As of Feb, 14 (yes Valentines day, poor boy) River has been a neutered dog. He had a cryptorchid so the surgery was invasive. We had a challenging first night! As intelligent as my little buddy is, he could not for the life of him figure out how to lie down with the Elizabethan-collar on. I had bought him a no-bite collar, which is suppose to restrict movement of a dogs head so they can’t lick their stomach because River is sensitive to things falling and crashing that he knocks over and I figured the e-collar would just cause too many issues. Anyway, he wore the no-bite collar for most of the day but laying down seemed challenging for him so I switched collars right before bed hoping he would get some sleep. The moment I put the e-collar on River he went into a panic. Not being able to see where he was going he started running into the walls which made a loud crashing noise which freaked him out even more. I picked River up and put him on the bed and told him to wait. I was hoping when I got into bed and laid down he would synchronize. I patted the bed, gave him the verbal command ‘down’ but nothing was working so I started chatting with a friend on the computer figuring that eventually he would chose to lay down on his own. He did! The result was a 60 pound golden retriever lying down on my neck and chest and a big cone blocking my view from the computer. I lifted the lap-top above my head and in as few words possible explained why I had to go. After all I had spent all day trying to get him to lie down, I was not about to tell him to move. So as carefully as possible I put my lap-top on the floor and readjusted my position to get a bit more comfortable. At some point in the night River decided that he needed to put his head on my head. This resulted in me getting stabbed with the edge of the e-collar or smacked in the face with it multiple times. Eventually River realized that if he curled up on my pillow he could place his head in such a way that the cone would be around my head too and he could rest his head on my head without hurting me. Needless to say, I did not get much sleep, and I think River got less. Although I was so happy that River did not get sick during the night. I took care of two dogs, one was neutered and one was spayed and both got quite sick during the night. A week and ½ latter River is doing a lot better with the e-collar. He is now crashing through door ways with out freaking out and he is able to lay down in any position. It only took him about 3 days to really get comfortable with it not freaking him out. River decided that he likes to shovel snow with it. He will shove his head into the snow piles and then fling snow in all directions. He has also figured out two ways to get it off enough for him to lick his belly. He crashes into walls and it pops apart or he will just pull the tab right out. River is feeling all better now and ready to go running, jumping etc, although the vet said no off leash play for 14 days so River needs a lot of mental stimulation to make up for his lack of strenuous exercise. We are currently working on saying yes and no and distinguishing size which I found a cool video on you tube for. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7bC0uyRk0c Any other suggestions for relatively mild tricks for post surgery? I was going to teach River to play chess, but I still have not gotten myself a chess set!