Heater, Mother of Lance

Noodly appendage

The number one request I receive in my inbox, other than SHOW US UR BOOBZ!!!!, is for a video of us torturing Chuck with spaghetti noodles, a pastime that has been documented here and here. Months ago I made the decision that we’d get it on tape, but then I stopped making pasta because there were all these frozen pizzas on sale at the grocery store. I bought as many as would fit into our freezer, and then every night we’d stick one in the oven and have a delicious, well-balanced meal within 20 minutes without any work on my part except for the labor required in turning on the oven. That is my only complaint about frozen pizza, that it cannot be eaten right out of the box, although I have done that once and afterward didn’t puke nearly as many times as I thought I would.

This weekend I fixed spaghetti for the first time in several weeks primarily because we tend to cook more when the weather outside is colder. The change in season sets off the Mormon homemaker buried deep inside me, and I cook and clean more than I do at any other time of year, usually while wearing a bonnet and humming tunes whose lyrics warn of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Because anyone who has read the Bible knows that the last thing you want is for the triumphant return of the Lord to happen before you’ve had a chance to vacuum your living room. He will totally notice. And worse, so will your mom.

Normally I like to leave spaghetti noodles very long so that I can twirl them around my fork like people do in the movies. But lately I’ve been trying to make everything as appealing to Leta as possible, so this weekend I broke the entire box of noodles in half. That way she had at least a fighting chance of getting an entire noodle into her mouth without realizing just how slimy and oogly a cooked piece of pasta can be. It didn’t work, it never does, and instead of eating a single bite she spent the entire meal wiping pasta sauce off each noodle. With a wet wipe. Until every noodle in her bowl was clean. As if preparing her personal space for the triumphant return of the Lord.

As we cleaned up the kitchen and prepared Chuck for taping, I realized that the noodles would not be long enough to wrap around his snout. I almost cancelled the whole thing until I saw the look on Chuck’s face, one that said he had been waiting for those noodles for months, woman, do not yank the rug out from under him now. So what you will see here is not the traditional ritual of spaghetti torture, but instead a variation involving large clumps of sticky pasta and the flat, noble head of one very good puppy.

Launch video (11 MB Quicktime file)

  • Tom

    2006/10/23 at 2:22 pm

    Hahah… great video. Also, great song choice. The new Yo La Tengo is pretty good. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Jenn

    2006/10/23 at 2:26 pm

    I knew spaghetti sounded good for supper tonight…

    Go Chuckles go!

  • Colleen

    2006/10/23 at 2:26 pm

    He’s such a great dog. 🙂

    Also, would Leta eat noodles with butter & salt?

  • MadKat

    2006/10/23 at 2:26 pm

    Love it! Of course love Leta and her attention to detail – she’s just preparing for her time of “winter-housekeeping” in the future!

  • JustLinda

    2006/10/23 at 2:27 pm

    That dog is a freaking saint. Saint Chuck. The patron saint of pasta. Or patience. Or something…

    I want to be first in line to offer up my toy poodle to be the mother of his pups. She can take it, I’m sure of it. We could meet in Idaho or something.

  • Skeezeroo

    2006/10/23 at 2:28 pm

    OHHHHH, you people are so charming! I just want to squeeze little Chuck, for how GOOD he is, and you guys, well, too bad you can’t be pals with all of us out here who love you.

  • Sleepless in St. Louis

    2006/10/23 at 2:28 pm

    That’s using the ol noodle Chuck. What a great dog. Not many would put up with that.

  • Nanette

    2006/10/23 at 2:29 pm

    That is one good pup! Ha–frozen pizza a balanced meal–now that is some info I can use! 🙂

  • msadventures

    2006/10/23 at 2:29 pm

    Argh! I wish I could see it…I haven’t been able to watch the last few videos, they just don’t ever load up for me.

    Is it just me??

  • Littlehoney

    2006/10/23 at 2:31 pm

    What a good dog! I wish mine would even let the biscuit stay on his nose for more than a nano-second after I’ve said, “nooooo, don’t eat the cookie…be goooooooood.” yeah, that’s doesn’t work so well.

