Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

Further evidence he’s really just a cat

A few nights ago we made pasta and had planned to record the trick where I tie Chuck’s snout shut with a noodle of spaghetti, but before we could get that far we realized that a better video might be one that shows something you can’t really see in a photograph: Chuck doing a half-assed job of obeying a command.

The first trick he ever learned was to sit and then in quick succession he learned most of the other ones, to come and to stay and to lie down. But we waited probably too long to teach him how to roll over because now he routinely gives up in the middle of it and expects us to give him the treat anyway. I guess his thinking is that maybe we missed the part where he didn’t roll all the way over, it could happen, we might have blinked, and he’s much too lazy to not exploit that possibility.

Here I’m tempting him with the pan I used to cook the pasta sauce, and I have to tell him nine times to roll. Four of those times I even give him a visual with my hand to go THAT way. I won’t be surprised if while you’re watching this video your dog rolls over just to get that damn woman to stop yelling ROLL fer chrissake! MAKE HER STOP.

Chuck sort of rolling (flash file)
Chuck sort of rolling (Quicktime movie)

  • my little papillion is so lazy, when you tell him to sit he doesnt put his butt all the way down. and when he wants whatevers cooking inside waaay more than he wants to pee outside, again, he’ll just squat and pretend to pee. dogs are tricky.

  • PixieMegh

    That was so freaking cute! Thanks for the laugh!!

  • Chuck is so cute, mutts are the best! I bet he has the softest ears too. I love dog ears.

    (Yes, I know, I have issues.)

  • My dog was sleeping on THE OTHER SIDE of the house and she came in, sat by the computer and did the tilty head thing which indicates “this does not compute!”

    Too funny!

  • disneymike

    That is so cute and funny. It’s a bit alarming when the pan comes into view at the end of the video. It looks huge and it gives the impression you were threatening Chuck with it the whole time and he’s performing the trick under duress. LOL

  • Stacey

    Ha! My dog looked at the screen, barked, and ran to the treat drawer. Priorities, you know.

    And yes, Jon’s laugh… *swoon*

  • Ok, where’s your Southern accent Dooce? Or, maybe I can’t detect it b/c I’m Southern. You won’t believe me, but I’m going to tell you anyways.

    My son (he’s 4)and I were trying to teach our dog how to roll-over just today. I swear to God we were. So, it’s funny that you posted this.

    The Piglet

  • Dooce you F#ck#ng Rock!!! I would normaly say the real F word, but I would hate for the idiots out there to take it wrong and send you MORE stupid hate mails. I have been a fan of yours since I read the Glamour Mag with you in it, and sometimes the things you say makes my jaw drop, but thats just one of the reasons I come back everyday for my Armstrong Family Fix. I have your website link on my personal website so everyone I know will check you out! I love chuck, I love hearing everything about Leta, and think she’s just adorable, my son is 3, and they would be great friends, he doesnt eat food either! like everyone else has commented already, Jon’s laugh IS great, and you do sound like Charlize Theron. Keep up the awesome work!

  • Good job. I wish I had the patience with my Yoshi

    Check him out:

  • your accent is almost imperceptible in that clip! 😉

    and you can’t hear chuck’s AT ALL.

  • We have wiener dogs (2) and the times when we totally lose it, wet our pants, can’t BREATHE from aching laughter — are when we have spaghetti. We decorate their ears, tails, snouts, and paws with those spaghetti noodles, and watching them chase the noodle stuck to their tail, eating a noodle off each other, or trying to bite-bite-bite that noodle that’s just out of reach and barely in sight in the corner of their eye, is like watching Seinfeld standup. We become animals ourselves in our helpless howling.

    Weenie tricks? Well, not so much.

  • Funny!! He gets an ‘A’ for effort, ‘B’ for performance. Now lets see JON do it. (roll over that is) Maybe he could give Chuck some pointers.

  • shopgirl75

    my dream for a brighter future….. daily video of Chuck.

    oh… and way to rock the new hair.

