the smell of my desperation has become a stench

One trick the dog taught himself

A few months ago we had a couple lines in our sprinkler system replaced at the same time that we forced a family of tarantulas to relocate to someplace other than NEAR ME. We paid good money for the new sprinklers, but recently we noticed that they have been watering the face of the house instead of the yard. Jon has spent several hours in the last week trying to fix the problem, and one afternoon as he was bending over the valve box one of the knobs snapped off and a gust of water shot up straight into his face. A similar gust of obscenities then exploded out of his mouth, down from the black spot in his brain that had rotted out from watching a single episode of “Access Hollywood.”

Yesterday while Jon was doing some final adjustments, Chuck ran back and forth between sprinklers trying to stop them with his mouth. We’ve caught this struggle before on camera, but yesterday was this first time we got in on video. What you won’t hear is Leta screaming in the background because she thinks Chuck is hurting the water, and me trying to explain that water doesn’t have nerve-endings, so it probably doesn’t feel a thing, but that’s awful cute of you to care like that, Sugar Booger.

Launch video.

(We’re trying out something new this week with the video because the file is so big [8.3 MB]. It’s only available in quicktime because we haven’t figured out how to get flash files to work with the new video hosting service. If you don’t have the latest version of Quicktime installed, you can download it here.)

  • danielle

    2006/09/13 at 12:43 pm

    i think you guys should win an oscar for the editing.

    oh, and best. credits. ever.

  • stephanie

    2006/09/13 at 11:08 am

    oh great, now i’m gonna have to watch this at home when i’m behind my superior computer with programs that work.

    and at this time my pug will freak it into overdrive and i won’t be able to hear the supposed awesome song over all the barking made bearable by the cutest head tilting ever.

  • Cinelady

    2006/09/13 at 11:12 am


    Oh man, you have no idea how much I needed that laugh today!

  • Laura S

    2006/09/13 at 12:13 pm

    The Catholic church near our house has a busted sprinkler like this one.

    Whenever the sprinklers are on during our daily walk, our dog will begin to growl and bark and eventually attack the very water that is destined to bless the lawn and all the little Catholic children.

    I’m not sure if he’s against religion in general or if his greater goal is self baptism by sprinkler head. I usually hang around and let him play for awhile. After all, there is so little holy water left on earth. 😉

    Good ol’ Chuck, thanks for the laugh!

  • deejay

    2006/09/13 at 8:15 am

    The picture of Chuck in the masthead reminds me of the little, old Polish grandmas who would hang out at the Bingo Hall at St. Rose in their babushkas. Is Chuck also wearing rolled down, flesh-colored support hose? He really rocks the look! For a masthead comment may I suggest “Barney! Not on MY watch”.

  • Mr. Mattlandia Himself

    2006/09/13 at 8:26 am

    OMG. Dogbrilliant, dogbrilliant, dogbrilliant.

  • emery jo

    2006/09/13 at 9:30 am

    mmmm…..sugar boogers.

  • OutOfTune

    2006/09/13 at 9:48 am

    “we forced a family of tarantulas to relocate to someplace other than NEAR ME. ”

    “The next time I want to scare the shit out of Jon I’m going to sneak up behind him while he’s changing clothes, poke my finger in his butt and say, “Grapefruit NEAR ME!””

    *giggles to herself*

  • Gretchie

    2006/09/13 at 8:34 am

    Awesome! I don’t know what you did with the video, but that’s the first time I was able to play one of your vids at work. Granted, we recently got new ‘puters, so maybe that’s it. I dunno. Loved the Chuckage, tho.

  • Dulcenea

    2006/09/13 at 9:02 am

    Haha. I love the credits at the end!

  • Tim in Flyover Country

    2006/09/13 at 8:14 am

    I love the credits!! Especially the line about the screaming child and the twizzler! Does Chuck have “Representation” yet? That boy is going places!!!He should have been Katie Couric’s replacement on the “Today” show….

  • Mark7r0n

    2006/09/13 at 6:49 am

    I’m a jackass sorry.

  • Erika

    2006/09/13 at 7:02 am

    Have you guys ever thought of putting these on YouTube, so those of us with Big Brother can watch them? I feel like a kid, “I wanna see, I wanna see!”

