the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Even I can’t believe I’m allowed to have a dog

One late evening last October Jon and I finished the last few scoops of a carton of Cookies ‘N Cream ice cream. Chuck was practicing Opus Dei rituals in the basement when he heard us walking toward the freezer in the kitchen and before we knew it he had drooled a path up the stairs. Jon and I sat on the couch in the living room with the carton of ice cream between us as Chuck pressed his wet nose into my knee. Whenever we sit down to have a meal he walks over to my leg and presses his snout firmly into my flesh. It’s his way of saying, “Remember me? I’m cute.”

After we finished off the ice cream that night I made Chuck perform a few tricks and then I held the carton at an angle so he could get at the melted goo at the bottom of the carton. By that point he was so ravenous that the force of his tongue pulled the ice cream carton out of my hands and lodged it firmly on his face. He didn’t make any indication that he was in discomfort so instead of pulling it off his snout we grabbed the cameras. I posted the digital photos of this circus act here, and today I found the video which you can see here. In it you can actually hear the sound of his lapping tongue suctioning the cardboard to his face.

(For those of you who don’t have Quicktime installed on your computer you should be able to see this video if you have the Flash player, the latest version of which you can find here. If you have any other problems viewing the video leave the details in the comments along with the Anti-Ice Cream Carton on the Dog Snout Activists who will yell at me for attempting to suffocate my dog. It should be good times!)

  • lq

    2006/04/05 at 6:56 pm

    Chocolate warning: Cocoa bean hulls are often sold for mulching – and they smell heavenly when spread in your yard, do a great job of mulch – but they are unprocessed AND WILL MAKE YOUR DOG VERY VERY SICK – AND MAYBE KILL HIM/HER. Learned this the hard way with a sick poochie. I think most garden suppliers now warn about this – but they didn’t 20 years ago.

    Love your site, love your sharing, and Chuck always reminds me of my wonderful dog stories. Thanks so much, Heather!

  • Coyote

    2006/04/05 at 6:51 pm

    When I was a kid, we had a dog who could hear the sound of a cube of butter being unwrapped from a half mile away. (My mom would let her lick every wrapper.) It was uncanny. Now I have a cat that cannot resist sticking her head all the way inside cube shaped tissue boxes and coffee mugs. She gets her head stuck in the boxes and wanders around the house bumping into things, but doesn’t seem the least distressed. Go figure.

  • sugapie

    2006/04/05 at 6:48 pm

    Oh you soooo rock…

    Really you must warn new mothers with bladder issues to put on the Depends before reading your posts! Opus Dei, that killed me! Gotta go change the chonies !

  • Jennifer

    2006/04/05 at 6:38 pm

    Heather, you are my personal hero. That made me laugh and laugh and laugh.

  • preptex

    2006/04/05 at 6:40 pm

    same issues as above


    2006/04/05 at 6:43 pm

    Hi again…

    I have to post one thing about the chocolate and dogs.
    We too have dogs and love them preciously and always heeded the warnings about CHOCOLATE, but we misinterpreted it.

    Chocolate is only dangerous to dogs if they get ahold of BAKING CHOCOLATE, as in CHOCOLATE that HAS NOT been processed.

    Chocolate ice cream, kisses, Easter bunnies, cake..etc. aren’t dangerous. They have [extremely]diluted chocolate in them.

    BAKING CHOCOLATE are the bars of chocolate you buy to (duh) bake with and are toxic to animals because they are almost pure from the cocoa bean.

    That is why everyone talks about there dogs eating so much chocolate and living to tell the tale.

    Ask your vet (please) or research on the ‘net. It isn’t an urban legand. Unprocessed chocolate (baking squares) can kill your pet, but the stuff in candy, cakes and ice cream is so diluted it poses no harm.

    Please check it out!

    We love our poochies too….and I have to say I can’t wait to try the ice cream bucket on their heads…but it will take both to fill an Edy’s bucket (they are dachshunds)…woohoo…can’t wait.

    Thanks guys – you made a long Wednesday more teneable.


  • jaime

    2006/04/05 at 6:38 pm

    that’s brilliant. i wish i weren’t too much of a wuss to get my kitten into people food. (that comes out sounding so strange.) but it’s weighing this paranoia that i will, some day, accidentally kill her, plus the fear of her becoming this begging machine (because she’s small enough to climb all over us and be just a crazy pain) against knowing how damn cute it’d be to feed her people food, get her stuck in ice cream cartons and all that. thanks for the rockin video.

