In The Trenches

Like a dog without a cone

Published on May 24, 2021 Back to blog
James and his cone

Two weeks ago, our 6-month old Corgi puppy, James (or affectionately referred to by my son as “Sir James Oliver Freedman III”) got neutered. It was quite a tragic experience, but one that James approached with grace and elegance. It was also a reminder that, in business and personal life, we are all faced with set-backs and obstacles to overcome. 

Whether it be a presentation that doesn’t go as well as planned, the loss of a client/contract or a global pandemic landing on your doorstep, anything can happen. But it is how we respond/react to these situations that ultimately better positions us for future success. Over the last two weeks, Sir James has been a shining example of how to deal with such situations. So, today I’d like to share his approach: 

  1. Wallow. On the first day, there was a lot of whining. Although he was on some meds for pain, the cone around his head and isolation from his big sister (7-year old Golden Retriever, Jasmine) was obviously traumatic for him. While a bit annoying to everyone else in the house, the whining was needed to begin the process of healing.
  2. Accept. Once James accepted the new situation, the whining became much less frequent and he began holding his head up much higher. (Although, that likely has something to do with step #3.)
  3. Adapt. Being long and short may be cute, but it isn’t very conducive to having a cone around your head. In order to avoid being a walking shovel (especially when walking in the mulch), James needed to adapt. Aside from holding his head up high, he figured out how to get into tight spaces (walking backwards), eat his food (starting in the center of the bowl) and play with his sister (approach from the side).
  4. Fight back. By the end of day 5, James had chewed the adhesive parts of the cone so much that it could barely stay on his head. By that time, the wound was fairly healed and we took it off. He was ready for re-entry.
  5. Conquer. With his head help up high, a bunch of newly attained skills, a greater appreciation for his freedom, and a drive to get back to running around outside and wresting his big sister, James was ready to conquer whatever came in front of him. Let’s just say that there’s a new dog wrestling champion in the Freedman house. 🙂

While James may have been physically unable to lick his wounds, he did so with spirit and grace that we can all learn from. So, when something goes wrong and/or gets you down, take a moment to follow James’ approach. It won’t be long before you’re back on top.

Jeff Freedman
CEO/Managing Partner
Small Army | Finn Partners