Nigel Jay Wiggins is in a funk.

My puppy isn’t hanging out with his two best dog pals. The gleam in his eyes, his playful curiosity, they’ve all but disappeared. Nigel no longer sleeps well at night. Instead, he wanders through the yard, bumping into walls and fences. He’s acting moody, even a little dopey.

Of course, all this is understandable. At eight months, it was time for a Nigel neutering, and a “no lick collar” cone, with all its restrictions, became a necessity.

Watching Nigel mope and bump around got me thinking about a stretch in my life when I behaved like a cone-head. I lost my curiosity for all the neat stuff around me. My two best friends stopped coming by. I stumbled around late at night, often bumping into things. The harder I attempted to feel normal and carefree, the less engaged and comfortable I became.

It was my first stint at getting drunk on a regular basis. It narrowed my vision and my options significantly at a time when I should have been dancing and prancing with youthful exuberance. There was so much for me to learn and explore, but my vision was limited.

I’m confident Nigel will be back to being his own sweet and curious self on Thursday when his klutzy cone can be removed and he can rejoin his pals. How good Nigel will feel when he breaks free and sees his limitless world once again.

As for me, I hope I never slip a cone back on my head. At any age, appreciating a full view of life’s landscape is a beautiful thing.