Heater, Mother of Lance

Litmus test

A few weeks ago I posted a photo of Chuck sitting by the side of our house in the snow. Never before has something on this website caused such concern, and since then I have received hundreds of email demanding that I turn his collar right-side-up and then post a picture of it so that the balance of the Universe could be restored. One person even sent me an email day after day to check up on my progress, had I corrected it yet? Is it fixed now? How about now? PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, FIX IT NOW BECAUSE MY RIGHT EYE WON’T STOP TWITCHING.

Others were concerned that the other dogs in the neighborhood would scorn Chuck, would make fun of him for wearing his collar upside down because that is the canine equivalent of wearing white tube socks rolled into doughnuts around your ankles. If Chuck wore his collar around his butt the other dogs in the neighborhood might notice it, but they don’t even notice that Chuck has a head, it’s so far away from the focus of their research.

Turns out you are all as OCD as I am, but I know my meds are working because I can look at this without feeling the uncontrollable urge to scratch imaginary sores:


Despite the upside down collar Chuck remains a functioning pet and this morning proved such by trying to eat the sprinklers:

He even tried to tackle the sprinkler head located directly beneath the car:

Promptly afterward I turned his collar so that it was facing the right direction. OR MAYBE? MAYBE I LEFT IT JUST LIKE THAT.

  • Amy D.

    2006/05/16 at 10:36 am

    Yes, you should share more of people’s submitted neuroticisms….it must make you feel fabulously normal, it would be easy to copy and paste, and it’s freaking hilarious that people care that much. I think you rock, Heather, but you still rock even if Chuck’s collar is upside down….what is wrong with people?

  • Kristin

    2006/05/16 at 10:39 am

    Well, OF COURSE it’s upside down. That way he can enjoy the design.

    I’m so glad he’s on the case of the Crazy Water-Spraying Thingies. One must be vigilant.

  • iggygrl76

    2006/05/16 at 10:35 am

    Im just gonna point out the obvious the only time the collar is apparantly in the “correct” position is if the animal is on a leash and or the collar is very tight holding it IN that position. We are not that cruel to our animals to leave their collars that tight on them so their collars move around and are never in their correct position unless we are taking them for a walk. Man some of these people need to get their lil OCD selves back on their lil pills lol.

  • Tracy aka Fuzzball

    2006/05/16 at 10:36 am

    AHAHAHA Oh man now the collar is bugging me. I’m sitting here muttering “turn it around turn it around turn it around…”

    Aaaaaaand now I sound insane. Nice.

    Pictures of The Chucklet always make my day. Eeeee!

  • Sunni

    2006/05/16 at 10:31 am

    Why is there a sprinkler head in your driveway?

    This post of yours just demands that you must start posting more of the emails you receive. If people email you about Chuck’s collar, I simply can’t imagine what other nonsense they write you about.

    Please share. It’s nice to share.

  • SilverSeraphim

    2006/05/16 at 10:23 am

    I could care less about the collar.

    I just wanted to say that you are obviously doing well in teaching Leta about fabulous shoes.

    And where can I get a pair for my spawn?

  • happylaney

    2006/05/16 at 10:28 am

    I find you interesting, and your writing entertaining, and your photography beautiful, and it doesn’t really bother me that people are so into you, but I will say that I am amazed that so many people noticed, and were truely bothered by Chuck’s collar. What a strange phenomenon this internet thing is. You are an internet celebrity. Kind of a new concept for me to grasp.

  • Tanya

    2006/05/16 at 10:29 am

    Collar schmollar. How did you go from snow to sprinklers that fast?

  • Shalini

    2006/05/16 at 10:19 am

    i love that people who are awed by the fact that other ppl have emailed you and commented about Chuck’s collar are still commenting here… it’s so funny!

    I like the collar either way it resides on Chuck. Chuck is a hawt dawg!

  • nazilam

    2006/05/16 at 10:20 am

    I thought they were little guys shirts with bow ties, sort of like a dickie, but different.

    Its a cute collar. Get one of Chuck’s minions to beat the crap out of the neighbor’s dogs, will ya?

    Oh, the only thing I would worry about seeing Chuck going after the sprinklers in underneath the car is if I set the emergency brake or not.

    That would worry me more.


  • Pixie

    2006/05/16 at 10:16 am

    Okay hopefully I am not commenting twice- I lost the other one!!!
    You just made me laugh my head off!
    Heather you are hysterical and I absolutely love reading your posts… Obviously Chuck is managing quite well!!! hahaha
    Have a great day!

  • thesuperbongo

    2006/05/16 at 10:18 am

    You silly humans. You need better cover stories to throw the more annoying of your type off the trail. Tell the OCDers that when Chuck puts his collar on himself, he usually gets it upside-down, but you don’t want to discourage him from getting dressed by himself so you don’t tell him. Or, tell them that when Chuck looks down at his collar, it looks right side up to him and he’s reassured. Or, tell them that there is a pointy bit on the collar and you HAVE to put it on that way to keep it from poking him in the jugular.

