Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

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.

  • I swear, if some of the starlets that are in the news these days would simply come forward with a description of their day that made 1/2 as much sense as this well-put-together post did, I bet most everyone would stop being so judgmental!
    Jules

  • Now I see why you never open comments. I seriously hope this is a one time thing. Although, I guess it would be good exercise if you have to chase her away from poo all the time!

  • Andrea

    Don’t worry. You aren’t the only one with a poop eating, dog! I love my lab more than ever, but oh my goodness – he sure can be a pig! One day he was out on his chain (we don’t have the benefit of having a fenced in yard) looking quite interested in one particular mountain of snow. Next thing you know, he has this huge log hanging out of his mouth, much like a cigar. He isn’t quite as bad during the summer (we live in Minnesota). Must be something about those frozen ones that is irresistable! Oh, and he leaves other dog’s goodies alone – he prefers his own. Nasty!

  • Girl, you need a reality show.

  • This reminds me of the year my husband and I lived with my best friend and her little boy. We had three dogs and so did she, yes I know 6 dogs one house what were thinking?? Oh yes and five cats and a six year old little boy. Complete madness!!
    Well one of her dogs would eat any shit it came across, his, the other dogs, the cats. Now once he did eat said shit, he would then come into the house laying about, while his stomach fermented. Occasionally, the episode would start with farting sort of a warning. But normally ( and usually within about twenty minutes of coming in from being outside ) he would becoming immediately and violently ill. Projectile vomiting and or diarrhea. Took only a few times of this happening, for us to learn he goes out on a leash and by himself.

  • Le Fiffre

    You are in fine form and at the top of your game. (And I don’t mean out there in the yard.)

    You’ll live to be ninety, be the first to win some major high-brow prize for blogging, and write pithy glory until the end. You’ll probably have your own obit penned by then, and your headstone designed, as well.

    Your New Year’s invitation was outa sight.

  • I was so sure the guests were going to arrive! Thanks for another great laugh. I miss the days when you always had time for these outrageous & lengthy posts.

  • Lyndsey

    Oh, the visual!! Your experiences always make me laugh. Maybe you succeeded in frightening those pesky squirrels away for good. And yes, it is quite delightful down here in Southern California.

  • Debbie

    Oh, yikes. I forgot, and as somebody else mentioned, the alpha female issue. Female herders are by their nature alpha females; they have to be to take charge of those dumb flocks, or herds. Chuck’s in for a hard time. Forever. After.

  • Quite a picture! hope you managed to grab that shower, those poor guests! 😉

  • Priscilla

    Ah, we too have a poop eater, but I’ve never chased her in the snow, while naked myself. Yet.

    You get a Motherhood Merit Badge for that one!

  • So…it was just a normal day right?

  • Almost got busted for reading your blog at work. Couldn’t contain my snorts of glee.

    It was worth it.

  • Sromeo

    I’m so glad to see a story of your life instead of a link! Although “pinch his tits” was pretty good. You are a funny woman, Heather B. Armstrong.

    Also, in the style section, I would like to see more of your clothes and/or shoes! Not that I don’t appreciate your handcrafted notes and Asian bears and the like, but nothing makes me smile like a pair of delicious weekend pumps.

  • And then the doorbell rang…..

    My dog once ate the ass out of a pair of pants my son pooped in. Like Ate the whole ass off. Assless pants, not cute on a two year old.

  • What is it with dogs and their own crap! Mine does it too. Thanks for the laugh.

  • This is why we keep coming back. Bravo.

  • Terry

    Sorry, didn’t have time to read all the comments to see if anyone else may have mentioned this or not, but our vet said dogs do that because of the undigested dog food that is in the poop. He suggested those pills you can get at the pet stores or a better grade dog food that digests easier.

    We tried the better food, seems to work. Yay!

    And thanks for all the smiles & knowing nods.
    Terry

  • Rowen

    ok that made me seriously almost fall out of my chair. and i kept waiting for you to write about how just as all your bits were hanging out, the invitees heard all the racket coming from the back yard and decided to investigate.

    guess it can always be worse!

  • Sarah

    ” ….and then, the doorbell rang!”

    HILARIOUS! thanks for that Heather .. I have totally been there too. My dog used to eat my horses manure but at least it was vegetarian.

    Men are really babies in a man body aren’t they?!

  • Lauren

    We use the good dog food, the kind that gets all digested, and my boy still snacks in the backyard.

    My dog ate his own feces and then vomited it up on my white living room carpet on New Years Eve… in front of my guests. And, there is a stain.

    I’ve been trying something I learned online which is to mix pineapple with their food. Something about there being an enzyme present from the pineapple, after digestion, that makes the poop less desirable for the dog to munch on.

  • One of the funniest ever!!

