I kept Cashew from ripping her stitches open for 3 whole weeks. I had to carry her up and down the stairs every time she went outside each day and watch her like a hawk, as she had figured out how to crane her neck to use the edge of the cone like a fingernail to scratch her incision. After 3 weeks the purple stitch at the end of her pink incision was still securely rooted in its place. The vet had told me it would fall out on its own. I was pretty desperate for life to return to some sense of normalcy where Cashew could be trusted to do for herself some of the time. I called the vet and asked them why it hadn’t fallen out. They told me that sometimes it could take a month or more but the external part of the stitching would eventually fall out. They said that at 3 weeks all the internal stitches would have disolved and her skin would have healed together completely. They said if the stitch bothered me i could bring her in and they’d pull it out or i could pull it out. I was surprised, “i can pull it out?” They said her skin had probably grown around it but it wouldn’t be attached to anything within her anymore and i could just give it a tug and out it would come. Not wanting to drive an hour and pay for a whole other vet visit, i decided to pull it out. I tried 3 times. On the third tug her skin let go and a purple plastic knot was left between my fingers, a shallow tiny crater in the skin of her abdomen. Her skin had indeed enveloped the remaining part of the stitch. It looked as if i had just excised a blackhead from a widened pore. I threw the stitch away and ceremoniously removed Cashew’s cone. The dark days were over. The spay process was complete.
Both dogs immediately went nuts, as you can see. Sili may have been more excited for her sister than Cashew even was herself. There was jumping and punching and craziness and all sorts of vocalizations. I let it go on for a while and then i demanded house-appropriate conduct in the house, as they were running into things.
At this point they were sitting at attention getting ahold of themselves for fear that i may change my mind about removing the cone if they somehow forgot to observe the house rules about rough housing (do it outside).
So they did just that. I let them outside where they continued the celebration of Cashew’s long awaited freedom from the horrible plastic cone. Sili was really happy Cashew was back in commision because while she was in recovery Coyote patrol had fallen to Sili and i. Though she loved me and would not leave me to face them alone, Sili did not look forward to coming with me to finish the chores when coyotes were on the property. She slunk behind me with her ears back and tail between her legs, quiet as a mouse. Cashew was definitely the only dog on the property the coyotes were afraid of. It was good to have her back.