Editor’s note: Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? This article appeared in our August/September issue. Subscribe to Dogster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.
When I met the delightful Dr. Andy Roark this past year, he enthusiastically talked about his newly launched Cone of Shame with Dr. Andy Roark YouTube channel. Turns out this Greenville, South Carolina, veterinarian is also an improv comedy hobbyist with a passion for getting the word out on pet health issues.
Dr. Roark was inspired to create the video channel when an elderly couple brought in an extremely sick Bichon Frise. Because they were on a fixed income, they delayed in bringing in their adored dog, and the situation had become serious and much more expensive.
It was a scenario Dr. Roark was familiar with: Pet gets sick but hides illness and pet parents miss subtle signs; condition gets worse and pet parents notice but wait to see if it clears up; then illness becomes severe, pet parents take action, and it’s now a worst-case scenario.
“That’s where the idea for Cone of Shame came from,” said Dr. Roark. “If I can provide highly useful information in a short and entertaining format, then maybe pet owners will watch it before they need it.”
The videos run around five minutes and focus on the top three to five things pet parents should know about a specific topic. Humor is weaved throughout the show. “Humor takes some of the fear away and can destigmatize some of the more sensitive (or gross) topics,” he said. The channel gets more than 1,000 views per day, and it’s growing.
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About the author: Melissa L. Kauffman often goes by Mel to friends and canines alike. She lives in North Carolina with her two forever puppies, Tampa Bay and Justice; two feisty parrots, Deacon and Carlisle; a betta fish named Edgar Allan; and her husband, Scott. Mel is the senior editorial director for Catster and Dogster print magazines.