An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Crazy dog person

Yesterday afternoon when I picked Leta up from school I asked her teacher if everything had gone well, wanted to make sure that if Leta had thrown her body on the floor that they were able to peel it off in one piece. She asked if we had any pets, because Leta had told the entire class about her dog, Chuck, and how he lives in the car.

Let’s back up a second. Leta voluntarily talked about Chuck? I asked the teacher if she had threatened anything to elicit this phenomenon, because the only way we can get Leta to acknowledge Chuck’s existence is to hang a Dora figurine over the trash and demand that she look directly at the dog or else DORA DIES. In fact, that’s the tactic we’re using most these days as leverage, heading toward the recycling bin with one of her treasures in hand, giving her the option of either obeying, or this? This Target insert from the Sunday paper, FROM JULY? Do you even have any idea how much pleasure it would be for me to drop it in?

Sometimes I do it even when she’s behaving, for no reason other than that it feels so good.

The teacher said no, she hadn’t specifically tried to prompt this Chuck story, only that she was reading a book about animals to the class when Leta piped up and told everyone about her dog who does not live in the house. It sounded weird that we would force the dog to live in the car, so she thought she’d ask.

Ha! Ha ha ha. No, no, we don’t lock the dog in the car all day, that would be crazy. And we are not crazy. Although, now that I think about it, I probably shouldn’t mention that we often like to balance kitchen appliances on his head. Or that we’ve photographed him using a human toilet.

I think Leta says that Chuck lives in the car because he goes everywhere with us and is always sitting next to her in the back seat. It hasn’t always been this way, but in the past four months we’ve made a lot of changes in our lives. It all happened when cousin GEORGE! moved out and we were free of his evil, manipulative influence. I mean, that kid is a bad kid, taught me all sorts of degenerate tricks, like how to make a bomb out of a pineapple, or how to drip a string of spit from a two story window and hit a target. Tricks that DERAILED MY LIFE.

So when he moved out we took back control of our destiny and started eating better and exercising more, and that included taking the dog for a walk every day no matter what. We’ve been diligent enough that we’ve missed only two or three days in the last four months, and this means that Chuck is getting more exercise than he has in years. That in turn means Chuck has slowly become more loyal, and in the last two weeks he’s rarely not in the same room as one of us. He’s even sleeping with us, which is fine until one of us rolls over to give the other one a loving touch, if you know what I’m saying, and it doesn’t matter if he’s in the middle of some wild dog dream, he can sense the loving, and he’ll look up and glare at us, like, are you about to do what I think you’re about to do? That thing where he goes like this, and you go like that? Because I was hoping to throw up today, AND NOW I HAVE A REASON.

When we leave to take Leta to school in the morning he’s there wagging his tail, hopeful that we’ll take him with us. And we always do, I cannot resist his wagging tail, even though Leta inevitably screams that he’s looking at her, or is touching her, or that he’s got four legs. One morning it was, MAMA! CHUCK HAS A TAIL! I DON’T WANT HIM TO HAVE A TAIL! A TAAAIIIIILLLL. A TAAAAAAAIIIILLLLLLLLL!

I’m sure the other parents see us in the parking lot, there every morning with the dog’s face in the window of the car, and are wondering why he’s always with us. Why don’t we leave him at home? Maybe because he would be lonely? He might starve? He might freeze to death out there by himself on the frozen tundra of our living room? Why? Does there have to be a logical reason other than that my dog is cute? If we had four dogs they’d all be in the car, too. Jon thinks this is totally insane, but he has learned to live with it because, let’s just say, sometimes he goes like this, and he would very much like for me to go like that.

  • dee

    Loved this! My parents take their dog pretty much every time they go in the car too. Nothing wrong with that!

  • Dooce!

    I represent a percentage of your readership that would normally not leave a comment. But today on this wonderful Friday I’ve decided to let you know that we’re here, readin’ on. Good stuff you have here.

  • Dynagirl

    If your crazy then Im crazy too. I take my two dogs with me jsut about everywhere, that includes work. My older dog, Shyanne, goes to work with me and entertains the otherwise unplesant bunch of F*&^%rs that come in to complain because their bill is PRINTED DIFFERNT THIS YEAR, or BECAUSE THE TRASH GUY DIDN’T PICK UP LIGHT BULBS. Seriously if it wasnt for her, I would kill someone. The puppy though still craps on the seat, so she stays home more often.

  • Theresa

    Another stellar post, Dooce.

    And my word verification is “I shudder”… It’s nice that it was tied in with the closing theme of the post.

