An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

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.

  • Those aren’t houses. Those are arrows. Pointing straight to hell. WHICH IS WHERE YOU ARE GOING IF YOU DON’T FIX THAT COLLAR.

    I’m joking, of course. Because it’s just a dog collar, and there is a lot more to life than e-mailing a stranger to harass them about a dog collar. Like e-mailing a stranger to harass them about the organization of their sock drawer, for instance. Let’s focus on the real issues and not allow ourselves to get sidetracked; the collar isn’t mobile enough to create real universal havoc. The socks are probably doing ALL KINDS OF CRAZY THINGS in there. Entertwining … mismatching … creating sheer chaos.

    Sigh. I guess I don’t care about that either, as hard as I’m trying. Look, I’m TRYING to get into the spirit of this, but now I just want to run around town in a dustball costume (homemade, naturally), flipping everyone’s mailbox flags to ambiguous half-mast and clipping the front of their lawns two inches shorter than the rest. Stop tempting me with your insanity!

  • Stop toying with my emotions lady!

    I will not be able to sleep tonight if I’m not sure the collar situation has been rectified.


  • I like the collar upside down – feels like an F You to The Man, the upside-down house being sort of like an upside-down cross. Chuck don’t need no old-fashioned 50s-style family! He’s a badass! Rebel.

  • Z

    That’s hilarious b/c I didn’t realize it was upside down b/c I just assumed it was some sort of abstract design. Not a doghouse.

  • Sumo

    So… you have a sprinkler head in the middle of your driveway? So you can get that undercarriage wash?

    By the way, I hope you left the collar the way it was!

  • MontanaJen

    What is it with dogs and water?

    I have a big American Foxhound, and she loveslovesLOVES the hose. She simply cannot contain herself when the water is ON and SHE NEEDS IT IN HER MOUTHRIGHTNOW.

    She is happiest when I just put the hose on the ground. She’ll step on it just so the water sprays in the air and squirts her, then she’ll wrap her mouth around the end of the hose so water is literally squirting down her throat and out the other side of her mouth and walk around the yard with it.

    One hot summer day I left the back door open while running in and out of the house and letting hound-dog walk around watering herself.

    She followed me into the house. With the hose. I didn’t notice for a little while.

    Crazy dogs.

  • Ash

    And here I was thinking that the character in the TV show “Monk” wasn’t based on a real person. Obviously I was wrong, and he reads

    People, if a collar upside down in a picture causes you to repeatedly email someone for days, trust me: YOU NEED A THERAPIST!

    That, or an exorcist….or better drugs…or maybe all of the above…

  • trublu76

    I turned my puppy’s collar upside down in a show of unity.
    All dogs unite in upside down fashion!

    We don’t have sprinklers, but my pup, Nayla, a Siberian Husky, gets extremely hot in these NC summers, so she has a kiddie pool (the blue hard plastic type) that we put a couple inches of water in. She will go ’round and ’round that thing biting at the water and then she will dive head first and just lay down. Then she’ll get up and start digging, at the water, crazily, until most of it is in the lawn. Crazy animals!

  • monkey

    It’s not upside down if it’s supposed to be a box-y looking fox! Ooooh!
    As OCD I am about most things, animal collars do not fall into that category. I let my cat run without one for a weeks until I finally cornered him this weekend to put the collar back on (I still haven’t figured out which child took it off to begin with). It makes him so much easier to find…you know, when I lose him…in my tiny, tiny apartment. (Did I mention he’s strictly an indoor cat?) I can’t tell you how many times I’ve misplaced him. And once I accidently locked him out of the apartment. Man, he was mad at me for hours for the 5 minutes he was locked out. Maybe I should invest in a key finder and attach it to him.

  • Karilynn Kelley

    You did fix it! In this particular photograph of Chuck, it is right-side up:

    I win!

  • Sheana

    Chuck wins at life.

  • Oh the humanity! An upside down collar! Please restore order to the universe immediately! If this keeps up, before you know it, you’ll be posting pictures of your child wearing… INSIDE OUT SOCKS!

    Change your course of action now before the Humane Society or Human Services get involved.

  • Ok, what the hell are those things supposed to be anyway, even turned right side up? I noticed the collar…they looked like the spaceships from Space Invaders…seemed to suit you guys, or at least Jon, so I didn’t think too much of it. I take it those are little doghouses or something? I say forget turning his collar around…just get him a new one that is not so ambiguous…how about with his name on it or some cool hippy type pattern. Geez people must get lives to worry about a dog collar…or try and kid you guys about it. Seriously, are those dog houses? Now I’m twitching cuz I can’t tell what the “frick” they are either upside down or right side up. Yup, a nice new collar with his name in shiny golden leaders seems like the best idea. If you guys can’t spring for one with all the cash spent on the sewer, I’ll mail you one. You want it to say “Chuck” or “Mr. Senator” or “Just Stop Looking At Me”? Really, I think they are Space Invader alien ships now that I’ve studied it nonstop for the past 30 minutes…tick, tick, TOCK.

  • So I didn’t notice that it was upside-down the first time. But now that you’ve pointed it out, it’s DRIVING ME CRAZY!

    Please. For the sake of my sanity, turn it right-side up!!

  • swankette

    I just figured it was his way of rebelling against people who like to put stuff on his head.

  • MissusB

    Wow. Some people just have too much time on their hands. It doesn’t matter which way the collar is, Chuck is still the shit.

