the smell of my desperation has become a stench

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)

  • PG32

    2006/10/24 at 9:54 am

    Chuck reminds me of Skidboot (google it…he’s another AMAZING dog). Your relationship is a wonderful one.

  • Kung Foodie

    2006/10/24 at 9:59 am

    OMG!!! Dooce….Home of the Wet Noodle! It’s Pasta! It’s Chuck…awwww….loook at zee cute dogga with da nooooooodles. Noooodles…..mmmmmmm. Arrrrggggg. Brain melting

  • MJ

    2006/10/24 at 10:21 am

    I trust Chuck receives a full salary and benefit package for his loyal work? & perhaps an EAP provision for his eventual emotional distress!

  • Po0py

    2006/10/24 at 10:52 am

    You should really consider letting YouTube deal with your bandwidth needs.

    Nice Vid

  • Peggy

    2006/10/24 at 10:55 am

    Chuck is a good dog!
    You said in another post that you were making a calendar featuring Chuck.
    Is this calendar going to be for sale, if so how can I get one?
    Does Leta like spaghetti-o’s? Most kids like those because they can slip them on to the ends of their fingers and eat them like that. FUN!

  • IngaB

    2006/10/24 at 11:04 am

    Add me to the list of those who have been video-deprived since the Chuck v. sprinkler vid. I’m very sad, as I miss Chuck.

    Oh, you and Leta, too.

  • AliceK

    2006/10/24 at 11:06 am

    Heather, I say this out of pure jealousy (only because my dog would have taken my hand off at the wrist with the first piece of pasta):

    I kind of hope Chuck bites you some day. Not hard, just a little. No skin breakage.

  • dancingnancy

    2006/10/24 at 11:13 am

    I haven’t been able to see the last few videos either. They start loading and then……….ahhhh…..nothing. Such a tease.

  • Caloden

    2006/10/24 at 11:16 am

    Gotta love a girl who knows how to make good use out of her wet wipes. It’s a skill that will someday come in very handy.

    Chuck is too much. So cute.

  • Squealbox

    2006/10/24 at 11:45 am

    Chuck the wonder dog is so cool! I love that you guys video his silly antics and share them with the world. My son and I love to watch Chuck in action.

    As for Leta wiping her noodles clean…have you tried butter and parmesean cheese on her spaghetti? Most kids love that.

    Love your site and I always look forward to reading it! Keep up the witty writing. Your photographs are amazing and inspiring!!

  • Christianne

    2006/10/24 at 12:05 pm

    If they had a marshmallow test Chuck would totally ace it. That’s one patient dog!

    I hope at least one noodly picture makes it to the calendar.

  • alibree

    2006/10/24 at 12:16 pm

    i **love** the fsm reference 🙂

  • platypus1320

    2006/10/24 at 12:17 pm

    What a dog! I never get enough of watching Chuck covered in stuff – way better than ‘Stuff On My Cat’!

  • Mindy

    2006/10/24 at 12:31 pm

    Don’t know if anyone has made a suggestion for the people having trouble opening the videos lately (don’t have time to read through the hundred or so comments), but I was having trouble opening them when I would just click on the link. So, I tried opening Quicktime first. If you go to File, Open URL, and then copy and past the URL from the video link, it opens just fine (at least that’s how you do it with my version of Quicktime). Hope that helps someone else who felt like they were missing out on their Chuck & Leta video fixes.

  • anneelizmary

    2006/10/24 at 12:47 pm

    Holy Noodle-isciousness, Batman!

    What. A. Goooooooood. Dogg.

    The best autumn-appropriate vid ever!

    Here I go to get the pasta pot . . . .

  • Darlin'

    2006/10/24 at 12:56 pm

    (don’t have time to read the previous comments so sorry if this has been mentioned). i think leta is a totally normal kid but another parent i know freaked out when her kid did the same types of things with food. she was determined to get a diagnosis and she got one- the doctor said it was sensory integration disorder and she started getting him occupational therpay for feeding issues. i think he (and leta) were just picky and like to be in control over what they eat. eating is one of the only areas kids can control so they often exert their power at the table. oh yeah, the eating therapy? it didn’t help the kid at all and a year later, he started eating everything in site on his own.

  • stephanie

    2006/10/24 at 1:12 pm

    uhh…pg32 did you check heather’s list of links on the left hand side?


    [and count me in with the kleenex bit]

  • Jenny

    2006/10/24 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve never commented before but have loved reading your blog for a long time. You are so clever and funny and your posts always make me smile. But I haven’t been able to see your past couple of videos. A new window opens and it looks like it’s going to load, but it never does. Is there anything I can do to make sure I can see them? Am I doing something wrong? Also, I hope you are feeling ok. I know what your feeling like and it sucks.

  • H. (aka. NC_State_gal)

    2006/10/24 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for the past couple of months and I LOVE the entries about your puppy’s balancing act! He seems to take such pride in it :).

  • P

    2006/10/24 at 1:18 pm

    Chuck! Chuck! Chuck! *crowd chants wildly*

    He’s the shi-zit!

  • thefirecat

    2006/10/24 at 2:27 pm

    See, now you’ve got me wondering how many frozen pizzas he can balance on his head.


  • s@m

    2006/10/24 at 2:51 pm

    *standing ovation*

    Way to Go Chuck!!

    That was fabulous!

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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