  • katem9579

    2006/05/16 at 10:12 am

    I cant for the life of me see how anyone possibly noticed that. I had seen the picture and never noticed. But to email you about it daily or even once.
    that person seriously needs to GET A FREAKIN LIFE!!!!
    These days I am lucky to get my kid in matching socks much less worry if my dogs collar is right side up when we take a walk. He is just lucky to get that walk!

  • Laura Smart

    2006/05/16 at 10:12 am

    Um, collars have a right way up? I always just slip it over my dog’s head whichever way it’s facing when I’m holding it. Maybe that’s because he’s so eager to go for a walk when he sees the collar appear that he starts trying to shove your hand with his snout in such a way that it will force the collar over his head, and I don’t have time to tell which way is up or down. But I never considered this before! Heather, I’m with you, upside down is just fine 🙂

    On another note entirely, that is awesome that Chuck is trying to eat the sprinklers. I don’t know why dogs do the things they do but they sure provide me with endless hours of entertainment.

  • smallestangel

    2006/05/16 at 10:12 am

    My two year old son woke up at 4:30 a.m. this morning and has since peed on my leg before I could get his pull-up on, let his chewed up cereal dribble back out of his mouth onto his new shirt while not wearing a bib because they’re all in the dryer, and he stuck his train in my ear….I also got my period today.

    You just made me laugh my ass off.

    Thank you. 🙂

  • Caloden

    2006/05/16 at 10:12 am

    The universe is tied up in the most tidy of serendepituos rubber band balls. The collar may or may not point to Chuck’s ass. Dr. Natura helps to move the bowels of those for whom it takes an act of Congress to get things a-moving. Chuck is a former Senator. I, too, have been mulling over joining Dr. Natura’s program, though I am neither of member of the Senate or the Congress and rarely do I wear an upside down collar.

  • Tiggerlane

    2006/05/16 at 10:08 am

    Want other dogs in the neighborhood to scorn Chuck? Try a dog sweater.

    SERIOUSLY can’t believe people are that OCD, but if it means more Chuckiliciousness for me to gawk at, I hope they continue. Extra photos of the dog-babe, and IT’S NOT EVEN FRIDAY!

    So, let us know when you get more hate mail. B/c it’s dangerous for a dog to have a collar on that is so loose that you can slide more than two fingers underneath.

    (Insert evil laugh here.)

  • timothyjlambert

    2006/05/16 at 10:05 am

    Upside down dog collars make perfect sense to me, because as someone who also occasionally posts pictures of his dog on a web site, I know it’s easier to put the collar on upside down so the personal information on the tags won’t show up in the pictures, rather than go through the hassle of photoshopping it out.

  • iamjenlindsey

    2006/05/16 at 10:00 am

    seriously, i posted that twice?!

    now i have to drown myself and if that doesn’t work…you know where i’m heading next.

  • Maniacal

    2006/05/16 at 10:02 am

    I like it upsidown!

  • kelly

    2006/05/16 at 10:00 am

    I didn’t realize there was a “right” way to turn a collar. Doesn’t it depend on how you are looking at it? So, really, it would only be turned the “wrong” way if you had your nose planted right in Chuck’s ass looking at it from that direction, rather than peering at him from the front, no?

    I almost typed “people have too much time on their hands to be e-mailing you about that,” but here I am commenting on their e-mails about your pictures. Not sure which is worse… 😉

    Hell, my meds must be working, too, because my OCD didn’t kick in either on this one. Yea for vitamin Z!!!

  • iamjenlindsey

    2006/05/16 at 9:59 am

    well, you don’t have to be a dog-whisperer to figure it out:

    its obvious to me that chuck has tried desperately to drown himslef and then has thrown himself right the eff under the car in an effort to off himself as a result of an upside-down dog collar.

  • Coyote

    2006/05/16 at 9:58 am

    Forgive me for posting again, but this quote from the drnatura.com site should be shared with the world: “Those skeptical days are gone! I sent an email to my friend today with the subject heading ‘poop update.’ The body of the message stated, ‘I felt as though I gave birth and/or passed an alien this morning. I was thinking of saving it, putting a collar on it, and taking it for a walk.'”

  • iamjenlindsey

    2006/05/16 at 9:57 am

    well, its obvious to me that chuck has thrown himself right the eff under the car in an effort to hide his embarrasment of an upside-down dog collar.

  • Everqueer

    2006/05/16 at 9:55 am

    /me loves it

  • Jonniker

    2006/05/16 at 9:56 am

    This made me go grab my own dog to look at her collar, because it has little somethings on it, and while I didn’t ever really notice what they were, hey, they could be upside down, and MY GOD, the world would end.

    And,um, to my chagrin and horror, I realized that while the collar is on properly, I actually dressed my little girldog in a collar that is pink with (OHGOD) HIGH HEELS and PURSES all over it.

    I deserve to be shot. I had no idea that’s what they were. Get me a purple leather Juicy bag to carry her in, along with a gun, and I’ll be on my way.

  • Nicole

    2006/05/16 at 9:54 am

    Yes but wasn’t it fixed for your photo of the day (may 5) pic??

  • christy

    2006/05/16 at 9:54 am

    I never knew people were so bothered by things being upsidedown. Maybe I will have to stop wearing my underwear on my head now.

