Yesterday, we finally brought our dog Sonic to the vet to have him sterilized. After four years, we finally made the decision to go ahead and do it.

"You're snipping off my what?"

“You’re snipping off my what?”

I know all the vets and pretty much animal welfare groups will always support sterilization and encourage you to do it when they’re 5 months or so, but we had a few reservations about it.

  1. Wifey was really afraid that Sonic would resent us and hate us for snipping him, and that it would result in some change in his behavior.
  2. Her previous dog wasn’t sterilized, and he lived quite a long life.
  3. Those little shiny things are so damn cute.

We actually have a little running joke where we refer to his little balls as his squeaky brake pads. After all, he probably has NO IDEA what they do, and the only practical use they have in his opinion is that they slow his butt down when he lies down on the floor, and then they make that cute squeaky sound.

They’re also so shiny from being used as brake pads that they have what VFX folks refer to as “specular lighting“.

Sonic's brake pads

Sonic’s brake pads

But with Beanie on the way, and the way Sonic exhibits aggression and jealousy when other dogs and little things are perceived to muscle in on his turf (especially Knuckles… Sonic HATES it when his brother Knuckles plays with wifey and will aggressively chase him away), we figured it’s probably time we really thought about this. I did more research into the matter, and it does appear that the health benefits significantly outweigh any cons that might come with sterilizing a pet.

In fact, there appear to be only two basic reasons why a pet-owner shouldn’t sterilize their dogs:

  1. You’re planning to breed them.
  2. You intend to enter them into shows (sterilized dogs are disqualified… which I find really prejudicial).

We don’t intend to do either, so these were never good reasons for us. It was really just us projecting our own protectiveness onto our fur-kid.

So I made an appointment with our vet, and we brought him in yesterday morning. Wifey was mulling over whether we should cancel the appointment right up to the moment we walked into the vet.

Our brave boy waiting at the vet

Our brave boy waiting at the vet

The process took a while, and we were told to head off and come back after almost 5 hours while they perform the surgery and keep him under observation. We did that and headed out to buy some fresh snacks for him from the pet bakery, but we couldn’t really rest easy while we waited for the vet to call.

But when we finally went to pick him up, we felt a huge sense of relief because he was so happy to see us with his tail twinkling at 7 wps (wags per second). Looks like our fears of resentment were unfounded!

He got home and was a bit disoriented though, but I think that’s more from the anesthetic rather than any change in his behavior due to his missing brake pads. He’s pretty exhausted, so he’s been sleeping quite a bit. But we’re really just quite glad that he’s okay and all is well.

Sadly, as much as we want to reward him and make him feel like a champ we were also told to put the Cone of Shame on him so that he won’t lick his wound and cause an infection or something.

Sleeping soundly... and here you can see the surgical scar

Sleeping soundly… and here you can see the surgical scar

Whether his jealousy and temperament has been lowered remains to be seen though – I heard that it’ll take a few weeks or so before the residual testosterone in his system wears off.

About Drew

I love my kids, my wife movies and video games (in no particular order). Sometimes my dog too, but he likes to stink up my pillow these days.

9 responses »

  1. I didn’t expect to see a photo of the squeaky brake pads on your blog, but there they are. I’ve never been fond of those things on a dog. I guess it’s just what you are used to but funny enough an intact dog looks weird to me.

    We had our bunnies snipped as young as possible. They were just 3 months old so if you can imagine how tiny baby bunny balls are…I don’t envy the vet’s precarious job. If bunnies aren’t neutered, they will fight each other to the death for their territory and generally become mean, surly bastards. It’s not nice seeing baby bunnies fight.

    I’ve never had a pet with the cone of shame. Apparently they stress out rabbits so they aren’t used. Take lots of photos. You can laugh later.

    • Drew says:

      I contemplated putting up the brake pads… but their shininess just had to… well… shine.

      I had no idea bunnies can be so vicious and territorial! I just assumed they’re all friendly and chilled out.

  2. renxkyoko says:

    We saved our dog from the animal shelter… 2 more weeks of not getting adopted and he’d be put to sleep… he was then a few months old.

    • Drew says:

      That’s so wonderful of you guys! I’ve been volunteering for this local dog rescue organization and it’s painful to write story after story about dogs who don’t find good homes.

  3. The Secretary says:

    We have a bit of land where I am and all of the dogs we have, have been rescue dogs. Most of the dogs were dumped out in our area and they just happened to like our yard better than the neighbors. We couldn’t turn any of them in as there is a fee (because the pound thinks we are dumping the dogs) and they were already such good dogs as they protected the yard as if it was their real home. (It also helped that they were good with my nieces and cousin who are still tiny kids.)
    Due to how we just seem to acquire dogs that magically appear in the yard, all the dogs have been neutered, spayed, and all have their shots.
    I thought they would be angry or sad, but all of them didn’t seem to care as they would bring me gifts of trash (god knows from where) and leave it on the porch by my door.

    • Drew says:

      That’s so great of you guys! I think that would be quite a nice place to live, with a large extended family of dogs to play with.

      We have a few refugee cats that were born in our yard, and we’ve had them spayed too and feed them most days… but they’re still a bit resentful and aren’t exactly friendly. Actually… they’re pretty nasty and territorial sometimes. Ah well, better the devil you know hahaha!

  4. Cara Olsen says:

    Oh, Drew . . . LOL. Those are, quite definitely, the shiniest testicles I have EVER seen.

    Like your other commenter, I tend to steer away from male dogs that have not been “sterilized,” simply because they just look . . . oppressive. I don’t know why that is, and I agree with you that it’s prejudicial that snipped dogs are disqualified — in my opinion, they should should be given a medal of honor for having endured the removal of an appendage!

    Thank you for the laugh! And congrats on Beanie! 😉

    ~ Cara

  5. Mitzie Mee says:

    Oh, the cone of shame…I though it was the dog biscuit funnel? 🙂

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