  • 6degrees

    2006/09/13 at 8:12 am

    Apparently you haven’t been able to hear me, the screamer who screams incessantly with the screaming… I wants me an Chuck! You really should consider breeding… at the very least, can you mail me a T-cell or two?

    And I lovelovelove the fast motion segment of the piece… Again, the other gophers in the cube farm popped their little heads above the cubes, since the titterer who tittered a ton with the tittering (me) tittered loud enough for all to hear… then again, this place is so quiet you could hear a fly fart down the hall, around the corner, through the skyway into the next building…

  • bobbarama

    2006/09/13 at 6:45 am

    Oh, wow. You’ve invented an automaton dog walker. Turn on sprinklers, release dog, wait 15 minutes, turn off sprinklers.

    Chuck totally rocks.

  • Mark7r0n

    2006/09/13 at 6:47 am

    Awesome video editing. Having played with video editing before I know it can be sanity eroding. Definitely something that requires patients-bolstering substances. Also, that buffered super-duper fast for 8.3 jeezles and I know it was not due to my internet here at work since it is consistently eleventh-rate speed (512Mbit down? seriously, who even sells that anymore?)

  • lildivas

    2006/09/13 at 5:40 am

    absolutely hilarious from the star of the show to the credits. Brilliant 🙂

  • kendall

    2006/09/13 at 5:43 am

    Wolfmother must be so proud.

  • Culotte Folle

    2006/09/13 at 5:47 am

    Yes! Sugar Booger! From the best movie ever, Reality Bites.

    (Maybe not the best movie ever? But pretty funny nonetheless.)

  • thejoyof

    2006/09/13 at 6:24 am

    I tried to download Quicktime and then my laptop crashed. Lost everything 🙁

    Still want to see the video but am scared to download on my p.c. What’s a Chuck-o-holic to do?

  • Genny2118

    2006/09/13 at 6:44 am

    It looks like his collar is on the right way this time. Did you give in and fix it for him? 😉

  • Mark7r0n

    2006/09/13 at 6:45 am

    Awesome video editing. Having played with video editing before I know it can be sanity eroding. Definitely something that requires patients-bolstering substances. Also, that buffered super-duper fast for 8.3 jeezles and I know it was not due to my internet here at work since it is consistently second-rate speed.

  • Alotta Errata

    2006/09/13 at 6:14 am

    When she was younger our dog would hop into the baby pool while we were trying to fill it and attack the end of the hose.

    Keep up the good work, Chuck!

  • dunderfunk

    2006/09/13 at 5:26 am

    I have found that sprinklers are perfect for drowning my mother-in-law’s manic ill-tempered little Lakeland Terrier, purchased for $4,000 as a status symbol, and then promptly “not trained.”


  • Cassie

    2006/09/13 at 3:37 am

    I wish I could figure out why quicktime never works on my computer. I’ll keep fighting with it though!

    I will never understand animals’ war with the sprinklers. But it will always be funny 🙂

  • Kathleen

    2006/09/13 at 4:26 am

    I love this! Dogs are funny! And LEta is funny for caring so much about the water.

    I call my kids Sugar Booger, too!

  • Ranger

    2006/09/13 at 4:54 am

    What would Cesar Millan say?

  • geeky

    2006/09/13 at 5:02 am

    omg our dog does THE SAME THING!

  • Luca

    2006/09/13 at 5:21 am

    ~grin~ My little boy woke up and wandered in while the video was playing; he was mesmerised and asked me to play it two more times. I’ve got to say, though, the credits are my favorite bit. 🙂

  • MLav

    2006/09/13 at 5:25 am

    I bet that chuck’s oral hygiene is spectacular.
    100% plaque free.

    The cleanest dog mouth west of the mississippi!

  • deannie

    2006/09/13 at 2:56 am

    My daughter Lizbet and I watched and laughed. Those ending credits!! Loved it.

    We both agreed it would have been just hilarious to have Leta’s voice screaming at Chuck…


  • RzDrms

    2006/09/13 at 3:13 am

    MarathonGirlJess: i’m a girl; i’m not a guy.