  • beetski

    2006/04/05 at 6:36 pm

    I wish I could see the video…the audio sounds pretty funny…
    I’m having the same issues as several other people…PowerBook G4, OSX, both Safari & Firefox.

  • katielauren

    2006/04/05 at 6:29 pm

    Dear Dooce,

    Why has Chuck never yet, been forced to wear suspenders? I mean who would look sharper in a pair of red suspenders than Chuck?

  • bored_in_kansas

    2006/04/05 at 6:37 pm

    I know i’ve already commented.

    But I have a question, is it animal cruelty to hysterically laugh at your dog after it runs into a closed door, bounces backwards and looks at you like WTF? If it is UH OH I’M IN TROUBLE!!!!

  • Bronnie

    2006/04/05 at 6:22 pm

    Hahaha! I’m sure he enjoyed every minute of it! 🙂

  • mindymax

    2006/04/05 at 6:25 pm

    I’m having issues seeing the video. See the ‘bar’ at the bottom w/ the play button and can hear it. No picture.


    2006/04/05 at 6:25 pm


    I have read you for a few months…and thoroughly ENJOYED IT.

    I had to tell you, today was one of the crappiest [doable] days of my life. My Mom isn’t a Catholic/Jew, but she thinks she is. Hell she may think she may have been Mormon at one point – who knows…anyway, long story short….she is giving me the gift that keeps giving – GUILT….heh.

    Having spilled THAT drop, I have to say THANKS!!!

    The “Chuck Video” dried up my tears and made me spit my beer…ahem, LEMONADE….about 10 feet!

    You have a gift.

    <--Lifting a glass "To Dooce". Thanks girl, you are just what I needed tonight.

  • sandienotsandy

    2006/04/05 at 6:26 pm

    You carton propped AND gave your dog dairy? I’m calling the dog abuse hotline!

    (Not really)

    Heehee, I think I still might love the Chuck/Noodle pictures more, though!

  • mediadiva

    2006/04/05 at 6:17 pm

    my kitty tala comes up to us anytime we eat on the couch, she meows for food and does this most pitiful thing where she puts her paw out into the air as if she wishes to grab something from me, but instead she holds the paw there and just cries and stares. DRIVES ME MENTAL!!

  • goldengraham

    2006/04/05 at 6:17 pm

    hmm, I’m having the same issues at #11 & #58 running OSX G4 firefox & Safari.

  • Shelli

    2006/04/05 at 6:18 pm

    I LOVE me some Chuck – the food is WAY more important than personal comfort.

    More, please!

  • FaceForward

    2006/04/05 at 6:20 pm

    I just love Chuck stories. We had a dog once that stuck her snoot down into a Wendy’s Frosty cup to lick whatever was left, and it got stuck and she was NOT a happy dog! Animals do goofy stuff for ice cream… one of my cats is always just riveted when my husband and I eat ice cream from bowls. She ignores me, but gets in his lap or leeeeans over his shoulder from the back of the sofa like a hairy little vulture. The other night she stuck her paw into his bowl. WTF, cat!

    Keep up the awesome work
    Anna in Florida

  • sravana

    2006/04/05 at 6:20 pm

    Now we know what dewclaws are for – they’re for removing the ice cream carton when done!

    and dayum, that dog *does* have a long neck!

  • Torrie

    2006/04/05 at 6:00 pm

    You should see the pictures of ME with my head stuck in an ice cream container!

    Good times.

  • Kerry

    2006/04/05 at 6:02 pm

    I wish I could fit my head in the carton!
    Hilarious video. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Kerry

    2006/04/05 at 6:03 pm

    I wish I could fit my head in the carton! It’s just too tight!
    Hilarious video. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Lisa V

    2006/04/05 at 6:04 pm

    Who cares that you toture your dog ? He deserves it. Those conservative Catholics are bringing down the church. If he wants some damn help being protected from the likes of you, I suggest Chuck attend Call to Action. Then us liberal Catholics might intervene. Until then, that damn dog is on his own.

