the smell of my desperation has become a stench

My Little Non-Pooper

The thing about our dog is, you see, our dog only poops on grass. And this is not something we necessarily trained him to do, to poop only on grass. In fact, I don’t know why someone would actually train their dog to poop only on grass. Because if someone like that ever got stuck in a place where there is no grass, like say, a gigantic parking lot in Ukiah, California, and their dog really needed to go poop, that dog would hold that poop so tightly and with such astounding determination that two days later when he finally did go poop, a miniature crystallized replica of Mount Rushmore, all four sets of eyes, noses and ears intact, would tumble out of his ass.

So the other day Chuck and I stepped outside to do our morning duties — I say “our” because I really want Chuck to feel that I’m on his team, that we’re in this together, all for one poop and one poop for all — and there was a thin layer of melting snow masking the ground. And Chuck who has never seen snow was handling the whole spectacle with uncharacteristic calm, but he couldn’t figure out what the hell had happened to all the grass. He knew he had seen it there yesterday, it was there yesterday, he had pooped right over there on the grass yesterday, look over there, for crying out loud!

So I tried walking him back and forth in the snow thinking we might expose little patches of grass underneath our footprints. And little by little we created a perfectly acceptable pooping strip, a little rectangle of frozen but eminently recognizable grass. And we circled and circled, inching ever closer toward our deliverables, when I remembered that not only does Chuck refuse to poop anywhere but on grass, he refuses to poop anywhere but on dry grass, as in, grass that isn’t wet.

And you know, I wasn’t about to wait two days for a little caramelized head of George Washington to pop out his little tightened sphincter. We weren’t going to wait for the snow to melt and the grass to dry, or for the stars to align in a peaceful pooping arrangement. Our team was going to poop, right there, right in the middle of the non-grass, even if it meant that I get down on my knees, wrap my arms around his belly, and I’m embarrassed to even admit this, squeeze.

And all I can say is, I really hope that the grass dries soon.

  • Tee

    2002/12/12 at 3:25 pm

    Did you just say “squeeze?”

    Yeah…I thought so.

    *shakes head*

  • ME

    2002/12/12 at 3:31 pm

    Chuck seems to have the same problems Dooce had a while ago. At least you didn’t need grass to squeeze one out. Mayhaps they make doggy laxatives?

  • Naaman

    2002/12/12 at 3:32 pm

    Neighbor: Is she squeezing her dog?
    Other Neighbor: Yeah, she’s squeezing alright.
    Neighbor: Yeah, that’s what I thought.
    Other Neighbor: Send her another “care package”.

  • Paul Gutman

    2002/12/12 at 3:47 pm

    my theory is that he’s in the holiday spirit and he wants you to have special “presents” in the summer time…hence the grass only thing.

  • heather

    2002/12/12 at 3:54 pm

    Poor Chuck. But aren’t all animals neurotic in their own ways?

  • LonelyGirl

    2002/12/12 at 4:05 pm

    I am so with you, Dooce. My dog developed this “only dry grass” syndrome herself. I live in New York, but we’re from Napa Valley and the first winter I was tempted to “squeeze” several times myself. Sticking to a strict schedule of feeding, walking and use of “command” words solved our teams problem. Good Luck to you both!

  • April

    2002/12/12 at 4:13 pm

    Too bad Chuck’s name isn’t Charmin.

  • Ex-liontamer

    2002/12/12 at 4:23 pm

    Silly Dooce! Just stop feeding the darling little bastard and your poop dilemma is solved.

  • Edsmonkey

    2002/12/12 at 4:40 pm

    OUr cross country trip was very simliar in one of our dawgs (the prissy bitch) refused to go for 3 days!
    Once we got into C Springs and to our temp apartment she ran for the border (of flowers) and took the worlds longest pee then proceeded to empty the contents of both upper and lower gi tracts as well as part of her cerebrum. Unfortunately the dumb baby doesn’t squat in one spot but hops all over the place which means I hafta go on the poop treasure hunt tracking down her trail of turds.

  • indigo boy

    2002/12/12 at 5:30 pm

    Call me a dooce virgin again and you’ll be wearing a nice fucking scarification tattoo. First time visitor. Crown yourself with a laurel wreath dooce. Just spent a jolly hour cruising your postings. And then it dawned on me: despite all the lost years spent in myriad interesting locales, I’ve never even come close to witnessing a scene that entails canine jism missle-ing in a heios arc through the open air of my neighborhood. Not even. Do you suppose Chuck wondered, “Why doesn’t testicle boy ever call?” And did scruffy still respect both of you in the morning? You have all the fun. Well I did get drunk once in Flint, Michigan and threw up up in the middle of the intersection of Dort and Saginaw roads. Tried to pass my shoesoles through my nostrils from the inside out. Memorable, but hardly the hyperion of life events. And even after living for the last nine years in LA, I’ve never once seen a bonifide movie star in public. Well, there was that fleeting glimpse of Diane Keaton at the Rose Bowl swap meet, but that doesn’t really count; someone else saw her first and had to point her out to me. Anyway. A fine afternoon it’s been. Domo arigato. I’ll smile out loud every time I hear that Beach Boys song, or Manfred Mann for that matter. Just be aware, you made me miss a deadline. If you do that again, I’ll busta cap on your hard drive. Creative kudos.

