• Jodie

    To a previous reader: I’ve got a harness that hooks into the seat belt to use as a doggie safety belt. I don’t take my Jack Russell for many rides as he HATES riding in the car with a passion. He’s now a retired dog at age 17, so the less torture, the better to keep him around a bit longer.

    Heather, Chuck sounds like a wonderfully patient dog… and I love the Daily Chuck. Leta must be warming up to having dog if she’s now talking about him. I know she’s a handful, but I love your Leta stories. I’m just glad that I don’t have a toddler, just a young playful cat and an old retired dog.

  • Betty

    My cat will just stare and stare and stare as if bemused by the whole shebang. Once, she jumped on the boyfriend’s back to make it all stop. Her nails dug right in and I thought I was doing an excellent job!

  • http://www.lift-magazine.com Tanya Ryno

    In regard to OUTSOURCED CARING: I don’t use those machines for one reason — although I could name many reasons — but the main reason I don’t use those machines … they take away jobs from people who need them!

  • Not Jennie, not Jennie at all. Someone else.

    Yeah, jealousy issues and doing THIS and THAT: I had a kitten who bonded with me too well. He liked to sit on the bed veryveryclose and watch crankily during, well, acts that left much of me exposed and girlfriend unable to see the cat. Our fear of Catboy’s tiny sharp claws and tiny sharp teeth kind of put a damper on things. Things the people at BYU would not approve of.

  • http://caramamamia.blogspot.com caramama

    I’m really impressed that you are walking Chuck every day! We always say we are going to start walking our dog every day, and maybe we even start for a day or two, but it inevitably fizzles.

    And when we do “this” and “that,” the dog goes in her crate. That does not mean she stays there quietly. Nope, she whines like the hound dog she is, especially if we are, shall we say, noisy. It really dampers the mood.

    Love your blog, Leta and Chuck! Thanks for making my day with every post!

  • http://deepthoughtsfuzzymemories.blogspot.com/ Terri

    As the “mommy” of four dogs – who all end up in the bed (the other night I woke up and my husband was sleeping on a 1″ camping mat on the floor and all four dogs were in the bed with me) Sounds to me like Leta has the subject for her first children’s book. Chuck, the dog who lives in the car. Chuck could have all these adventures, going to drop Leta at school, going to the grocery, GOING TO PETCO (where he can actually go into the store!) Maybe in your spare time, in between ‘this’ and ‘that’ you could write Chuck’s childrens books.

  • http://www.digitalcatharsis.com the mighty jimbo

    i am totally the crazy dog person.

    “josh the dog” goes with me everywhere. the back of my pathfinder has been converted to a dog house, with bed, food, water, toys, and leash located there at all times. he is on a first name basis with all the people at our favorite sushi place, he has met most everyone inside of a three block radius, and the dry cleaner wonders where he is if i pick up my shirts without him. he is usually greeted well before i am at neighborhood barbeques.

    he’s currently next to me in mckinney, texas (he’s made the flight three times now and is heading back again in three weeks). he’s been to arizona a half dozen times, utah at least once, vegas four times, and has been to more national parks than some park rangers.

    he does not, however, wear clothing despite the relentless peer pressure from people who humiliate their dogs by dressing them like princess leia.

    oh who am i kidding. as if josh would care. how dignified can a dog be if he eats poop?

  • cathy

    I love this blog.

  • Carrie

    I really just read the comments for all the, “Not to say you’re a terrible parent, BUT you’re a TERRIBLE PARENT.”

    So far we have a spat over dog-seatbelts and/or inalienable rights, but the Hydra of Parenting-Style Criticism has yet to appear.

    I’ll wait. Patiently. Like Linus and the Great Pumpkin, the Hydra of Parenting-Style Criticism will only appear if you truly believe (in ridiculous people making acidic critiques of a stranger’s life, based solely upon humorous essays on a personal website).

  • Z

    I used to take my dog with me every morning to the McD’s drive-thru because they would give her free doggie biscuits. She loved those outings so much she would FREAK OUT when she heard the car keys jingling. After she died, every time I picked up my keys, I would ache not to see her run to the door.

    NOW who’s the crazy dog person?

