around your neck. She pats you on the shoulder, instead. Would you sheepishly apologize? Or, would that scenario never happen because, if the doctor ever made you wear a cone around your neck, you certainly wouldn’t go out in public like that?

Like I said, Howard the dog apparently does not let the fashion violation get in the way of his self-esteem. When the dogs down the street walk past Howard’s kennel, the usual uproar of barking and jumping occurs on both sides of the gate.

Oh, I’m sure that the other dogs must be barking, “Ah hah! Look at the silly cone around your neck! That looks ridiculous!” Then they’ll add a few ruff ruffs and perform a few bullying jumps against the fence.

However, majestic Howard, cone and all, holds his head high and he unashamedly barks back. I imagine he’s probably saying, “Stop it! I don’t care what you say! I am still the same wonderful Howard the dog that I’ve always been. Ruff, ruff. Ruff, ruff!”

Then, as the neighborhood dogs are pulled away by their humans, Howard the dog continues to bark his rebuttal to them until they disappear around the corner. Way to go, Howard! You stood up for yourself!

I suppose everyone has some kind of cone around their necks that might hinder them. (No, not a physical one…we’re trying to get symbolic here.) Perhaps a fear of failure? A fear of speaking in public? An innate ability to procrastinate? A great talent at wasting time? A fear of whatever it is out there that you can fear? Whatever the case, perhaps we can all take a cue from the inspirational Howard the dog.

Get over it.

What is the cone around your head that makes you feel self-conscious? What’s holding you back from really being all that you can be? (Wasn’t there a commercial that told us to do that?) What’s it going to take for you to get over it so you can rise to the greatness you truly are?

I can’t answer that for you, my Sweet Friend. You are the only one who can answer that for yourself.

One thing I do know for sure…you are magnificent. (Even Howard the dog thinks so, too.)

Have a bow-wow day!


The Happy Balance Girl

Copyright 2011 by Stacey Shimabukuro-Lui. All rights reserved

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