  • indigo boy

    2002/12/12 at 5:33 pm

    woooops. that’s helios.

  • The Deuce

    2002/12/12 at 5:33 pm

    um, does anyone else besides me think that dooce should have her reality tv show not she’s based in utah? even chuck’s crap is better than most of the…er…other crap on tv.

  • indigo boy

    2002/12/12 at 5:49 pm

    bonuhfide? bonerfied? whatever. my spelling is worse than what you tried to squeeze out of Chuck’s cheeks. oh well.

  • The Mighty Jimbo

    2002/12/12 at 5:59 pm

    Do they sell Pet-amucil? Probably not. I have a better suggestion: Astroturf.

  • Romi

    2002/12/12 at 6:01 pm

    my dog would only pee on piles on dried leaves.

  • indigo boy

    2002/12/12 at 6:09 pm

    Doggie depends, anyone?

  • Indigo Boy

    2002/12/12 at 6:25 pm

    Poochie Pampers, mebbe?

  • aj

    2002/12/12 at 6:51 pm

    In all seriousness, when we got a puppy the breeder suggested sticking an (unlit) matchstick “up there” to make him go before long car trips, etc. I remember trying it once… don’t remember if it actually worked, though. Was too traumatized about violating the dog.

  • dooce

    2002/12/12 at 6:54 pm

    indigo boy: usual consecutive comment allotment: 3.

  • Indigo boy

    2002/12/12 at 7:01 pm

    duly noted. thanks.

  • BadaBing

    2002/12/12 at 7:10 pm

    Jeez, why’d ya ever marry Chuck in the first place?

  • Sammas

    2002/12/12 at 7:20 pm

    Wouldn’t it be funny if humans had the same problem? No? Okay, I guess not.

  • dennis

    2002/12/12 at 7:42 pm

    I used to work with a guy who had serious problems using any washroom outside of his apartment. Only in the most absolute emergencies would he consider using a washroom at, say, a friend’s place. Public washrooms were out of the question completely. Never asked him about dry grass…

  • Shanni

    2002/12/12 at 8:22 pm

    Wow – I was going to tell you about the unlit match trick but AJ beat me to it! I know some blind people who need their guide dogs to poop before “working” so they use that and supposedly it works. My Beagle, Desmond, went through a phase for about two weeks where he would ONLY poop at the dog park. So he would hold it and hold and when we finally got to the dog park he would poop three times. Like these big, huge horse looking poops. Dogs are weird.

  • ryan

    2002/12/13 at 1:11 am

    ahhh! Hmm somehow I imagine you getting the hairdryer out and using it on the grass!

  • Igor

    2002/12/13 at 1:21 am

    Buy : double-walled glass container, big enough to fit 1 canine of the approximate size of the abovementioned Chuckles times 2.
    Do: insert said canine in inner glass tube and seal container;
    reduce airpressure to vacuum in outer glass shell (needs to be larger than volume of inner shell);
    execute explosive decompression of the inner shell. Air will rush out. Canine will burp at front end, release poop at rear end.
    Proceed to clean inner shell.
    Reset system for future use.

  • niurope

    2002/12/13 at 3:29 am

    i’m so glad i don’t have any pets.

  • daisy

    2002/12/13 at 3:43 am

    That is just too much love!

  • Heather #2

    2002/12/13 at 4:56 am

    OK, so I’m trying to picture this. Where, exactly, was your head during the actual squeeze??? Did you have to, like, straddle him and face forward? Or did you have your entire facial region down near the little Chuckie pooping portal?

  • Funtime Ben

    2002/12/13 at 5:02 am

    Igor, I am both appalled and impressed. Inner glass shell complete, now putting final touches on outer.

    Any recommendations for holiday gatherings with family?

  • feelafel

    2002/12/13 at 5:21 am

    When Chuck eventually gets over the “no-grass, no-go” thing – which will happen, I assure you – I’ll wager that you and he will both miss the wintertime when the grass re-appears in the spring. For him, it affords the opportunity to dig fun holes and fill them with crap. For you, it affords the opportunity to kick small mounds of snow over said holes, whistle innocently and mosey on off on your way.

  • Beerzie Boy

    2002/12/13 at 5:30 am

    As a father of three late-to-using the toilet boys, let me say that this story proves that you are qualified for motherhood. (For you to attain your Barf Credentials, I will need to see more evidence of readiness.)

  • Kerry

    2002/12/13 at 5:47 am

    Dooce: Astroturf. This is key.

