the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Chuck Talk

I know it’s at least an hour before your alarm usually goes off, but I want out of here, not for any particular reason, not because I have to use the bathroom, because I don’t, and when you let me out I’m just going to sit there idiotically. I just want to be out there. I’ve tried shuffling around violently all morning, and that hasn’t worked. The exasperated sighs aren’t getting my point across either. It’s definitely time to start whimpering.

You respond to whimpering. If I were to start crying, which is a notch louder than whimpering, you might yell at me in that annoying accent, and I hate it when you do that. That may shut me up for a couple minutes, tops, but I know you can’t resist my forlorn, almost imperceptible whimpers, especially when I arrange them in groups of three with an emphasis on the last syllable: whihhh, whihhh, whihhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. [dramatic pause] ….whihhh, whihhh, whihhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I can go louder if I have to.


I know you’ve got work to do, and I can totally sense the fact that you could bend a lead pipe with the force of your tightened sphincter, but I need some “me” time. I’m bored, and I need you to entertain me. No, I don’t want that bone, that bone just sits there. And that ball doesn’t throw itself, now does it.

I’ve been patient all morning, and I’m at a point where I’m either going to start pacing or whimpering, and I might try a combination of both. You don’t believe me? Are you kidding? Just for that I’m goint to pace, whimper, and intermittently rest my pathetic head on your leg, all in the same cycle.

And you know how I ususally pace in a line that goes in and out of the room? This time I’m going to pace in a circle around your desk, around and around and around, inching ever closer to your chair until I’m sitting on your feet and leaning into your legs with the entire weight of my body. And I’m going to whimper so forcibly that I’m going to hyperventilate and drool a shallow puddle under your chair.

You obviously don’t love me.

You’ve never loved me.


I know when we go to your friends’ house that I’m supposed to leave that one guy alone. But that guy obviously doesn’t like me and I think he needs to like me. I know that everyone else in the room likes me, but that one guy needs the most attention. When he’s sitting across the room from me I can tell that he wants me to run and jump into his lap and lick his face with my hairy sewer breath. He likes that. He may not like me, but I know he likes it when I put my cold, stinky paws up his shirt and when I sneeze on his pizza. And I know he loves it when I nibble his 3-yr old son’s nose. I think that by the time we leave tonight he will like me, especially after I stick my wet nose on the monitor of his new PowerBook. Those PowerBooks smell good.


I know you don’t love me, but your Mom loves me, and if I go sit next to her at the table and look at her with that worry wrinkle face she will give me an entire bulk package of Costco beef jerky, one piece at a time, even though you told her not to feed me things like that. And then I will go downstairs and stand in the middle of your bed and throw up every last bit, including my breakfast and the sausage crumbs I found on the floor in Granny’s room, one heaving, steaming chunk at a time. Will you love me then?

  • antisocial diva

    2003/03/20 at 7:38 am

    sounds just like my spenser. when he cries, i have to stop whatever i am doing and give him attention. and they (he and the kitties) get more treats from my mom than from anyone else. *sigh* i want a million more. i do. they make everything worthwhile.

  • mbc

    2003/03/20 at 7:40 am

    so right it’s scary.

    my dog max: If I eat all the toilet paper and then hack it up in pieces strewn about the living room, will you love me then?

  • allisonic

    2003/03/20 at 7:49 am

    Dooce, you should dress Chuck up in ridiculous doggie outfits again to bring him down a notch.
    And, I beg you, take pictures!

  • bit2byte

    2003/03/20 at 8:09 am

    It’s a dogs life, Dooce. Chuck is so very fortunate that you are able to express his feelings so articulately ~ speaking “dog” and translating it right , you could get a job at the UN. Imagine Ambassador Chuck sitting there with one of those earpieces and your voice translating exactly why he is barking at Secretary Powell.
    BTW ~ I love the colors on the site. Very vintage and soothing. Just what my mood needed.

  • Jenny

    2003/03/20 at 8:48 am

    My -cat- Max:
    I know you’re stumbling drunk into your parents house an hour after you told them you’d be home, trying to be as quiet but possible, but I’m hungry. And since I’m not getting that point across by weaving between your shaky legs with every step you take, I’m gonna let you know vocally, with the loudest, most annoying sounder I can muster out of my self-centered female body. What’s that? Dad’s gotten out of bed? I’m outta here, for now, but you’ll see me and my stinky paws, and my “goodmorning” meow in a few hours, while your head is pounding and you’re rotting in your bed. Love ya!!

  • lee

    2003/03/20 at 8:48 am

    Ok, holy coincidence. I just got back from my grocery trip, and while walking there I passed by a restaurant with a bad name. And I said to myself, I shit you not, “The worst possible restaurant name would be ‘The Danger Zone’. Every time I would pass in front of it I would be forced to sing that awful song. At least it’s not called that.”

    I’m not kidding. I have no idea why I thought it, but now it’s really starting to freak me out.
    (by the way, this comment was sparked by the “How to Annoy Me” section, not by Chuck. For anybody that is wondering what the hell I’m talking about.)

