An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

The various voices of a miniature Australian Shepherd

Coco has earned several nicknames in the two months that she has been terrorizing living in our home. Among them: Gina, DAMN GINA!, Daffy, Cricket, That Awful Dog, and Coco Furrocious. That last one is actually engraved on her ID tag, and we like to think that if Coco were ever to take up a career as a rap artist that she’d get this name and a lightening bolt shaved into the hair on her butt. And she’d have a hit song about our corrupt government, and maybe one about all her hos.

Whenever we see another dog while we are out walking she goes out of her way to prove that she is vicious, either by huffing and puffing and blowing their house down, or by hopping up strategically to make it look like she’s taller than she actually is. And then the mad barking… my God, if that string of consonants could be translated into English we’d have to walk around bleeping every other word.

But then it doesn’t stop there, she has to get the last word in, and when these dogs walk away she looks after them and barks under her breath, like she is making sure they take her seriously. And I think she has convinced herself that it’s working by the way she prances for the next few steps, but I get the feeling that these dogs are thinking less about her magnificence than they are about the fact that they wouldn’t have to try very hard to get her entire body inside their mouths.

And then there is the other noise she makes, the one she uses to let us know that she is happy to see us. Except, it’s the same noise she uses to indicate that she is terrified or outraged. We hear it when we’ve been gone for a few hours and return to get her out of her crate, see here two separate instances of such a situation:

But we also hear it when we dare to correct her. Sometimes I’ll be in the other room and it will sound like Jon is swinging her over his head by her hind legs, and I’m all, are you trying to kill the dog? And he’s all, no, I just won’t let her lick my beer.

I heard it once last week when I was at my friend’s house and her older cattle dog had just about had enough of the ferocious huffing. I think he endured it as long as he needed to, until he was all, really? You can huff? Interesting, because watch what I can do! And with one very succinct growl that dog sent Coco YEEAW! YEEAW! YEEAWING! down the hall, through the living room and into the kitchen. That noise continued the entire time she ran though the house and didn’t stop until she landed face first into a sliding glass door.

And I love that dog so much that I didn’t fall over laughing until after I had made sure she wasn’t knocked unconscious.

  • Ha! Equal parts cute and hilarious.

  • Psyndee

    Wow, that is quite a high-pitch whine. Cats are NEVER that excited to see you come home.

  • Tasty

    Can’t wait to get home to see/hear the video! (Stupid work computer with no Flash9!) Keep up the good work writing and not killing Coco Furrocious.

  • LOL…puppies are so courageous until a bigger dog shouts at them. Coco is so damn cute I can’t stand it!

  • Coco is so cute! I love that she gets so excited to see you guys. Chuck just walks around like what the hell is all that noise for. haha

  • Dani

    The sound of this video sent my (dumber than dumb) dog into quite a tizzy.

    I may save it to torture him on occasion. (grin)

  • Vanessa

    My Wiener Dog started barking and going crazy when he heard me watching the video of that crazy yelping!

  • I think I have the cat equivalent to Coco.

    Our cat sleeps in the basement every night, more or less because she would terrorize us all night long if she didn’t. Every morning when we go down and let her up, she meows for about 10 minutes straight, making a noise not unlike Coco. It’s like she thinks we forgot about her and she is so excited that we are still there she can’t handle it.

    Animals are nuts.

  • That’s awesome. The dog across the street from me makes a very similar, (albeit much louder) noise when her people get home. It almost sounds like a car ran over her hind quarters and she’s laying in the street writhing in pain.
    Coco is much cuter.

  • Bandit makes a louder version of that noise when he has bad dreams. And it’s like waking a little kid up. He still thinks he’s dreaming and, while continuing to make the noise, shakes so hard that he falls off things–like stairs or beds…

  • I think weird vocalizations are an Aussie thing. I had a dog that was part Australian Shepherd and I swear to God she practically TALKED. She had this funny little growl for when she was happy, kind of an “aROOOO” sound with her nose straight up in the air, and OH MY GOD I WANT A PUPPY NOW.