  • Oh, man, have I been there. SO there. I was chasing a cat at the time, but otherwise, all the elements are there.

    It’s painful. But sweet baby jeebus is it funny.

  • don’t come between a man and his star bits.

  • Ohmigod, I needed that laugh so badly. Sorry it was at your expense. But I’ve been there. Does that count?

  • My dog eats poo, too. It’s awful. The worst was when I also had a cat. Annie would run up to me and give me kisses on my face and I’d think, My Annie, your breath smells so FRESH! Then I’d realize her breath was so FreshStep, which meant she had been grazing at the local litter bar.

  • Too, too funny. My dog likes to eat it AND wear it. How was dinner?

  • Only the prisons aren’t near the ocean, they’re near Bakersfield. There’s a special kinda hell.

  • Sadly, the events in this post bear a striking resemblance to moments in my own life.

  • Seriously, are you famous or something? How do you know this many people??

    Your writing is fabulous.

    I am interested in knowing what kind of lens you use since your photos are fabulous. I’m in the market for buying one and am curious what you use.

  • As an aspiring author, I come to you for inspiration and an understanding of humor writing.

    Another great story. Thank you.

  • This reminds me of a time when my own Coco was a puppy.

    It was a beautiful spring day and I was napping on the couch, lulled to sleep by a warm cross breeze from the open windows and patio door. I heard the puppy padding in, snuggling into her pillow, I cracked an eye, taking in her tiny 5lb.fluffy black cuteness and baby pink tongue licking….A DEAD BIRD.

    On my part, there was some incoherent screaming, uncontrollable skin crawling and the “yucky” dance. On hers, doggish confusion about why I’d taken her “treat”.

    I’d like to say that was the last incredibly nasty thing she did…Good luck. 😉

  • Christa

    Oh my gosh..I nearly peed my pants laughing so hard..and as the mom of 1 husband, 4 kids and 4 furbabies I know exactly how you feel.

  • idf

    Thanks for the laugh

  • Melissa

    I have a not-very-smart greyhound who also enjoys eating his poo. A friend of mine had a Boston Terrier who did the same thing- they said she was self-perpetuating. Yikes.

    The funniest thing about the poo-eating is that I asked my vet about it and she said “They make something that you can add to the dog’s food to make the poop taste bad.”

    I was laughing so hard that I could barely stand up straight. You would think that maybe poop would already taste kind of… nevermind.

  • And it is times like these that you should be eternally grateful you don’t have paparazzi staking out your back yard. What do celebs do when their dogs eat poo in the snow? Oh yeah, they send the maid!

  • Whew. I thought I was the only one this ever happened to!

  • You know you married the right man when he doesn’t even bat an eye at you running by in nothing but his coat and shoes and snow.

    Definitely a reason to consider warmer climes! LOL!

  • This has got to be the funniest post I have read in a long time! Kind of reminds me of the time I got out of the shower and had to run after my little shit eater only to look up and find my new mormon neighbor standing outside my all glass front door. He looked a little surprised!

  • This is made even awesomer by the fact that I can see it happening!

    Wait, I don’t mean literally.. I just mean I can imagine it happening. Like, to me. : )

  • What, no video?

  • Bohica

    We use Nutros Organic dog food at about $40 a bag, and the little schmuck still ate it when he was young. Fortunately, he outgrew the habit. There’s still hope for yours, Heather. Our other dog who’s bigger, likes to roll him in it on a regular basis.

    I would have paid GOOD money to watch this. Over and over. I’m with the poster who mentioned Youtube. Jon’s shirking his duties ~ he should just follow you around with a camera all day.

  • I have my own version of a John Armstrong at home and he also makes my head bleed with the yelling about things that are only important in some odd little world that only he can see. I hope you were able to get your panties in order before company arrived.

  • eyemkent

    Sorry but, video or it didn’t happen. 🙂

  • Kim

    I’m sitting here laughing like a hyena.

    Thanks for the great laugh! Unfortunately, it was at your expense.

    I love your puppy!

  • Who the hell wheres a size 13? Your husband must be a professional basketball player.

    My dog tries to roll in his own poop and it drives me insane.

  • this site is wonderful. youre such a hilarious writer, the tone behind your entire site is amazing. thanks for always being there. i just visited after suddenly remembering your existance- its been a few years. thanks for the laughs.

  • hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha <- yes they were necessary 🙂

  • Liz

    i still want to meet coco even though….she has poo-breath.

  • Ricki

    We have a shih-tzu that does that trick – I love him, but gahh! AND he thinks he’s an *indoor* dog and should NEVER have to go OUTSIDE! If we don’t put puppy pads down, no problem! He’ll just go on the bare vinyl flooring! Grrr!!!