An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Daydreaming of palm trees

So I hop into the shower at about 6 PM last night in preparation for dinner guests who would be over in less than a half hour. That’s my way of showing people I really care about them, taking the time to bathe — well, that’s one way. If you show up to my house and one, my hair is washed or two, I make fun of the way you say “concrete,” then you can pretty much assume that I’d give you a kidney if you really needed one.

Jon is upstairs on Leta duty, and when I step out of the shower I find Coco pacing the hallway with a bone in her mouth. I rightly assume that she needs to be let outside, and not wanting to interfere with the wrangling Jon is having to do upstairs I walk to the backdoor, open it quickly, and nudge the puppy into the backyard. A blast of icy air rushes inside, and the water that is beading on my naked body freezes instantly. I briefly consider what it would be like to move back to Southern California where it is currently 70 degrees, the kinds and quantities of illegal drugs we’d have to sell in order to pay the mortgage, how it would be worth it if we got caught and had to serve time in a prison near the ocean.

As I turn to head back to the bathroom I see Coco out of the corner of my eye, and she is hunched over in a ball at the far end of the yard, and she is eating a pile of her own feces. And as you might imagine, this is totally unacceptable, so unacceptable, in fact, that I am forced to open the door again and yell a slew of very hurtful things that I am not at all proud of. No dog is going to come running if you’re projecting that kind of angry energy, I know this, but I’m naked and freezing and my dog is eating poop with the same mouth that she licks my face, YOU CAN FORGIVE ME IF I’M A LITTLE FRAZZLED.

So I grab Jon’s winter coat and slip into his size-13 leather clogs (ACK! I can’t even type that word without contracting a yeast infection! the burning!), both sitting by the door for the times we have to let the dog outside during the night. And I head out in these two items of clothing to interject some sense of decorum into the world. But when she sees my naked, skinny chicken legs plodding along toward her with the giant clogs poking out on my feet like two awkward, malignant tumors, she goes berserk and starts running circles around the yard. Because she is a demon and hates Baby Jesus.

I should head straight back into the house, but somehow that makes me feel like I’m admitting defeat, and I will not be defeated by a seven-pound SHIT-EATING CRITTER, so I start chasing her. In Jon’s clogs. My naked butt barely covered by the bottom of his coat.

I don’t know what this scene looks like from the outside, surely insane, a tad bit confusing. The wet hair on my head is freezing into icicles against my ears, and every time I lean down and try to grab Coco the coat flies open and I’m flashing my boobs to the audience of squirrels in the pine trees.

This goes on for ten minutes until she runs to the back door upstairs. Thinking I can intercept her I run in the backdoor downstairs, fly up to the top floor, pass Jon and Leta who are sitting on the couch playing Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii when Leta sees me and starts screaming, “DADDY IS MAKING ME CRY!” Because apparently she made all his Star Bits go away? And these Star Bits are very important? And I guess he takes his Star Bits very seriously? And they must be important OR ELSE WHY WOULD HE YELL AT HIS THREE-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER FOR NOT UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF STAR BITS? Jon Armstrong, sometimes you make my brain bleed.

This situation can wait thirty seconds while I retrieve my soon-to-be-roasted-alive puppy, although this doesn’t stop Jon from going on about how hard he worked for those Star Bits, there were almost 300 of them, and because Leta pressed the wrong button THEY’RE ALL GONE, but I can’t mediate because Coco is just sitting there at the back door, her tail vigorously wagging, like, HI! WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO? SO GOOD TO SEE YOU, WE SHOULD CATCH UP! As if that whole naked romp through the snow DIDN’T JUST HAPPEN, ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

So I swing the door open, grab her before she has a chance to get away, and then walk back into the living room where Leta is still crying and Jon is actively acquiring more Star Bits. And I’m standing there with my parts peeking out the front of this giant coat, a snow-covered puppy wriggling violently in my arms, her poop-scented tongue licking my forehead. Sometimes life is such that it’s too much to ask for them all to sit still so that I can take ten seconds and put on a pair of panties.

  • eka

    Thanks for a tuesday laugh. It’s ok if your dog eats poop, honestly she sniffs the butts of other dogs with that nose so it’s not a big step down to poop eating.

  • kim

    your invites are gorgeous, that shot of the two dogs in the snow with the mountains in the back ground is amazing…and Leta has lashes to die for.

  • Becky

    A post such as this is precisely why I read dooce…to find comfort in the fact I am not the only one who finds themselves in crazy predicaments involving nudity, swearing, poop, dogs, husbands, and small children. Thanks for the dose of reality.

  • Anonymous

    When we lived in NYC, we got used to our dog trying to eat horse poop, etc., but the day he ate homeless person poop was just…UGH. My husband reached in his mouth to pull it out before he realized what it was and – ew, ew, EW – we could NOT get rid of the smell. We’re planning on getting another dog soon and just remembering that day may have delayed the process by another few months!