  • http://napangel.typepad.com/maxgus/ Ann

    I also love how you bring things full circle. I don’t want to blather – but, Heather, I just love your writing. Yours is the only site I read religiously every day.

  • Heather

    Just wanted to say I love your site and all of the new changes. I’ve been a reader for a couple of years now and I’ve loved every post and picture. Keep up the good work!!!

    As for the this and that, my dog Charlie likes to whine outside the door, talk about mood killer.

  • http://texas2tennesse.blogspot.com Mocha’s Mom

    The bank, post office, dry cleaners, pharmacy, grocery store, etc… are all stocked with dog biscuits to dole out whenever I drive up with the brown one in the front seat. It’s like Halloween everyday!

    I do, however, draw the line when the four-legged ones want to participate in the ‘this’ and ‘that.’ Cold wet nose in the butt crack is alarming!

  • http://www.startingfromhere.com Natalie

    How do you turn what should be one sentence (my dog rides in the car), into several very witty and funny paragraphs? That was GREAT!

  • thenshewaslike

    My parents’ dogs LOVE to ride in the car. They get as excited about that as they do about going for a walk.

    I only have cats, and I once had to drive them over 1,000 miles as part of a move. I’d read about it before I tried it, and some people strongly advocated letting their kitties free range in the car. So after 4 hours of pitiful crying from one cat and claws of death from the other every time I went for the cupholder (I put them in the passenger seat so they could see me which was supposed to help keep them calm. That didn’t work either.), I tried it.

    And wouldn’t you know, the only places in my large American car they wanted to be was on my head, on the dashboard immediately in front of me, or next to me looking out the driver’s side window. And the pitiful crying did not stop. They desperately wanted to be left by the side of a highway in Indiana in an ice storm, apparently. Never again.

  • Kathryn

    Love the site. Love the story. Keep it up.


    Someone may have mentioned it already, but the BYU pages now sport a note about how they’re experiencing a high volume of traffic. It is not obvious that the bishops have already called an urgent meeting? Agenda: Heather B. Armstrong’s eternal damnation. Finger sandwiches will be served.

  • Nattie

    Awesome, as always :) Yay for Chuck.

  • Elizabeth

    That was completely hilarious.

  • http://www.almostvegetarian.com Almost Vegetarian

    We are about to get a dog. And she can come with us everywhere we go. And even if my husband objects, she can be in the same room when he does this and I do that.

    Just as long as she isn’t looking.


  • http://the-coffeehouse.blogspot.com queenie

    I [heart] Chuck. So maybe the next step would be for Leta to bring him to show and tell.

    Or not.

  • Lyndsey

    I always love to read your Leta and Chuck stories because they are so similar to our Chloe and Tico stories. When we first brought home Tico, a 3 pound fluffy chihuahua, my daughter would bound from the sofa to the chair to the coffee table ninja style in an effort to never touch the ground because she was convinced that “TICO IS GOING TO GET ME!!!!!!!!”

  • http://heelprintsinthesand.com Jennine

    And this, Heather, is EXACTLY why I am compulsive about checking for your latest and greatest post. My husband will never understand why I get out of bed, even in the middle of sex, because OMG I haven’t checked Dooce in the last hour and if I don’t get my Dooce fix, even my orgasm is meaningless.

    You have a website only every mother can love.

  • Muri the Wiener Dog

    SHOW ME CHUCKS TITTZ!!!!!!!!!!!! …please?

  • coleenmck


    jk but i gotta say, if we were in middle school i would be so annoyed at the “im first!!” students. seriously. but hey, it takes all types, right?

    p.terrys in austin texas gives out doggie treats when you order from their drive-thru. LOVE IT, LOVE THEM, LOVE ATX!

    keep on rockin in the free world.

  • http://blog.scalejunkie.com Scale Junkie

    We are teaching Sadie to drive, Maxx feels driving is beneath him and won’t be subjected to such subservient nonsense.

  • http://www.superpsychomagnet.com Walter Bean

    You’re not crazy. If I could take my dog everywhere with me I would. Instead she has to stay in a pen when I’m not home. She still finds the means to destroy stuff but she’s even cuter when I get back.


  • Brandy

    You are not officially a crazy dog person unless you and John have a voice you use when your talking for Chuck…like one day you imagined if he could talk it would sound like this.
    Because then you are in the same league of crazy dog person as me and mine and if you take it even further you will find yourself in public with people around saying “this one time our dog said…” and you won’t even realise it.