  • HannahB

    We had that trouble with our dogs too; we always assumed that the issue with a full roll was that they had to break eye contact with the treat, and thus it might disappear. Chuck looks just as funny “talking himself into it” as ours did : )

  • While my dog does tricks, he doesn’t really listen. He just does them all and hopes one works.

    My cat, however, sits and shakes.

  • He’s not lazy, he just doesn’t REALLY believe you.

  • Smacky

    I love hearing your guys’ laughs in the videos. They’re the kind of laughs that make you smile and laugh out loud, then look around to make sure noone in the other cubicles heard you.

  • FlakeyBlakee

    Can I have some of Chucks Hair or slobber or somthin so I can clone him?? He ROCKS!

  • LOOK at that tail go! that is one happy dog.

  • we let our dog Jadie lick our dishes too… hey saves on prerinsing… not cause we arelazy or anything… but because we’re trying to conserve water for the environment… yeah that sounds good…

    oh we also dress her up in random funny outfits, take pictures, and pimp her out online too.

  • How can one look at Chuck and not break into a huge smile. What a cute, cute dog.

  • leelee0880

    Can we request more Chuck videos? This is the next best thing to a real dog. In fact, it may be better. No poop. No responsibilities. No poop. We love Chuck at my house. He is our favorite pet ever.

  • My Shih Tzu’s theory is that you get food by giving your owner “The Look”. If that fails you go pout on top of the couch with your head turned away from the family.
    Chuck is obviously getting gypped on this deal. From your movie it did not appear that there was enough sauce in the pan to reward Chuck for his Olympic effort.
    Let me be the first to say that Chuck needs more sauce.

  • He did it! Good for you, Chuck. My dog Dobbs only does the half-roll and he makes it look like it’s killing him to do it.

    On the plus side, we’ve trained him to drop and do the half-roll when we make our hands into a gun, point it at him, and yell, “Bang! Bang!” That’s got to count for something, right?

  • freecave

    Hi heather. I’ve read the previous post and was upset by it. Miserable people with nothing better to do than gripe. This post, for the moment, helped me to forget them. I always end up in hysterics reading what you write.

    I miss my dogs. Funny, I think all dogs think they can trick us with the fake rollover trick.

  • Krista

    Heather, I think you’re great. (I’m kinda scared to use exclamation points in this comment.) If people don’t like your site, why don’t they just go away already and stop posting? Maybe some day I’ll find a way to earn money and stay with my son all at the same time, just like you. The ads don’t bother me, the stories of Chuck and Leta don’t bother me and in fact I enjoy bits from every day life. Take care, sister!

  • melinda

    Great trick! If only my dog would not consider himself too good to try it. He does respond to his own version of sign language though–that’s always a fun party trick!

  • Our voices sound very similar. All of my animals reacted!
    My dog Girlfriend, was so disgusted by my/your command, she went to the doorway and turned her back on me. She did many tricks in her younger days, but at age 13 – no more.
    Our favorite trick was “Do Grandpa” (Boy, that sounds bad!) Girlfriend wold roll over and play dead. My dad is notorious for his napping. (My mom thought it was pretty funny!)
    On hearing the video, my little dog Kizzie just jumped up on me wondering what I wanted. Kizzie is a dog of very little brain and never did learn any tricks.
    Even Camper the kitty came in to see what was up!

  • Kate

    Once when I was younger my dad and I were trying to teach my 10-year old dog at the time to fetch. When Buster wouldn’t even look at the ball we just threw across the yard, my dad gave up and said, “Go get the fucking ball ya goddamn dog.” I sort of just stood there in shock and managed to whimper out, “Yo-you can’t t-t-teach an old dog n-new tricks” and my dad just walked away. It traumatized me to the point where I can’t be mad at my dogs for more than approximately 2 minutes. Mmm, Buster. Rest in peace. (That ‘mmm’ sort of seems like we ate Buster but no. That’s just a nostalgic, reminiscing mmm.”)

