Reclaiming the Cone of Shame
February 10, 2019 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Photographer Transforms Canines' Cones From Shame To Glam "Photographer Winnie Au wanted to capture the range of emotions dogs feel while wearing these conical contraptions. In Cone of Shame — a nod to another of the device's popular nicknames — Au's stylized portraits show dogs of all breeds looking everything from grand to dazed."

"Getting dogs to display an array of emotions on set wasn't difficult. One pup was so comfortable in the cone, it fell asleep while standing up. Another time, Au had to chase a super excited dog around set to get a photo.
Au wants to use the series to help raise money for rescue dogs in and around New York City who need surgeries."

Au says: "I've always wanted to capture [images of dogs wearing cones] because it is so ridiculous to start with — but I knew I wanted to do a series because ... when a dog wears a cone, it's the saddest feeling. They just don't look very happy usually. It's a sad and ridiculous moment when they have to wear that cone. I wanted to create a series to turn that image upside down. The series is a mix of sadness and beauty. My goal was to show off dogs in a beautiful way, but also bring attention to that fact that lots of rescue animals need surgery. I thought this would be a fun way to do that."

Her website can be found here, with lots of good decorated doggies.
posted by jenfullmoon (12 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have a good picture of it, but when Mr. Fusspot had cataract surgery my late wife spent a few hours decorating his cone. She put his name, which you can sort of see by his left ear, and a few stickers from a sticker book she had laying around. There was also some glitter involved.

I'm not sure Fusspot really cared all that much, but it was kind of funny to see him puttering around the house wearing a cone covered in stickers and glitter. He was quite jaunty looking.
posted by ralan at 11:43 AM on February 10 [7 favorites]

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:52 AM on February 10

anyone else disappointed Mr Fusspot is not a Great Dane?

personally I find some of these cones weird in a vague squicky way but she is doing this for an awesome cause.
posted by supermedusa at 12:54 PM on February 10

I love how completely universal "cone of shame" has become — like, it only took a few years for people to stop treating it as a movie reference and for it to start just being what the thing is called. Is this what it was like to be around when Shakespeare was coining new figures of speech at a mile a minute?
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:30 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]

"Your lamp's running away!" is what we always say to each other when our dogs are en-coned.
posted by Archer25 at 2:28 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]

This is a fantastic concept, and I love the choice of dog poses. (My personal aesthetics lean more toward polyethylene and staples than most of these. . . but, if it makes the dogs and their people happy, cheers!)
posted by eotvos at 3:53 PM on February 10

Remove the cone of shame! Attach the cone of ... uh, triumph?
posted by myotahapea at 7:56 PM on February 10

I love the NPR interview ending with "One last question - were they all good dogs?" "Cone of shame" has entered the public lexicon, but so has "they're all good dogs, brent".

...A puppeteer I knew for a while has this great piece; he tells a story about something that happened with his dog, while unfolding and refolding a folding ruler into various shapes to illustrate the story as he goes. And the story was a doozy - it was when his dog was in a cone like this.

He came home from work and his dog didn't meet him at the door. He searched through the house for him and finally found him in the basement, standing in the middle of the room with the cone pressed down against the floor. He called to his dog a couple times, but the dog didn't move. And for whatever reason, he was reminded of that final shot from THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and thought "holy shit, my dog is possessed." He called his dog urgently a couple more times, but no response - his dog was still standing there, cone pressed against the floor. So now he was thoroughly panicked and freaked out and ran over, and grabbed his dog and picked him up.

And that was how he found that UNDERNEATH the cone, his dog had had its face buried inside an open jar of peanut butter that he'd found, and had been snacking away at it the whole time.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:02 PM on February 10 [11 favorites]

Back in the 90s my friends dressed up as the "drop the chalupa" ad for Taco Bell. They were the cop and the 'chalupa burglar'(?), their chihuahua was the chihuahua (of course), and their other dog, who was recovering from surgery, was the policeman's flashlight.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:03 PM on February 10

I find it hilarious that the term "cone of shame" seems to have been popularized by Up, which came out in May 2009. I like to imagine that those dogs got to name the device, and we humans just learned it from them.
posted by mosst at 2:59 PM on February 11

Rusty, The Wonder Dog, was relentless.

She was by far the most stubborn animal ever. Ever.

I am stubborn -- Rusty made me look like a piker.

She had a tumor on her chest. The vet removed it, Rusty and I got home, within ten minutes she had the stitches ripped out, blood everywhere.

Back to the vet. Steel stitches. Home. Ten minutes, the steel stitches are torn out. Rusty tore steel stitches out. Blood everywhere. It looked like a crime scene.

Back to the vet. Steel stitches, big honkin' cone. And I'm like "Fuck this -- not again." and I wired the cone to her collar. And then, onto the end of the cone, I wired a plastic milk bottle, extending it maybe 8 or 9 inches.

Rusty, The Wonder Dog, was defeated.

I don't know that I've ever seen her so humbled. I laughed my ass off, which she did not enjoy, but I damn sure did.

She wore that thing until that wound was healed. I had to remove it for her to eat, and to drink water.

There was No. Way. that she could possibly have reached that wound in the first place. The vet and I puzzled over it, though I puzzled over it less, knowing how stubborn Rusty was.

She was relentless. Unbelievably annoying. Outrageously stubborn. Determined to win out No Matter What. I sure do miss her.
posted by dancestoblue at 6:15 PM on February 11 [4 favorites]

btw, in case anyone is wondering, I'd cut each end of the milk bottle off. It was like looking at her way deep in a tunnel. It was great.
posted by dancestoblue at 7:51 PM on February 11

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