  • melanie

    2003/03/20 at 8:50 am

    my cat rudy: if i sit at your feet and whine pitifully while you’re working at your desk, then take a big, vicious bite out of your hand when you reach down to pet me, will you love me then?

  • Jory

    2003/03/20 at 8:51 am

    Yes! Yes! What *was* Chuck so angrily growling in Colin’s ear?!

    Also, that Scarygirl site is just too cool. Too cool for sure.

  • windowsill wendy

    2003/03/20 at 8:55 am

    My mom refers to my basset hound as her “grandpuppy.” Ellie can wheedle table scraps from her like nobody’s business, too. It’s to droopy, sad face. Just wait ’til you have kids.

  • Dawn

    2003/03/20 at 8:56 am

    My room mate actually pays to see a “pet psychic” to find out what her dog and cats are thinking. I’m going to just start sending her to you. Did you know you can make a killing with doggy empathy like that?

  • joy

    2003/03/20 at 9:10 am

    Why do they always have to vomit on your bed? or your favorite chair? or….

  • Miss Mea-Mea

    2003/03/20 at 9:24 am

    Not to be outdone, my cat wants to say:

    You just don’t understand, do you? I HAVE to eat your dinner with you. It’s my duty as watchcat to protect you, and that entails tasting every single morsel of food that you put in your mouth.

    You might turn your back on me, but I know cunning ways of sneaking up from the other side and casually inching my butt closer and closer and waiting for that one moment when you have let your guard down, and then I will quickly put my paw out and knock the spoon from your hand.

    Don’t try feeding me my own special portion. I know the poison is in YOUR portion, and I’ve just got to have it.

    Just let me lick it once, that will render the poison harmless. Then you can eat it, okay? I’ll leave it right here on the carpet for you.

  • webgrrlie

    2003/03/20 at 9:32 am

    after too many years, hubby and i kicked molly and daisy out of the bed (and the bedroom) about three weeks ago. now every morning, daisy greets me at about 2:30am with that same “whihhh, whihhh, whihhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…[dramatic pause] …whihhh, whihhh, whihhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” that chuck does. i’m a huge fan of that, let me tell you. especially at that godforsaken hour of the night. bitch.

  • the propagandist

    2003/03/20 at 9:59 am

    funny, i was petting the hound the other day and she just looked up and said:

    “dog is a rope stretched across the abyss.”

    i gotta start keeping them locked out of my library.

  • Morgan

    2003/03/20 at 10:13 am

    Oohhhh Chuck! I got through the entire post thinking it was Jon.

    / kidding

  • Leslie

    2003/03/20 at 10:23 am

    Does he chew on everything in sight? Because that is a true sign of love.

  • Mervis

    2003/03/20 at 11:04 am

    Damn funny. Laughed so hard I peed a little when I read it!
    Do Chuck’s feet smell like Frito’s?

  • Matt

    2003/03/20 at 11:09 am

    Our Lab Hershey has the following wonderful habits:
    ~Waking me up every day, including Saturday, by standing on her back legs, front paws slowly clawing their way across the bed, until they are suddenly perched right next to my head, then whimpering and breathing dog morning breath in my face. The dog never goes to my wife’s side of the bed, by the way.
    ~Grabbing mouthfulls of whatever “home improvement materials” may be available at the moment, and spreading them into other rooms in the house, despite gates and barriers placed in her path. This past weekend, it was fiberglass insulation. And it was instantly ALL OVER the living room. Mind you, I’m working on the master bedroom, and only found out about the living room when my wife yelled for me to come assist in the joyous cleanup efforts. Nothing like fiberglass insulation in the carpet, on the couch, and all over the drapes. Yippee.
    ~Digging a moat around our house.
    ~Barking at invisible burgulars, or gnats, or whatever it is she is barking at.
    ~Many more.

    Despite these “quirks” we still love her dearly. If only she could learn to run the vacuum cleaner…

  • Valkyrie9

    2003/03/20 at 11:22 am

    And have you ever found yourself yelling, “We don’t eat found objects!” in the vacant lot behind the Barnes & Noble. I swear our dogs are going to eat a syringe one day. Anything unrecognized goes right down the hatch.

  • Tremorr

    2003/03/20 at 11:41 am

    What doesn’t kill them makes them fuller.

  • Chrissy

    2003/03/20 at 11:46 am

    Mervis, I know this was directed towards Dooce and Chuck; but my dog, Max’s feet always smell like fritos. Why? I don’t know.

  • Jeffo

    2003/03/20 at 11:54 am

    YES! More people need to know about the Postal Service! (See Listening To:)

  • bdk&e

    2003/03/20 at 12:14 pm

    I was wondering if you would notice his peculiar social behavior. When we were dating and would have a group of people over, he would mid-sentence, get up, go to his room and read a book. –We love your dog. He reminds us of one 3 year old who could write a book of reasons why he must stay up, “just three more minutes.”

  • Eva

    2003/03/20 at 1:07 pm

    I think your dogs evil twin was visiting me last week. I had to “Babysit” my friends dog. One of those Pomereatanythings. That stupid thing refused to poop anywhere but on my livingroom carpet. Made me want to get a cat.