  • MarathonGirlJess

    2006/09/13 at 2:20 am

    I agree with the You Tube guy above for the following reasons:

    1 – for selfish reasons – I haven’t updated to OS X version 10.3 because my iBook is ancient and I’m saving up for the new MacBook Pro (which I will get when 10.4 is out next spring), so I can’t get the Quicktime update that will enable me to see the video. I can get audio, but no water-eating Chuck goodness.

    2 – I, too, am curious about the # of hits you get.

    3 – I bet you’d drive traffic back from You Tube to and boost your ad revenue even higher, thus ensuring more blurbodoocery financial security.

  • kim from germany

    2006/09/13 at 12:57 am

    LOVE the video. so how were the burgers and fries?
    and is the water okay? 🙂

  • goldengraham

    2006/09/12 at 9:14 pm

    I love wolf mother! My bro made a video for me with that same song.

  • Jim

    2006/09/12 at 11:37 pm

    He was taught that, Not taught himself!

  • Kungfukitten

    2006/09/12 at 11:52 pm

    I’m quite happy to see that you’re keeping your dog hydrated in this hot weather. What was really funny is my cat was asleep next to me and when the music blared on he rolled over and watched the entire video. When it was over, I looked at him and he just rolled his eyes as if to say: “Humph, dogs.” and went back to sleep. I loved the credit at the end. Seriously, what don’t we have Prozac to thank for?

  • Nadine -

    2006/09/12 at 7:51 pm


    Many gets tarantula attacks now…

    Or, should I say, the tarantula gets a dog attack…

  • Chantel

    2006/09/12 at 8:22 pm

    But the song is the best.

    My kids will totally think I’m cool after I play this for them.

  • talullah

    2006/09/12 at 9:09 pm

    I *love* your dog! Thanks for sharing this awesome video.

  • shannwa

    2006/09/12 at 9:11 pm

    What a great video, guys. LOVED the credits at the end. Chuck cracks me up. I would have loved to have heard Leta yelling about the water hurting chuck, but the music was perfect!! I also want fries, now!! I agree with the poster who thinks that you guys need to put these videos on UTube.

  • goddesschristine

    2006/09/12 at 9:13 pm


    seriously, Chuck makes me want to burst into flames with love.

  • Gopher

    2006/09/12 at 7:11 pm

    Loved the theme music. Chuck is one special dog…er…ex congressman.

    How were the fries??? I miss fries.

  • mrsjennylynn

    2006/09/12 at 7:15 pm

    Love it, espeically the credits.

  • Mary Craig

    2006/09/12 at 7:15 pm

    In the realm of crazy assed things a dog could do, this is actually pretty tame. I used to know a dog who would try to bite the flame on candles. It would go like this: Bite, jump, yelp. Every time. (I will admit with some shame that it was the funniest thing we’d ever seen. I am also willing to admit that cannibis may have been involved. It was a long time ago and I’m a better person now. Really.)

    I also knew a dog who would literally chase parked cars.

    So, really, Chuck seems pretty reasonable.

  • Bob Masingale

    2006/09/12 at 7:07 pm

    Cool … an automaton ‘dog walker.’ Turn on the sprinklers, let the dog loose for 10 minutes, turn off the sprinklers. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

    Heather … I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve added your blog to my list of Favorite Blogs on my site. (I just launched my blog last weekend … and, actually, I’ll be posting my next entry tonight.)

    You can check it out here if you like.

    Your blog rocks. Big time.

  • testkat

    2006/09/12 at 6:38 pm

    Awesome. With his good looks and his determination, nothing will stop him. That is, until you turn the water off.

  • onegirlmanyideas

    2006/09/12 at 6:44 pm

    duuude. chuck totally put the towel in the toilet. he was messing with the sprinklers one day when you guys were gone, then he was toweling off so you wouldn’t notice, then he heard the car pull up and he totally flushed it to get rid of the evidence. man, that dog is sneaky.

  • Carol

    2006/09/12 at 7:01 pm

    It warms my heart that there is something geeky that you and Jon can’t figure out. It makes me feel much less inadequate!

  • bluemorpho

    2006/09/12 at 5:22 pm

    Thank you ever so kindly for putting who did the song in the credits. It saved me from commenting simply to ask.

    Good song.

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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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