    THAT is crazy dog person. NOT that I do any of that..ever.

  • Lara

    I’ve been reading this site for god, years now, ever since I started my job with a real office with a real door that SHUTS and I’m not required to stay on work-related web pages all day. At least not required in my mind.

    Anyway, I come to your site constantly and it’s my all time favorite thing on the entire internet. I adore your stories and your writing style and your kid and husband and dog, as well as your honesty and elegance when you talk about things that are more serious.

    And to whoever was dissing dog seatbelts – really, all dogs should be harnessed in the car. If you get in an accident, they become big heavy projectiles that can easily kill you, and they will almost certainly die when they fly through the windsheild. That being said, my dog doesn’t. He likes to pace around the back seat and ask for this window to be rolled down now this one now this one now this one please!

    Great post!

  • http://www.roughtext.com sanya

    i love dogs. my father never let me have one when i was growing up, and now my apartment building doesn’t allow them. guess i’ll have to wait till grad school. :(

  • http://gigiredefined.typepad.com/denver Gigi Griffis

    We used to take our dog on short trips with us in the car. Until he decided that getting in the driver’s lap would be a fun game, and getting on the floor near the gas pedal would be an even more fun game…

  • http://shhville.wordpress.com Sloth

    Aaangh……..I love it. I take my dog everywhere with me – and I take public transport! Every day, twice a day, on the bus to and from work. I even take her to the grocery store with me. I just pop her in my purse and no one even knows.

    I don’t think I could fit Chuck in my purse….

  • Jennifer

    Your dog lives in your car. My daughter had a sister that lived in our attic. According to her 2 year old self. That was a fun one to explain to the teachers….

  • jenny

    its all fun and games until the fact that chuck has a tail disturbs leta so much she rips it off.

  • http://www.sylvied.wordpress.com sylvie

    Your Leta is a strong minded individual…and obviously challenging, you describe it so well she reminds me a bit of my son but I have not managed to put it into words yet, everything he does shocks me and makes me laugh..but I think I am still in the shock phase…
    he is 18! (only joking).

  • http://wieslaw.com Wieslaw

    I like the new layout of your blog. The divorce of the text from the picture allows for precise formatting of each. No more struggling with text wrapping. Thank you for the idea. It looks great! I read you every day.

  • http://ttoler.encblogs.com/ timmi

    YEAY! We can comment!
    Our dog can’t stand it if we go anywhere without her. Ever. She’s pissed and throwing things by the time we get back if we don’t take her with us. Thank GOD she doesn’t read your blog and find out that Chuck lives in your car (or almost). There’d be nothing left to the back yard. Love you, your blog and your sweet posts! You make my day!

  • http://short-stack.net whitney

    i take my loki a lot of places with me in the car. this is mostly because i think she has separation anxiety. when i don’t take her places and i just leave the apartment, she tears up everything she can get her dirty paws on. so i guess she’ll have to get used to waiting on me to get out of the tanning bed.

    i bet leta’s teacher gets a kick out of her. she’s gonna be a pistol when she’s older.

  • http://www.mydogwontbite.com sarah

    isn’t it funny how they become more loyal when you walk them more?

    i wish it worked that way with men.

    just last night i was telling my boyfriend how ever since i got sanger a dog walker twice a week and have been making sure she gets out with me every single dingle day, that we’ve connected again.


    long live the crazy dog persons of this world. i truly believe we make it a better place. :)

  • Ricki

    I just wonder if Leta’s teacher is the last person on earth who doesn’t know you write the famous dooce blog? The last person on earth that isn’t well acquainted with Chuck and Jon and Heather and Leta and George? Unbelieveable!

  • wigwag

    My dog Mike likes to bark during this & that. Very loudly. Right in our ears. I try to think that he’s cheering his favorite team on to victory (a game where both sides win!), but it doesn’t really help. My husband’s strategy, I think, is to do it so often that Mike will get bored. I’m not sure how successful that strategy will be, but my husband is very enthusiastic about it, so…

    Btw, Mike’s an Australian Shepherd and there was a previous post about their tails – only some are born naturally bobbed; most have them docked like schnauzers, Rottweilers, etc. Just thought I’d pass that along.

