When you give a veterinarian a mouse suit, you know that any surgery on an anxious pup will turn out well.

Though you can imagine the tactic being used by pediatricians, Mike Farrell had a hunch that donning the huge grey and pink onesie-style outfit would be a big help with Rupert the Dalmatian, who needed an operation on his leg last week.

The suit smelled like Rupert’s owner, Sonya Schiff, who brought it along on the day of the surgery to help sooth the dog in Hertfordshire, England, after he previously showed signs of aggression whenever the vet tried to touch him.

On the day of the surgery for hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament problems, Schiff hoped that her smell could lull the devoted pet to sleep while he was in care, but when the ailing pooch was still too skittish to handle, Doc Farrell jumped into the costume himself.

The result—while looking ridiculous—proved highly effective, as Farrell was able to examine Rupert thoroughly before performing surgery on the ligament.


“As dogs have a superior sense of smell, 10,000 and 100,000 times better than people, their brain processes information in a very short period of time,” said Monika Kafno, a dog behaviorist who attended the surgery at Davies Veterinary Specialists. “This triggers an association of the smell with a particular experience or event in their life.”

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Ms. Schiff doesn’t know what the plush gray outfit will trigger in the future, since its brilliant use at the clinic, but surely these sweet photos will provide a lasting memory of the day Rupert got a new leash on life.

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