    Our Australian Cattle Dog/Border Collie loves going for a ride, even if it’s just to move the car into the yard to wash it. When we moved from Montana back to Florida, the 2600-mile trip was just another adventure for her, keeping company with her humans and cockatiel and African Grey in the SUV. The Grey tries to order her around (Sydney be quiet… go potty… sit, etc.) but she’s intelligent enough to realize that he doesn’t really have any enforcement authority.

  • I don’t have a dog, but I sometimes borrow my mother’s toy poodle, Sophie. I like to take her to meetings at the agency where I freelance. We put her on the conference table, whereon she prances.

    Once she was there when UPS made a delivery. True to form, she started yapping her head off. My boss commented, “Hmmm. She never barks at the FedEx guy.”

    I think the UPS guy now has a complex.

  • 206, no wait 207 comments?


  • Carrie

    I’m so glad you’ve opened the comments up!
    Do you actually read all of them? There’s a whole lot!

    I loved this entry, it was so funny!
    It’s like Chuck is another human being living in your house.
    He is such a character!

    I think you should post a video of Leta throwing her body on the floor…

  • I find it difficult to concentrate with that man eating his fingers in the Sears ad at the top of the page. If Leta lets her teacher know about the promoting of self cannibalism you’re gonna get a call.

  • Hey, Dooce. I’ve been reading you on and off for as long as I’ve been blogging (on and off as well, for about seven years now). It makes me all warm and fuzzy that you’ve decided to let people comment again. Chuck’s adorable. I’m waiting to adopt a puppy myself. I’m pretty sure it’s going everywhere with me, too.

  • TZ

    I had to laugh at your threaten-the-life-of-Dora discipline technique. I used something similar a few years back when my daughter’s biggest obsession was Barney. She would carry a stuffed Barney with her everywhere we went and on several outings I remember marching her and Barney into a public restroom and threatening to FLUSH Barney unless she behaved!

    Mean and sadistic, maybe, but it worked like a charm and no harm ever came to Barney!

  • zanne

    i live in northern california. people’s dogs go everywhere with them.
    EVERYWHERE. blockbuster, pubs, groceries stores, restrooms.
    work. other people’s houses.

    RARELY if ever are they in their own houses.

    they probably do live in the car.

  • recently got back from thanksgiving at my sister’s. they have a 6 y/o pom (name: mulligan) and a 3 y/o son.

    whenever my dog (1.5 y/o Irish – Finnegan) even DRANK WATER FROM THEIR DOG’S BOWL my nephew totally had a fit. “LOOK, FINNEGAN’s DRINKING THE WATERRRRR! MAKE HIM STOP! THAT’s MULLIGAN’s WATER!!!”

    I, too, take my dog, ev.ery.where. strangers on the street passing us by say hi to the dog and totally ignore the hooman attached to his leash.

    great post.

  • wry catcher

    First of all, I must prostrate myself at your feet, for I am in loving worship of you for crashing the Servers of Evil at The Why. I could not have had a better ending to a shitty day. I hope their pictures of modest calf-length shorts are permanently corrupted by your satanic doings.

    Second, we take our two dogs everywhere with us, they have their own section of the car. We take them to shops and to restaurants (where they often get served a drink before we do) and to friends’ houses, whether they like it or not. Love us, love our dogs. AKA, pretend you like them, or bite me.

    Third, Leta is going to be such an awesome woman, I almost wish I could fast-forward just to watch her take her first asshole boss apart with her pinkies. Because aside from killing the goddamn student “honor” association’s website, THAT would probably be the one other thing that would make my day.

  • Barbara E.

    Why are you letting us comment all over the place all of a sudden? You know we’re on our best behavior right now, but give us another week, and it’ll be like Crack Baby Daycare in here.

  • Also I really like the descriptions with your daily photos.

  • OK it was an also because I didn’t verify the last comment. It went something like this:

    I have been in those frightful car situations, usually involving a strapped in toddler who has trapped me in the vehicle ride from hell. I would have to respond with “I will so pull this car over and cut his tail off. Is that what you want? A stubby tailed dog? Huh? If you had a tail would you want me to just chop it off? Would you?”

    I think the guilt thing is working for me, so far. Boots has a tail. muhahaha

  • Like many previous comment-ers, I would like to profess my love for Chuck. He’s like a surrogate pet to me, so much so that I have him on my desktop, balancing a stapler on his head. Loyal, friendly, and functional.

  • I think you and Jon know how much the Internet loves Chuck-Chuck-Bo-Buck. We’d take him in our car everywhere, too.

  • holy shit. you are damn funny, and I’m glad I get to comment and tell you so.