  • Christina

    I can’t stop laughing! I’m going to be in trouble because my cubicle is not sound proof and I am laughing/snorting very loudly.

  • BEST.

    I love it. But I, too, was waiting for the dinner guests to arrive to 1) see your lovely dinner dress and 2) settle the Mario Galaxy dispute between Jon and Leta. LOL!

  • Yeah, I see the problem…

  • Yeah, this was a pretty good post but you’ll have to go a bit to beat the first one of yours I read which was the one about you and “Clogsquatch” farting in harmony at the fitness center.

    I would advise caution using MSG on the dog poop though. Neighbors may wonder why you are tenderizing it for the dog.

    We had many dogs and found that in winter the best pooper scooper was a 9 iron. Just undercut that bad boy and chip it over the fence where the dog can’t get to it. Bishops

  • Anu

    Holy Shit! I just fell over laughing 🙂 I’m sorry but that as just too funny. Hope you didn’t catch a cold after all the ‘crap’ you put up with.

  • Mel

    I needed a good laugh. Thank you! 🙂

    I hope your feet are safe.

  • Meghan

    With the week I am having, I really needed the good laugh this gave me. Thank you.

    p.s. This also reminds me how THANKFUL I am that our pup is now a year and a half. Memory is so forgiving.

  • Jeff

    John, here’s a tip:

    Get a Classic Controller that can attach to the Wiimote. Let Leta play with that and have her shake it when it’s time for you to do some shaking with the Wiimote (like traveling through the star warp things or whatever). She’ll NEVER touch your controller again. I’ve got a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old and a controller for each of them and that’s what they use when I play.

  • Jen

    Omg, what a scene! Sorry for the stressing but it’s also hilarious at the same time 🙂 The crap-eating dog scenario happened to my mom more than a decade ago, but yours is more funny because Mom was at least dressed.

  • Heather

    Ok, I know everyone hates Crocs, but mine are MEDICALLY recommended! I had some crazy cancer surgeries on my tibia, down by my ankle and now my left foot swells up to crazy sizes, and Crocs are the only shoes that will fit that foot. Surely my fat cancer foot qualifies me for a free shitty clog pass! Until I can find a better pair of shoes that will fit my giant foot as well as plastic clogs do, I say fie.

  • You really ARE living the dream.

    Apparently when dogs eat their own feces, it’s because they eat too quickly and the food doesn’t totally digest… therefore it still smells (and tastes) like fresh food to them. So maybe you could feed her more often, but less at each time? Just a thought.

    Of course, she could just be a crazy, shit-eating dog. It’s hard to say.

    Also… do you think that people who do competitive eating have this issue?

  • Sharon

    Oh My God! We’re on our third dog that does that!! So instead of just letting her out, we have to go out and wait for her to go and then clean it up immediately. It is the worst. The children don’t even need that much supervision! We’ve tried MSG, tabasco sauce, some horrible spray that is used to get dogs to stop chewing the furniture and I think it was just enhancement for the poop. Makes me crazy.

  • hello from los angeles. yes, i made the mistake of putting on a long sleeved shirt this morning. by the time i came home from running errands with the windows rolled down and music blasting (tori amos, it was that kind of day), the sweat had pooled under my arms, darkening the green of my shirt in little ovals. and although my husband and i are about to buried by our mortgage – we are indeed very warm.

  • Awesome.

  • red

    hilarious. thanks for the afternoon giggle…

  • Peg

    I can’t believe you wore the clogs.

  • 529

    I say you should have let Coco lick Jon’s face to console him over his lost Star Bits.

  • Poop eating is all too common with a dominant female so watch out – there will be other issues – and I’ve never been able to completely break a dog that has this nasty habit…
    A vet told me about this powder once and said, “Put this on her food and it will make her poop taste bad.” Really? It’s not bad enough as is?
    What was Chuck doing? Can’t he hold down the fort for you?

  • duuuuuude. LMAO.

    this is life at my house. honestly, i’m just grateful to hear that my dog, the shih tzu (should be spelled shit zoo), isn’t the ONLY dog who eats her own shit like it’s dinner.

    our boxer also eats poo, but never her own. she prefers the chicken poo, but enjoys a tasty snack of cat turds every now and then. yum.

  • LAUGHING MY ASS OFF OUT LOUD AT WORK…getting strange looks from my boss!

  • I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one that has crazy shit like that happen. Did Coco get to gargle with some Scope or did you give her a little brusha brusha?

  • i haven’t even finished reading – – too funny – – tears in my eyes – – still thinking of the ‘glitter in your veins’ – – and i can’t believe you wore the clogs!

  • dewi

    Dogs that eat their poop are either bored, or have a vitamin deficiency.
    Coco does not sound bored!