  • Michelle

    2002/12/13 at 6:10 am

    My little dog is the same way about pooping on the snow. She’s just not having it. When we had five inches last week I had to dig out a patch of grass for her to do her business on. Thank god she doesn’t have an issue with wet grass or we’d be in serious trouble.

  • PJ

    2002/12/13 at 6:22 am

    I’m sure Chuck will eventually not be able to hold it and come forth with the long-awaited poop. There are, however, a few good things about winter pooping: 1) It freezes, so the urgency to do daily poop patrols in the yard is gone until either springtime or a thaw 2) No kids playing in the yard, therefore further reducing the urgency to pick up (not that I do it anyway) 3) It will snow again, leaving a pristine white expanse that conveniently hides the daily doodoos 4) your yard be polka-dotted come spring! It breaks down into your own house brand of fertilizer and little spots of a brighter, greener, healthier turf create the pleasantly random, polka-dot former poop-patch pattern.

    I don’t even want to think how the blind people locate where to put that match for that nifty trick.

  • bucci

    2002/12/13 at 6:40 am

    Back before the farm, when I used to walk Max, I could tell he was about ready because he would walk faster and faster and in tighter and tighter circles and then – well – parts would start to pucker and turn odd colors and then… I would always give it a silent chuckle. But it really is always a team effort. I *love* poop stories.

  • Igor

    2002/12/13 at 6:44 am

    Funtime Ben :
    Family fun. Fill inner shell with Helium gas. Follow same procedure as mentioned before. Do this with family members who can appreciate some high-tech fun.
    For family members who’ve forgotten your birthday or made snide remarks about your girlfriend : feed them with a richly spiced chilli dish, invite them into inner shell. Apply overpressure to inner shell before executing explosive decompression. Warning : eardrums may burst.

  • Angelique

    2002/12/13 at 6:58 am

    this will come back to haunt you, dooce. years from now when you and jon are sitting around chatting with the boyfriend of your teenage daughter, jon has the full capacity to mention that you are a doggie squeezer. dude, best of luck. these things pop up when you least expect it. and may i also say that your tenacity at the health and well being of your pooch will definately prove beneficial when kids come around. however, i do not think the DYFS will approve of baby squeezing. HEY!! i just thought of something…. if you have a collick-y baby, vigorously rubbing their back helps ease things along….. hm…. maybe some heavy petting of chuck could help. bon chance.

  • Brent

    2002/12/13 at 6:58 am

    That dog is obviously a born-and-bred Angeleno.
    dry grass.

  • Vera

    2002/12/13 at 7:38 am

    Indigo Boy: It’s bonna fied.

  • Tom

    2002/12/13 at 8:09 am

    Shanni said: I know some blind people who need their guide dogs to poop before “working” so they use that and supposedly it works.

    I’ve got a very unpleasant picture in my head of blind people attempting to find the, um, orifice in which to insert the match.

  • peggy

    2002/12/13 at 8:22 am

    Oh thanks a lot, dooce. Mountain Dew through my nose again. It’s good to know other people read their dog’s sphincter, too, though.

  • garrett

    2002/12/13 at 8:25 am

    Dogs are weird. We had a dog who only liked to poop on concrete or asphalt, avoiding grass whenever possible. And while grass seemed yucky to him somehow, one of his favorite pasttimes was running into the mountains and finding dead things to roll in.

  • rhapsodie

    2002/12/13 at 8:25 am

    you just need to teach him to eliminate on command

  • propagandist

    2002/12/13 at 8:27 am

    i should be so lucky.

    my dogs are nothing but colons with fur. i do not know how they can produce a greater volume of shit than the food i give them.

  • Spelling Nazi

    2002/12/13 at 9:08 am

    Bona fide.

  • PJ again

    2002/12/13 at 9:14 am

    This poop fixation is good practice for when you have that kidlet. The progeny’s poop will become a major topic of conversation and fascination: the frequency, the consistency, the size, shape, color, and yes, even the odor. One of my sons (offhand, I cannot remember which one , thank goodness those days are over), was a self-constipator from the early years. He wouldn’t go for days on end (we counted), and then would eventually grunt out a few freeze-dried Raisinettes. And he wondered why his stomach hurt.

  • Kevin

    2002/12/13 at 10:12 am

    Ah, yes. I can be like that sometimes.

  • jess

    2002/12/13 at 10:18 am

    propagandist: i fear my dog has the same problem as yours. fucking sucks, doesn’t it? i have no idea how to stop. we’ve tried so many different kinds of food, nothing changes the amount of shit he dumps out. gah.

    then again, i guess if we weren’t complaining about large amounts of dog poop we’d be complaining about the lackthereof. there’s no way to win.

  • Sarah B.

    2002/12/13 at 10:41 am

    My favorite part here is that someone actually had to specify that the match be UNLIT.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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