  • Kim

    go Chuck! We are big fans of Chuck here.

    Jon totally has the greatest laugh. I think I played the video a couple of extra times just because Jon’s laugh made me laugh.

  • Ok cute dog blah blah blah, I just want to know one thing.

    If I come over and roll around on your kitchen floor when you ask will you make that ahhhhhhhhh gooooooood boy sound for me?

  • that was ever so cute 🙂 keep that up and he’ll be getting the full roll in no time. of course, this is funnier. 🙂

  • i swear, my cat obeys commands better than that. but then, our cats think they’re dogs. my roommate’s cat fetches. like, for hours. until you beg him to stop. and then he comes over for you to rub his belly.

  • I enjoyed this video immensely. I think it may be the combination of the effort and the final reward of cooking grease- Chuck is one adorable dog. 🙂

  • Ha thats funny! My dog followed your command to a tee. As soon as you said “roll”, Charlie promptly got out our baggie and assembled the perfect joint! Ahh… we’ve trained him well!!

  • I too like the chupacabra face that the excited dog makes. So excited, he only has the patience for half a roll — as if he is saying, can we get this trick business over with, so that I can clean up this pan and then retire to the basement for my evening meditation and transcendental poetry?

  • that looks suspiciously like my kitchen (dog on the rug in front of the sink) except our rug is blue, and our dog would be so excited by that pan that she would execute every trick she knows EXCEPT the one you ask for.

    and, can i borrow the haircut? please?

  • Fog Spinner

    My dogs all started barking when I played it. It was like a cheering section or something. They were too busy looking around trying to find the stranger in the house to notice that you were holding a pan of food. Guess that goes to prove they really don’t watch the TV we leave on for them.

  • lol, brilliant! my dog, abby, totally does the same thing.

    lazy dogs!

  • That is fucking awesome.

    I laughed heartily.

  • i don’t generally like dogs, but i absoultely love chuck. he and i are kindred spirits — i also feel compelled to do the minumum of whatever is being asked of me at first… and then, when food is unveiled, you get the full roll.

  • esther

    for some reason, i expected your voice to be higher and blurb’s to be lower. chuck was everything i had hoped for and more.

  • SugarBooger

    Chuck is adorable! He tried soooo hard, he deserved that sauce. I think I might be able to use that same trick on my fiancee, pasta sauce, he’ll totally fall for it. Lol, cheers.

  • The manly giggling in the background is the best part.

  • Dani

    uhhhhh, Heather, what you are doing to that poor non-human creature is TOTALLY cruel and exploitative and i am totally going to report your ass to peta, i’m going to talk to ingrid herself because i’m totally up there, and like, you’ll get burned for being such a heartless bitch.

    But seriously…you’ve gotten much further with Chuck than I have with my rat, Hey Baby. I have managed to train her to respond to the sound of an opening potato chip bag by throwing herself bodily at the door of her cage until I give in and feed her all the calories she needs for the week in one delicious chip.
    I’m loving the new hair – very smart.
    Rock on.

  • Chuck is so cute!!! He reminds me of my dog Josie. They both have that look like “what? I did that already” as you said in the post. Dogs are awesome.

  • rockr girl

    oh dear god, i love it. love it, love it, love it.
    the utter excitement oh his face. i can hear the internal commentary “did ya see it? did ya see it? huh? huh? huh?”
    the sorta-roll-and-flip-back move is very suave.

  • cristina

    I love that he makes the chupacabra face while he is doing it…or not doing it

  • Wow, I though pictures of Chuck were cute… Video? Now that’s just irresistible. Keep them coming!

    PS: I so LOVED those pics of Chuck and Leta before they both refused to eat breakfast! My mom has several pictures of my dad and me with the same expressions. Your pics totally reminded me of that.

    Love ya!

  • I think my favorite part is how he bares his teeth and grunts everytime, like he’s mad at himself that he can’t quite get it and, “damnit, just give me the fucking pan already, woman!!”

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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