Some things in life may seem innocuous - useful even - but they can also scare the crap out of usually sane and serene beings.
This is such a thing.
The mere sight of it was enough to reduce the victim to a quivering, shaking mess.
A drop of blood spattered the floor as the victim thrashed and ran haphazardly to get away from it.
Pain was nothing: escape was all.
However, the battle was lost and the thing won.
Well, for five minutes at least.
With Milly's rump looking like a particularly painful leg of roast pork, we were given strict instructions to put an 'Elizabeth Snap Collar' on her. The Cone of Shame, in other words.
The post-operative instruction sheet read: "You must discourage jumping or activity of any kind that will cause excessive stretching of the wound, especially during the first few days."
In her wild-eyed terror, our poor dog tried to run away from the hazy plastic prison that was clipped around her neck. Furniture was overturned, walls smashed against and nails frantically scratched the floor and we watched in anguish as her leg buckled, twisted and stretched.
Love Chunks couldn't bear it. "Let's give the poor girl the benefit of the doubt," he said, unclipping Milly's spiteful spirit-crusher.
With no painkillers provided, we've caught her giving the wound a sly lick only a couple of times and she's much happier. I'd like to conclude by saying that the cruelty ended there, but it didn't. As she lay sleeping off the last of the anaesthesia that had changed her beautiful eyes from almonds to puckered diamonds, I placed the collar next to her beanbag and waited for her to wake.
This is the only photo I could bring myself to take before she fully regained consciousness, sprung up in fear and sprinted up the passage to the front door. "Milly, calm down - your stitches........!"
Maybe it'll come in handy as a mini greenhouse for baby herbs.