  • babbling

    2006/04/05 at 6:06 pm

    just wanted to say that I couldn’t view the video using Firefox (although had audio) but when I copy and pasted the link into explorer it worked great. Also? your photo of the day for April 5, left me breathless. First time ever I wanted to crawl into a photo showing on the moniter. Thanks for a taste of spring.

  • Mar99Aug01Jan06

    2006/04/05 at 5:55 pm

    Oh by the way, if you want to see the pic I posted it on my blog, click me baby!

  • Sandra Heikkinen

    2006/04/05 at 5:56 pm

    That’s fabulous. If it makes you feel any better (not that you felt bad, but if you’re looking for another “not abusive, but entertaining in a ‘oh, how funny that they’re ridiculous’ sort of way” story), we used to be very into feeding our dog obscene amounts of peanut butter and then laughing hysterically while she took about 12 hours to stop the tongue-lapping.

  • TripTikGirl

    2006/04/05 at 5:59 pm

    I love that video!! I miss having a dog, but I can’t tell my husband that, otherwise we’d be at the pound tomorrow!

  • Snickrsnack Katie

    2006/04/05 at 5:59 pm

    That is seriously the cutest video ever! Chuck is such a funny dog. And anyone who has a problem with him licking up the icecream needs to shut up! It was only a little bit!

    I just got a dog from the Humane Society on Friday and I think she may be related to Chuck. I have pictures of her on my site. She seriously is a super mutt much like Chuck. I just can only hope that she comes out of her shell – she was abused we think and is scared of everyone but me. I can’t wait for the days where I can stick ice cream cartons on her snout without her being scared!

  • bored_in_kansas

    2006/04/05 at 5:54 pm


    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now, and I’m so jealous!!! You have a beautiful daughter, a adorable dog, and a damn good looking husband 😀 When I grow up can i be you? LOL. No i’m just joking!!

    I watched the Video 3 times!!! He’s So CUTE!!! Right now my 2 doxies are fighting over a plastic lid off my bottle water. Hmm…maybe I should trade them in for a dog in a bucket of ice cream!!!

    Well take care:D

  • Monika

    2006/04/05 at 5:31 pm


    Chuck made me laugh so hard I had tears in my eyes! What a rogue!

  • sekretninja

    2006/04/05 at 5:33 pm

    You are one of the funniest people I (feel like I) know! After a sucky day at work, I treat myself to your blog, and you never let me down! I cry, I laugh, I snort…it’s all good.

    Today is no exception. I am not a dog lover…more along the lines of soon-to-be crazy cat lady…but Chuck’s cuteness and crazy antics make me wish cats were cool like that. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your family with us.

  • jozet

    2006/04/05 at 5:35 pm


    And yes, we did the jujube trick with our beagle. Hours of fun.

    We also had a dog that would molest grapes.

    I’ve also seen my cousin get his head stuck in a potato chip barrel.

    Good times!

  • Mia

    2006/04/05 at 5:40 pm

    I could see baby Chuck, but I can’t see ice cream Chuck, and after the day that I just had, I SO wish that I could. I can hear him, and the laughing, but that just makes it more sad that I can’t see him!!

  • Megan B

    2006/04/05 at 5:47 pm

    That’s awesome.

    I’m having memories of a certain precious kitty who is obsessed with licking pictures. Once I got home after an 8+ hour day of work and she had broken into my bedroom (I had shut and latched the door and she STILL got in!) and knocked some pics off my dresser, and was sitting on the floor, licking them like they were ice cream, when I walked in. Who knows how many hours she had been sitting there before I got home…

  • Stacey

    2006/04/05 at 5:49 pm

    Sigh. I miss my dog. We used to have the best times watching him roll the beer bottle around, trying his damndest to get the last few drops out. I adore Chuck and look forward to his next pinup calendar!!

  • revidescent

    2006/04/05 at 5:30 pm

    Aww! Ice-Cream-Carton-Head Chuck has me missing my big puppy oaf (who went to Rainbow Bridge in late ’03, and no, not from too much ice cream), in a good way though. Have you tried ice cream cones at the Dairy Queen or McD’s drive-thru? If the carton makes you laugh, it’s also fun when you can get them to lick all the ice cream from an ice cream cone — neatly and in a well-mannered fashion, yet — and then EAT the cone, one bite at a time.