  • Josh_Ward

    2006/10/23 at 2:35 pm

    Was that Jon with the pottie mouth in the background? I don’t think I’ve ever heard his voice. Just yours and Leta’s. Of course I wouldn’t know what to do with all that s*** on my head either! Go Chuckles!

  • jolie

    2006/10/23 at 2:35 pm

    have you considered boiling the pasta in soapy water? leta might like that – then it would be infused with wet-nap flavor and be squeaky clean in preparation for the cometh of the lord.

  • token

    2006/10/23 at 2:50 pm

    That dog really loves you!

    Our son didn’t like the long noodles either, but he loved mac and cheese…so I still make spagetti with elbow macoroni!

  • echo8322

    2006/10/23 at 2:55 pm


    Bet those noodles never tasted so good 🙂

  • Pete Dunn

    2006/10/23 at 3:02 pm

    I can never remember which it is… if the noodles stick to Chuck does that mean they are done or that they need more cooking?

    Pete – http://fiddley.com

  • Brian

    2006/10/23 at 3:04 pm

    This is the best birthday present I’ve gotten so far today. Is that sad?

  • SheAteAWholePie

    2006/10/23 at 3:06 pm

    I certainly hope there is noodle tomfoolery included in the Chuckles calendar!

  • she who daydreams

    2006/10/23 at 3:13 pm

    Oh, Chuck. How we love thee.

  • bananie

    2006/10/23 at 3:22 pm

    this is fabulousness.

    we have been inspired to train our dogs to “wait” and hold, but it just pisses them off. we have, however, mastered the bathtub photo shoot:

  • Lori

    2006/10/23 at 5:46 pm

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!! Who didn’t need a Chuck video on a Monday??? Superb. Film-making at its very best. As always, Thank You. L-

  • MsShad

    2006/10/23 at 3:24 pm

    Uh oh. I remember you saying watching a Cesar Millan marathon changed things forever in regards to Chuck. I think there was a great deal of guilt involved…

    I think… seem to remember you apologizing for fucking him up. Maybe it’s my memory that’s messed up, maybe you didn’t say fucked up.

    I’d love a post about what you learned from Cesar and how it changed your view towards Chuck, because both of you seemed really ummm impacted by what you learned.

    Altho, it doesn’t seem to show here with the noodle business.

    Just say’n.


  • Lulu

    2006/10/23 at 3:26 pm

    Oh I can’t wait to see him try and balance a pizza on his snout!!

    So cute…just what I need before I go to class!!

  • Sara

    2006/10/23 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you for that! I love the way his lips quivered in that menacing way, in anticipation. Nice credits, too — my daughter and I both enjoyed this happy interlude…

  • Billygean.co.uk

    2006/10/23 at 3:30 pm

    Hm, Heather, that crashes my PC. God knows why; it’s usually fine with Apple.

    computer was really really quite pissed off though. It actively tried to hide from me the fact that it had clearly opened too many Mozillas, and then wouldn’t let me end the programmes in the processes section. Charming. Now it’s bleating at me about unused desktop icons. Least of our problems!

    I have Chuck withd r a w a l… 🙁


  • Kari

    2006/10/23 at 3:32 pm

    Msadventures, I’ve been unable to watch the videos too. Haven’t tried at home, though, just the work ‘puter.

  • Kevin Donahue

    2006/10/23 at 3:37 pm

    That totally cracked my shit up!! We lost a sweet dog this week and that just reminded me how much personality our little friends have! Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  • Julie

    2006/10/23 at 3:38 pm

    I think my favorite part was Jon’s “He doesn’t know what to do with all that shit on his head” comment. Brilliant. And bravo, Chuck. That’s what they’re talking about when they say patience is a virtue. Or perhaps just leads to really starchy fur.

  • Di

    2006/10/23 at 3:44 pm

    How can you waste perfectly good food like that when there are starving people in [fill in current poverty-stricken country]? Oops…sorry I morphed into my Mom there for a moment. LOVED IT! Made the kids watch it. My son said, “Your friend Dooce made that?” I guess he’s heard me talk about you so much he thinks you are one of my friends…well, you kinda are. Thanks for a great video. I have no idea how one would do this, but are you going to put it on YouTube?