  • Lue

    Two very good reasons why I do not have children or pets. I hope there’s enough bourbon around for you to recover sufficiently. 🙂

  • wendy

    My puppy is a shit-eater too. Except it was my four years, left in the potty chair, and evidently too delicious to leave. I gagged, and my kid laughed. Why? Does Cesar know the answer to this?

  • I know it’s counter-intuitive, but if you’re trying to catch your dog, running away from her is supposed to cause her to chase you… right into the house.

    Thankfully, I’ve never seen my dogs eat poop. Vomit? Well that’s a whole ‘nother story.

  • That’s too funny. (And I’m kind of glad my only example of animal picas comes courtesy of a friend: “Um gross. A cat just threw up and the dog is eating it.”)

  • Debbie

    Oh, Heather and this is just the beginning! I have a McNab, which is a variation of a Border Collie. Belle is 10 years old and still has boundless energy in terms of sheer never wanting to stop! So when it comes to these herding type of dogs, it is a huge challenge to give them enough exercise and activities to keep them happy. Belle and I have gone through Agility and Flyball and every other type of dog sport out there. If I had been the athlete that she is — and I’m just the opposite — and not have to work full time, we would have made quite the team; but since I’m not, she’s had to settle for tennis ball and frisbee for hours on end every single day for the last 9 years and 10 months. Good luck with your little monster herder!

  • I just thought of you and Jon’s clogs.

    Nab yourself a pair of these:

    I trudge outside in mine all the time. Well, not through mud and tons of snow. But an inch or two of snow.

  • J. D.

    I so understand Britney Spears better now, gettin’ snapped without her panties.

  • Roberto Boone

    Not the Star Bits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I know how Jon feels. It takes a long time to aquire those bitches and they can be wasted away so quickly!

  • Heidi

    Wow! That was hysterical.

  • Man, I wish your neighbors had a blog…I’d love to hear this story from their perspective!!! 🙂

  • Krissa

    Heather, Heather, Heather…I am going to suggest you get away for a while. Dare I say it? Southern California is a good vacation spot…

  • oh. my. god. becky.

    that sounds pretty much like the time i chased a rat out of my house in the snow… fresh out of a shower… no shoes… just a bathrobe.

    minus the feces.

  • Sarah Burbridge

    Oh my gosh. I laughed till it hurt. I have a 9 month old fox hound who has been the most challenging dog I have ever had. She is also the smartest, but she uses her intellect for EVIL!! Thank you sooooo much. It is nice to know I am not the only one who has been bested in the backyard by a puppy.

  • Aww poor Dooce, I really sympathise. So many times I have donned the overcoat to do some dog wrangling – can be extremely drafty! Recently I heard my dogs barking outside and a man shouting – so I ran outside without thinking (to protect them from some crazy bastard of course) – I was in my teeny pink Winnie the pooh nightdress and no shoes. Did I mention it was raining and the man was my neighbour!

  • Rane

    My pup “ate the poop” as well and I found out that this habit is pretty common and known as coprophagia. Our vet suggested tablets that we bought at PetSmart and they definitely work. You put a tablet(s) in with the puppy’s food once a day. Ours stopped the disgusting habit within a few days. How do I know she stopped……..unless she’s having friends over to group poop while we’re at work, she’s leaving it all for me to pick-up.

  • Our new puppy, Sophie, has yet to eat poop, but she has rolled in some very tall grass once or twice and looked suspicious pleased with her little self.

    You mean it gets worse?

    Oh dear!

  • Last night, I left my office in Santa Monica and headed home, north on PCH. It was the time of evening, immediately after sunset when the sky is quickly darkening from a brilliant orange-pink. I stopped at the light for the Palisades and looked at the palm trees silhouetted black against the gleaming, phosphorescent ocean and wished I was in Hawaii where the water would have been warm and I could have taken a dip before heading home. The grass is always greener, sister.

  • Lisa Marie

    dude! both my dogs eat poop too.

  • AnaBeans Mama

    This is why I am so lovingly addicted to this blog. You and your family make my soul happy. My puppy also eats poop and also runs in circles when I scream, horrified at him…good to know I am not alone.

  • jill

    this is possible one of the greatest stories you have ever posted.

  • Anonymous

    She is going to teach Chuck to eat poop, too. I had one dog who liked “kitty crunchies” and one who liked to eat his own poop. Soon both dogs were eating both disgusting things. They aren’t smart enough to know not to do it but they are smart enough to pick up on one another’s bad habits.

  • Well, Heather…I’m still struggling a bit to create a visual on this due to your overwhelming lack of description. 😉 Holy Poo Balls….that’s HI-larious!

    Oh, and just so you know. Wearing panties is overrated. At least my therapist said so. Eh…what does he know?

  • Jodie

    Coco had to develop at least one bad habit. Try keeping some slip-on shoes for yourself and a longer coat by the back door. Your landscape looks absolutely dreamy, but I would prefer just to look the photos and not be in the cold. That’s why I’ve stayed in Texas… for the warm weather and cost of living.

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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