  • Christie

    I loved this post. I think it’s one of the funniest I’ve read on your site.

  • For the people who comment to point out incorrect spellings and bad punctuation I have a question. WHY?

    Love the post, love it even more since my baby girl is now 18. I miss those days.

  • Anonymous

    Great post, Heather. Our dogs go everywhere with us, too. All four of them. But then we are in the South and it’s kind of expected.

  • You haven’t begun to enter the realm of bad parenting, or substandard dog care, (forcing chuck to live in the car…. Tisk. Tisk.) until you kill your deaf daughter’s imaginary dog in the garage door.

    My mother killed my little sister’s (who happens to be deaf) imaginary dachshund by closing the door on him. One of my most fond childhood memories is my little sister splayed on the sidewalk wailing, signing over and over, “It’s Dead! It’ssss DEAD!,” and my mother franticly signing at the proximity where she thought the imaginary dog was, “No. NO! It’s alive, he’s right here!”

    Then finally resigned to her fate as an imaginary dog murderer, her defense, albeit a weak one… was “I didn’t see him. I didn’t do it on purpose. I just didn’t know he was there.”

    Good times!

  • I have been attempting to take my dog Chester for walks on a regulat basis, however I have come to the conclusion throwing on the rollerskates and letting the 130lb beast pull me is much easier, despite landing on the neighbors grass more then once.

  • Star

    Try two teenagers and three dogs. My home has become a circus.The mental torture inflicted on these poor unsuspecting canines is far worse than anything i could ever have imagined. When they were little they used to pull the “he’s looking at me” or “she’s touching me” on each other but now they’ve turned their attentions elsewhere. No wonder i have three of the most neurotic dogs on the planet. These children are evil – Satan’s spawn. I’m not religious but I’ll totally pray for you when you have another of each (because you will – guaranteed) and you’ll need all the help you can get

  • He goes like this … I go like that … LOVE. IT. 🙂

  • Marisa

    They already make dog seatbelts.

    Dogs can kill themselves if jumping out of the back of a truck if attached with a leash. Our family dog did it years ago.

  • Icanread

    Heather doesn’t MAKE mistakes in her writing on accident people! She intentionally inserts them to give the ARSEGRIP (Anal Retentive Sphincter English Grammar Royal Internet Police) something to do! It’s a gift to them. Recognize it for what it truly is. All you fruitloops, combing through blogs for mistakes are higher than my grannie panties under my boobs.

  • Anonymous

    i take my dog everywhere as well…this has caused me to have nightmares about my car getting stolen or me getting into an accident when the dog is on the car. i need therapy. i dont care about the car, it is a nice car, but…my damn dog…yikes.

  • Woo hoo! Open comments!

    I dunno what was better. Leta wailing about Chuck’s tail or “this” and “that”.

  • Heather, you are the greatest bloggette ever and I just wanted to say that I was very sad when I finished reading your entire archive because I could no longer spend 30 minutes a day on your site.

  • My super pooch goes everywhere with me (, so clearly I think you’ve got the right idea 🙂

  • Bossy’s Dane isn’t just Great, she’s too enormous for any car. So she dies in the frozen tundra of Bossy’s living room every day. Or at least that’s what she leads Bossy’s family to believe.

  • Chuck needs to go too! He deserves to go! Dogs are people too! BTW, your Leta sounds a lot like my Jenna.

  • like this and like that… sounds like my household. i can totally dig it. 😉

  • Ok. As long as Jon isn’t going like that and then you’re going like this.

    Because that would just be disgusting.

  • I had a cat named Houdini. When I adopted him in L.A. the vet said he had been neutered already, so no worries about scheduling a surgery. A year later and Houdini is crying constantly. I assume he’s sick.
    I take him to a different vet and she says “um…he’s a she. and she’s in heat”

    no one knows a difficult animal until you have one with gender identity issues. and there is no guilt quite like the guilt of raising your girl pet as a boy, for the first year of her life. 🙂

  • I really enjoy that you are starting to open up comments again, now I can just spend my entire life on your site! WAY TO MAKE ME NOT GET THINGS DONE!! ; )

  • em

    Love your blog, love your writing, love Chuck, love your daily photo/style/chuck, love it all.

    You make my day.

    Just had to tell you.

  • Nicole

    Am I the only one whose dogs stare at me while I’m trying to have sex? I’m like.. dude CLOSE YOUR EYES!!

  • Cute post!

    What you don’t realize is that now that Leta has told her classmates about Chuck living in the car, they will go home and tell their parents and now when you drive up every morning with Chuck’s face starring out the window, the parents will think, “Oh that poor animal, trapped in that car 24/7!”

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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