  • Lisa Jordan

    2006/10/23 at 3:46 pm

    I love Chuck! I love him! I think I have dog noodle envy.

  • CrankMama

    2006/10/23 at 3:56 pm

    I knew those wet wipes were good for something!

  • mom on a wire

    2006/10/23 at 3:58 pm

    Oh, Chuckster. What a good boy you are.

  • HighlandAmy

    2006/10/23 at 3:59 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh. That was the greatest video EVER!
    Chuck is such a good dog for putting up with you 😉

  • Karen Rani

    2006/10/23 at 4:00 pm

    Dylan nearly peed himself over “H stands for Hardass.” That Chuck is a billion times more patient than Ruffy.

  • staceypacer1

    2006/10/23 at 4:05 pm

    While teaching metaphors today in English class, I read the example sentence on the handout I gave (and wrote) to my students, “The dog is a big noodle.”

    Without context the sentence seemed a little silly…tomorrow I will properly display the picture and text together.

    Thanks Heather, you will prove to 150 high school freshmen that their teacher truly is a “wealth and plethora of undiscovered knowlege.”

  • Alison

    2006/10/23 at 4:12 pm

    Oh. my. God. *applauds*

  • Alison

    2006/10/23 at 4:13 pm

    Oh, and love the FSM reference.

  • gleek

    2006/10/23 at 4:16 pm

    oh chuck. you’re such a good dog. so patient and obiedient to your two legged friends 🙂

  • anne nahm

    2006/10/23 at 4:17 pm

    I am oddly endeared, although I had my doubts going in.

  • Danielle

    2006/10/23 at 4:17 pm

    This was fantastic! I love how he just keeps waiting there patiently even after you tell him it is okay.


    It totally cheered me up.

  • jamie

    2006/10/23 at 4:18 pm

    Oh. My. God.
    Why is that so damned funny???
    I know PETA is going to be knocking on my door any minute now just for laughing at it!

    We are SO getting a Chuck calendar for ’07. Totally.

  • Megan Garnhum

    2006/10/23 at 4:25 pm

    We got a good hearty ‘chuckle’ – thanks!

  • Susan

    2006/10/23 at 4:28 pm

    That just made my day. Brilliant, Chuck, just brilliant.

  • FashMags

    2006/10/23 at 4:40 pm

    That is the best dog in the world. Caesar Millan would be proud of your training. Or maybe totally freaked out. He would be pleased that you are the pack leaders I guess. Congrats! Can’t wait for the calendar!

  • JimBell

    2006/10/23 at 4:47 pm

    Tat was just what I needed after a REALLY hard day.

  • beacherteacher

    2006/10/23 at 4:48 pm

    As the mother of two, yes, two neat-freak children, I offer my noodle advice:
    1. Use rotelle or rotini, twisty pasta
    2. Leave the noodles plain for Leta
    3. Offer a small dish of sauce for dipping the pasta ever so daintily into, so as not to dirty the fingers.

    There is hope. After 9 years one of my twins has grown out of this habit!

  • Rose

    2006/10/23 at 5:06 pm

    That video was perfectly perfect in its Chuckness. Thank you for brightening my day.

  • UpsideUp

    2006/10/23 at 5:17 pm

    have you tried balancing noodles on leta’s head? perhaps she would then eat them as well as chuck?

    love the credits too.

  • Msyvone

    2006/10/23 at 5:31 pm

    Oh yay! nothing brightens my day more than watching such a good dog balance noodles!

  • kathrynaz

    2006/10/23 at 5:34 pm


    Play it again, and this time watch for that moment (about 20 sec from the end) where it looks like a tear is about to fall from his eye.


  • kim olivia

    2006/10/23 at 5:36 pm

    I’ve never commented on your site before. I don’t know why. But I felt compelled to comment after seeing this because OH MY GOSH I love your dog.

    Go Chuck!

1 2 3 4

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.

read more