  • The Bold Soul

    2006/05/16 at 9:51 am

    [changing panties after laughing THAT hard at Chuck’s sprinkler attack]

    Frankly, while I really loved that photo of Chuck in the snow (he’s such a handsome chap), I never noticed the damned collar. I hope you respectfully suggested to those who emailed you about it that they stop obsessing over Chuck’s wardrobe and get a life, already!

  • Bess

    2006/05/16 at 9:48 am

    (Um, not to say that it wouldn’t be cool the other way too. Sorry.)

  • Coyote

    2006/05/16 at 9:51 am

    I thought the Congressman’s collar was some sort of cool retro thing from the old Atari days. Irrespective of reality, I’m going to continue to think that.

    Oh man, I checked out the drnatura.com site. It’s worth it just to read some of the bold paragraph headers. Taken out of context, they’re pretty funny: “Within the hour I had a life-changing experience in the bathroom!” “My pants are literally falling off.” “I am now so regular that it’s almost scary.”

    And there are lots of hidden gems like these: “It takes an act of congress sometimes for me to have a bowel movement.” “We…are having awesome adventures in the bathroom, which, I might add, we share with one another to compare notes.”

  • sbw1979

    2006/05/16 at 9:47 am

    This is probably just the animal-lover in me, but I have to say that I’m just glad that Chuck wears a collar at all…especially after his disappearing act a couple months ago!

  • Bess

    2006/05/16 at 9:47 am

    Maybe they’re little arrows, pointing down Chuck’s gullet, to indicate “This is where the bones go.” Isn’t that a cooler collar anyway?

  • geeky

    2006/05/16 at 9:44 am

    obviously all of the other dogs are just wearing their collars wrong.

  • Vicky H.

    2006/05/16 at 9:42 am

    I thought the graphic on Chuck’s was arrows; and I thought they were pointing, correctly, in the direction the food would go.

  • Meg

    2006/05/16 at 9:42 am

    I can’t imagine a) noticing and b) feeling it was email-worthy. People are nutbars. Now, if the collar was on Leta…

  • leftygrrrl

    2006/05/16 at 9:41 am

    I’m way too high to understand why someone would email you over this. Oh well, off to do another bong hit.

  • stalkergirl

    2006/05/16 at 9:42 am

    Just a quick thought… if you flip it so that it appears the correct way to you and all the “viewers,” won’t it be upside-down to Chuck when he looks down at it? (OK OK he probably doesn’t do it on a regular basis, but it’s a good justification in my book!)

  • The Lizzy

    2006/05/16 at 9:41 am

    And here I was thinking people were all “OMG WHY IS HE NOT ON A LEASH”.

    I wonder what they’d do if he walked around for eight hours with his ear inside out like my dog-friend Dawkins:


  • Snickrsnack Katie

    2006/05/16 at 9:35 am

    And another thing – what is cool is that if Chuck looks down at his collar, which I don’t know if that is physically possible or not, but the doghouses are right side up for him!

  • gordon

    2006/05/16 at 9:38 am

    what if your collar has no arrows?

  • Snickrsnack Katie

    2006/05/16 at 9:34 am

    Wow, I noticed it, too, but started to think that maybe upside-down doghouses were some sort of weird Mormon thing. You never know. Also, I pretty much figured that other people would harass you about it, too, and I was right. God, people are weird! And I am about as OCD as they get.

  • Torrie

    2006/05/16 at 9:31 am

    Re Melissa’s comment-

    I’m doing the Dr. Natura cleanse right now. It’s awesome and I highly recommend it.

  • beachgirl4ever

    2006/05/16 at 9:32 am



    The collar probably changes direction frequently. In some pictures, Mr. Congressman isn’t even wearing one! Don’t tell the humane society!

  • victoria

    2006/05/16 at 9:29 am

    That was hilarious. Thank you. Also Chuck is looking very beautiful in these pics.

  • kendall

    2006/05/16 at 9:29 am

    To all of you who are OCDing about Chuck’s collar and CROWNs:

    shut up, get a life, and have a nice day.

  • Kim Carter

    2006/05/16 at 9:14 am

    that’s so funny! I have the same collar for my dog and my husband wont even let her wear it cuz it is blue, and he thinks she should be wearing a pink collar, cuz she is a girl…I wonder about him sometimes.

  • Melissa

    2006/05/16 at 9:18 am

    Are you actually serious about this? People wrote to you regarding Chuck’s collar being upside down? Holy crap.

    Speaking of crap, have you ever checked out this site: http://www.drnatura.com? I think you will be amazed. It could be the solution to your years of intestinal difficulties. I actually ordered a three-month supply and started it 4 days ago. I’m tempted to take pictures and post them on my site.

  • Chiyiyite

    2006/05/16 at 9:11 am

    It’s houses??? HOUSES????? I thought it was little doggy heads.

    (two fabulous years of blurbodoocery and THIS is the comment I sign up for.)

  • redheadwriter

    2006/05/16 at 9:12 am

    Leave it. It gives direction to all the other dogs as to where Chuck’s ass is — the arrows point them right to it.

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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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