  • Mar99Aug01Jan06

    2006/04/05 at 5:54 pm

    I let my dog lick one of those small bags of Fritos and lo and behold, she got her face stuck in it. It was hilarious! Why else would I have a dog unless for hours of entertainment!

  • Christy

    2006/04/05 at 5:26 pm

    My golden retriever lives in foster care with my parents at the moment, and my dad treats her like she’s one of his kids (he’s always loved our family pets, but now she’s the only one left, and has become completely spoiled). THe dog EXPECTS Cheerios in the morning.
    Of course, my father’s habit of giving her a little of everything he eats has created a 93-lb monster.

    And, of course, Chuck’s intelligence was proven when he used his paw to get the container off his face. THat’s a damn smart dog you got there.

  • Kristine

    2006/04/05 at 5:30 pm

    he could have made some pooch happy.

  • Andrea

    2006/04/05 at 5:27 pm

    I just wanted to say that I’ve read your site from a few months ago, but I’ve gone back and read every entry. I love your irreverence and wit, and your honesty about motherhood & life. I’ve been wondering if I’m going to be an okay mother (one day) and you’ve provided the most honest outlook on motherhood that I’ve seen written. I’m still not sure about it, but that has nothing to do with you. Your photos of Chuck makes me incredibly happy as well. Thank you for sharing your life with us all.

  • Evilsciencechick

    2006/04/05 at 5:10 pm

    My dog does the same thing with an empty peanut butter jar. except that she gnaws on the plastic until her GUMS AND TONGUE BLEED. So I DEFINATELY should have my dog taken away from me by PETA.

  • MiamiGirl

    2006/04/05 at 5:11 pm

    Don’t worry, I do these things with my two boxers all the time. Sometimes, when my husband I are really bored, we just put things on them and take pictures…we get a good laugh. I think they kind of like it.

  • tk

    2006/04/05 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks, I needed that today. Way too funny….

    My brother’s dog does a similar trick with an empty yogurt container…. well, actually any kind of container that is empty and needs licking. It’s hours and hours of entertainment.

  • Talon

    2006/04/05 at 5:22 pm

    That’s FANTASTIC!!

    Meaning, that’s total Chuck fanservice!! (holds up a banner saying We love Chuck!! We love Chuck!! More chuckles humili…er…Tric…er…FEATS OF MARVEL!!!

    Raven’s (my dawg…because I gotta mention him naturally!!) big ol’ head wouldn’t fit in a carton as neatly as Chuck’s perfect, sleek, blonde head though. *snickers*

    My parent’s had a cat named Liza Jane, and she used to get the leavings in Mom’s ice cream bowl. She was only interested in the chocolate though. She never really learned to like orangesicle. That was inbetween hunting grizzly bears and whales, depending on the season.

  • Nat W.

    2006/04/05 at 5:02 pm

    Haha, that’s great. I loved the pics when you first posted them, and now I love the video! Especially because I do equally fun things with my dogs. And I have 5. Muahaha. Lots of fun.

  • Kala Lily

    2006/04/05 at 5:05 pm

    Congressman Chuck, taking bribes once again. Is he in cahoots with DeLay?

  • kidsmom

    2006/04/05 at 5:06 pm

    I’m so glad I get to read two of your postings today. I’ve had a BAAAADDDDD day and need a fix.

    In general, people suck. Once I’m done raising kids I’m only going to socialize with my dog and his friends.

  • cindyloohoo

    2006/04/05 at 5:01 pm

    We have a dog that looks exactly like Chuck, except ours is stupid. Whoever said chocolate doesn’t kill all dogs is right. Ours has eaten his body weight in the stuff— last easter he stole and ate all of our kids’ choclate easter bunnies; four pounds worth. Hasn’t killed him yet… I’m still waiting and hoping…

  • mayberry_blonde

    2006/04/05 at 4:47 pm

    My God that is hysterical! It reminds me of a time when my neighbors dog came home from visiting the local elementary school (which is less than a quarter mile away from where we live…no leash law in this county), with an empty over sized cafeteria style mayonnaise jug on his whole head. Seriously, I swear. That one topped the cake for me. lol

    Great video of Chuck and oh, LOVE your new haircut!

  • Strizz

    2006/04/05 at 4:49 pm

    I tried to suffocate myself with ice cream after my 3rd child. Can you say gaining back all the pregnancy weight one half gallon at a time? I bet you can.

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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