  • ChloeM

    Grew up in SoCal and my mother never went anywhere without at least 3 of 5 kids and 2 of 3 dogs. They were great company when (in the good old days) she’d leave us in the car while she went in to grocery shop, and my older brother would terrorize the younger chillun by claiming that if he depressed the gas pedal, the car would blow up.

    Our current dog Gus – yellow Lab – keeps us entertained by energetically cradling his bed between his legs and humping the hell out of it. Almost feel like lighting up a smoke when he tires of this. He’s no fun in a vehicle though. He paces back and forth and yodels.

  • Tracy

    I work at home and need an excuse to get out of the house some days so I take my dog through drive through all the time when I go out for a cup of coffee. The dog usually barks when I give my order to the speaker. Apparently I’m not the only one taking my dog out for coffee because the girl working the drive through has a bucket of dog treats and always hands one out before she hands out my coffee.

  • Rebekah

    My sister, when my brother was born:

    But he has a THINGEEEEEEEEEE!!!

  • Eaine

    Has Chuck ever considered re-running for government. Seriously…..I think he’d win in the upcoming elections.

  • mejustme

    My dog Kiesha bows to chuck. The most viewed dog around. Gee, and I thought mine was the attention whore/most neurotic dog.
    Kiesha decided yesterday to think ahead to her death. Even though she is barely 15 months old, she dug a 3 foot deep whole so we can easily bury her..just in case. She then threw herself at the back door with mud splattering in a 6 foot circle to ensure I understood she was being neglected. Then proceeded to shake in the house when let in.
    She looked at me like I was crazy when I told her to get in that bathtub or I WILL use that damn hole..NOW!! She’s lucky I love her to no end…

  • http://www.myspace.com/oasistina Tina

    I always wish I could bring my cat to work. He’s so cute and hilarious that I know everyone would love him.

    But some people have “allergies.”


  • http://weevilmaw.livejournal.com/ Andi

    I am from Texas.(stop laughing) Many farmers and ranchers here take their dogs to work with them. My husband is one that does not,sadly.

    However, our 12 yr old daughter is getting a puppy for Christmas and I can only hope to get to chauffeur the dear furball of cuteness around. I chauffeur the kids around, why not the dog?

    Just hope my 6 yr old takes to the dog. She detests my mother’s standard poodle but I’m thinking that’s just because it’s a freaking poodle.

    It’s so great to be able to comment.

  • cb

    How is it that Leta’s teacher doesn’t know that you’re an Internet phenomenon and that, if she wanted to, without breaking any laws, she could know much, much more than whether or not you have a dog?

    I mean, I understand that not everyone is an obsessive cyberstalker of random families in Utah, and that there is life outside of the Internet, but it’s just cracks me up that this is so.

    All she has to do is Google leta armstrong dog and there you go.

    Also, Chuck is (or was, anyway) sponsored by HP and has his own high-quality wall calendar. Does that make you a crazy dog person? I don’t know. Does it make Chuck the awesomest mutt on the planet? I think so.

  • Gabip

    Our dog goes “bye bye car” with us all the time, every time, she is part of the family. We even drive her through McDonald’s every Sunday for her weekly cheeseburger, hold the pickls thank you very much. Woof!

  • http://scrappinjenny.blogspot.com Jennifer

    When I was a teenager my mother and step-father acquired a mini poodle from some old lady who couldn’t take care of it anymore. Her name was Missy and I loved her like mad. She was just small and sweet and loved it when I took her for rides in the car.

    On one particular ride with Missy I went through this local drive through called the Drive-thru Dairy. They sold milk, bread and other assorted items that you might need but not want to get out of the car to get. When I got up to the window to pay the cashier saw Missy and said “Would you like a treat for your dog?” I said sure, why not, she’d love it. They proceeded to hand me this Milk Bone biscit that was as big as she was. I gave Missy the treat when we got home and she looked at me like I had grown a second head. If she could have spoken I’m pretty sure she would have said “This is a joke, right?”

    Anyway…the point I’m trying to make is that you driving Chuck everywhere isn’t weird at all. Everyone I know who has a dog does this. They drive their dogs to the store, to pick the kids up from school and mostly just because dogs like it.