  • Embrace diversity. Former Congressman, I salute you!

  • I don’t imagine there would be this much fuss if Dubya had HIS collar upside down; that would be business as usual. I would even bet that Chuck has a better command of the English language. It’s sad when the public expects more from pets than the president.


  • oh my gosh- i love that he is trying to eat the sprinklers! we’re installing an irrigation system at the end of june and i can’t wait till our two little ones try to defeat the evil sprinkler heads!

  • Kit

    Chuck kind of looks like a deer in the first picture. And that’s pretty cute.

  • The former congressman can do whatever he wants, including making a bold fashion statement and sticking his ass up in the air for all to admire. That’s how he rolls.

  • Dear Chuck,
    The greater a philospher one is, the less he can abide the questions of the common man. (quote from a forgotten source)
    Your faithful disciple,

  • While I a.) can’t claim to have noticed when you originally posted the picture, and b.) am quite certain I’d never email someone to vent about their dog’s collar being upside down, I will admit that I am OCD enough to where I would notice if I had put the collar on upside down, and would feel compelled to correct it for fear that not doing so would result in my world collapsing around me.
    So, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m sick, but not in an invasive, boundary-encroaching way.

  • proof that I pay absolutely no attention to detail, I had no idea Chuck’s collar was upside down. I don’t know if I should be ashamed of that fact or relieved that the OCD seems to be under control 😉

  • It could also be a collar of downward-facing arrows. How’s that?

  • happy

    Chuck proved that he is as good at action photos as he is at fashion shots.
    And I have to say your nature shots in your daily photos are amazing. You should offer prints for sale. Seriously.

  • I didn’t notice that the first time you posted his picture…now I’m going nuts!

  • ktjane

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


    i can’t wait to see how this one turns out! 🙂

  • betsy

    In order to handle looking at the collar, I just assume its a fox head with rectangular ears…then i can sigh with relief that the world is not upside down. I want a chuck too. 🙁

  • I like the collar like that – it shows spunk and uniqueness! Now go get ’em Senator!

  • heh – it’s SO TOTALLY right side up when he’s drinking….

    My tic goes away when I look at it that way.

  • Nice ass Chuck!

  • Molicious

    Hehe, just goes to show that dogs are stupid. So are people.

  • mean ass. you’re just mad at everyone for siding with Jon.

    I’m the person who doesn’t have toilet paper ‘over’.
    I do it to freak out my 2 OCD friends who come over. Everytime they leave it’s flipped ‘over’. It makes me laugh.

  • At least Chuck is wearing clothes. My dog’s neck has gotten so fat she has to walk around naked.

  • Society anthropromorphizes(?) the animal kingdom where we(people) think that subtle details matter in their world. WE get concerned about the complexes they may develop over such issues. And then they try to show us, especially pets, that they are, after all, just animals and there are more important matters at stake. Getting this thing that spews water. Or with cats, chasing the little red light(laser) that keeps moving, disappearing, climbing the wall, etc.

  • Okay so I love pictures of Chuck. I think it is GREAT that you left his collar alone. I have family members who think my dog is abused because I put clothes on him. I have refered them to spaghetti noodle shots of Chuck. Your dog is great. Catching him trying to eat the sprinklers was awesome. Keep the Chuck pictures coming. I never get tired of Leta or Chuck pictures.

  • Smacky

    I hope you left it like that. It’s so unique. 😀

  • I think the collar is just great! Honestly I didn’t even noticed it was turned upside down until it was brought to my attention! Beautiful dog as well!

  • I like the collar.

  • goddesschristine

    HEH! Upside down collars are like, so punk rock and master darkmood Chuck wouldn’t have it any other way. Also, Looking at today’s picture, Heather, Leta has the most gorgeous eyes, ever.

  • Susan

    What if the collar decor isn’t really a house motif, but rather a subliminal message, pointing to Chuck’s “special” licking spot. In dog language he’s really saying “LICK ME HERE ASSBAGS!”

  • Upside down works, because when you are looking at him head on, the houses are faced the correct way. If you are looking at him doggy style, then the houses are upside down.

    Lesson: don’t look at Chuck doggy style and you will be just fine.

  • Sherri

    To hell with the collar, Heather. Now, I am concerned about Chuck being run over by the car!!! What if the car rolls while he is investigating the sprinkler? I am going to have nightmares about this tonight!

  • Sunshine


    Obviously, the Senator has taken up golf.

    Those are the little picky-things you use to repair the turf after you’ve dug up clumps of shit when you miss the ball.

    Maybe I should try tennis.

  • shelley bonnechance, it is NOT a ‘poop hole’. Think of it as we do–it is a ‘rosebud’. Kinda looks like it, huh, huh? Even our vet chortles when we refer to our dogs’ ‘rosebuds’.

  • brandy

    I am just stunned that chuck is so willing to attack a high pressure water sprinkler. My dog would rather get hit by a car then have an outdoor bath.

    Then again you can put noodles on his noggin and he stays perfectly still.

    Are you positive he is not a robot?

  • deannie

    His collar was upside down? What a beautiful dog.

  • Did you notice when he puts his head down the houses ARE right-side up? So if you flip the collar and he attacks the sprinklers again people will think there’s a tornado in Utah. It’ll be a mess. You’ll be getting e-mails left, right and sideways from folks musing: “uh, oh TOTO. I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore. …”

  • DobieVSW

    Does this qualify as a wardrobe malfunction?

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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