  • aubs

    2003/03/20 at 1:16 pm

    My cats have taken over my computer and wanted to say:

    Will you love me when I sit all 20 lbs. of recently-litterboxed-butt on your face at 2am? Or when I awaken at 3am, clearly a product of low-blood sugar as I have been diagnosed as a carb-addicted cat, and knock off every single item on the dresser? How about at 4am when I decide I need to eat, NOW, and step on the CD alarm clock, turning it on? Is “Goddammit, SULLIVAN!” the same as “I Love you?”

  • Jane

    2003/03/20 at 1:17 pm

    I had a poodle and he was the sweetest guy and yet he was the master of blackmail. He was quite vengeful, too. If I left him alone for a couple of hours he would leave me a little “present”. There’s nothing like getting home at 3 in the morning to step into your little “present” be it puke or poop.
    How I miss having a dog.

  • George's mom

    2003/03/20 at 1:24 pm

    My cat George:
    If I walk across your iBook’s keyboard with all 20(!) lbs of me, carefully making sure my paws hit the correct keystroke combo to fuck up your shit, will you pet me then?

  • Paula

    2003/03/20 at 1:59 pm

    Hey at least he is not like my lab Garth, I have to push him across the kitchen floor while he is laying there with my feet. I think he thinks he is on a playground swing and I have to push him. It is hilarious. He just lays there while I push him across the whole kitchen floor with my feet. Or he has to ride in the front seat of the car, the 90 pounder will cry until he gets his way.

  • peggy

    2003/03/20 at 2:20 pm

    Cody sits next to me when I’m trying to write, and like a little machine pokes my leg with his nose, over and over and over. Talk about a little pecker… I’ve decided the sound effect for this is: doink. doink. doink. (etc.)

  • Paul

    2003/03/20 at 2:36 pm

    when i lived at home with my parents, every time it thundered from a storm he would jump on my mom’s bed and take a piss. even worse is that it was a water bed. i was told it’s a golden retriever thing to be frightened of the storms.

  • nicole

    2003/03/20 at 3:06 pm

    Chrissy – my feet often smell like corn chips. I don’t know what it is.

  • EC

    2003/03/20 at 4:08 pm

    Wow, I thought you were writing about my two-year-old.

  • SuSu

    2003/03/20 at 4:12 pm

    OMG…. Dooce Is that “Pink Tower” by Spode in your mast head??? That is totally my china pattern I have been collecting it since I was 10….. I can’t believe Dooce has my china on her site… I don’t even really like it anymore it is piled in boxes in my dad’s garage but if it is cool enough for the Dooce maybe I need to break it out again…

  • Kevynn Malone

    2003/03/20 at 5:11 pm

    Ladies and gentlemen…I present to you…George W. Bush.


  • .Dot.

    2003/03/20 at 5:24 pm

    When was American Idol Pre-empted?


  • Rebecca

    2003/03/20 at 6:04 pm

    aww.. puppy love

  • Michele

    2003/03/20 at 6:52 pm

    My cats feet smell like fritos too! By the way…what makes us compelled to shove our noses in their soft, pink toe pads? 🙂

  • Hilatron

    2003/03/21 at 3:39 am

    The Stupendous WedgeCat says:
    Am I allowed jump up on the desk now?

    How about now?

    How about now?

    How about now?

    Okay then, I’ll just bite your legs instead.

  • Igor

    2003/03/21 at 5:03 am

    It’s the ‘sticking my nose against the monitor of his new PowerBook’ thought that reminds me that in some countries dog is a delicacy…

    Other than that I had a shepherd you could play with for four hours straight and when you wanted to take a break because you were tired and she was just indestructable she would look at you as if you had tied her to a tree to die alone in the woods. From one second to the next.
    You gotta love ’em.

  • scotty the body

    2003/03/21 at 5:37 am

    My dog clicks-n-clacks around on the hardwood floors during windy nights or thunder storms.

    My male cat sleeps in my face and occasionally reaches out to dig his claws in my nose.

    My female cat sleeps on my chest and occasionally pukes on me.

    No wonder I’m ALWAYS sleepy.

  • zchamu

    2003/03/21 at 6:55 am

    If I lay on my back in the middle of the bed crossways so that you have to cling to the edge to keep from falling off, while I flap all four paws in the air, farting after I ate that really yummy specimen of frozen poop in the backyard yesterday, swinging my wide open mouth back and forth at any piece of exposed flesh so that I may sink my big beagle jaws into you, will you love me then?

  • steven

    2003/03/21 at 7:19 am

    has anybody read UNLEASHED, a book of poems by famous writers’ dogs?

    some of them are pretty good.

  • steven

    2003/03/21 at 7:20 am

    also i just want to say that i read “church talk” instead of “chuck talk” and was picturing a human acting this way in church for a little while.

  • Amstershiresauce

    2003/03/21 at 7:29 am

    I can’t believe other people know about the Fritos phenomenon! I thought it was just our family. We call it “Feet-toes.”
    Yes, we are geeks.

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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