  • Rick

    I’ve been amazed in the past by the tolerance older dogs will usually have for the antics of puppies (witness Chuck and the neck-pirannha.) Years ago, we had two older, more placid dogs and brought home a puppy. They let the puppy use them as a chew-toy for a couple months. It didn’t last forever, though.

    I don’t know if it was a smell change or what, but one day they revoked Blaze’s “puppy charter.” They didn’t physically hurt her, but their reaction that day had the puppy hiding under the bed for nearly an hour. After that, the pack dynamic changed and she was subject to the same pecking order as the other dogs.

  • Oh god. Your puppy is adorable and somehow manages to sum up all the “fun” puppy traits that crazy pet owners get stuck with. What do you do when your 7lb miniature dachshund starts telling off a 800lb (okay, maybe not quite) bull mastiff? Smile sheepishly and walk away? Look at the owner as say “YEAH! What he said!”? I’m not sure yet, but I’ll let you know.

  • Sounds to me like she has “short man’s syndrome”

  • jacks

    At least girls don’t (usually) submissive pee when they’re happy to see you. I am SO glad we are finally past that stage with our little guy!!

    I love how Chuck is wandering around during the whole thing rolling his eyes.

  • I can’t help but feel like I’m cheating on Chuck by admiring Coco and her antics so. Chuck was my number one man for so long…..

    I have 2 dogs, and Chuck is even cooler than THEY are…….I go home and show my DH pics of Chuck (he just looks because he has major camera/lens envy)….so please tell Chuck that he’s way cool from me……

    And Coco’s pretty cute too.

  • Luka

    My parent’s American Eskimo makes the exact same sound when he’s left alone or someone gets home

  • She sounds (and moves) like a pig(let) in pup’s clothing!

  • Aww, the unconditional love you get from a puppy, and the energy that is inside those things! I want one too …

  • I just played Coco’s greeting video and my Libby the Wonder Poodle shot up off the couch and ran around the living room barking and checking the doors and windows.

    I don’t know what Coco said, but it’s powerful stuff!

  • I think it’s funny that you mention she does it when she’s being corrected. That’s when the noise comes out of my pup … you know, when we make him sit down and wait till the beer is empty enough that when he licks it he doesn’t have a hangover in the morning.

  • I got a puppy named Zephyr the day after Thanksgiving, and I love hearing Coco stories! Zephyr and Coco seem to be psychotic in roughly equivalent ways. The first few weeks that we had him, Zephyr would howl as if he were speaking in tongues when we put him in his crate. Thank god that is over.

  • thi_tx

    >2. Psyndee said:
    >Wow, that is quite a high-pitch whine. Cats are
    >NEVER that excited to see you come home.

    We come home from a 3-day weekend, right after the
    food runs out, and you’re greeted at the door by
    a butler in tuxedo (actually, she’s a maid?), an
    orange Dom DeLouise, and a calico with street cred.

    But I suspect it’s less excitement than kitty-glares.

  • So funny! the written sound effects are very good, btw!

  • I love it! thank you for reminding me why I have not adopted a puppy (or poopie as I like to call them). I have cats. They use a toilet. Its fantastic. But they are Siamese and so therefore can put Coco’s variety of sounds to shame.

    She’s so amazingly cute, I would check for consciousness before falling on the floor laughing as well. I would snicker while I did it though.

  • Festi

    As I am playing this video my two cats suddenly emerge from different rooms and walk towards the computer room like, “WTF is THAT?????” They are still sitting frozen in place and it stopped playing a couple of minutes ago. LOL

    (I was going to post that my dog didn’t react at all and is nowhere to be seen and then I remembered I forgot to bring him in from outside in the snow after I let him out about 20 minutes ago. Oops!)

  • Kara

    Both of my crazy dogs just went totally ape shit and tried to jump their indoor room fence upon hearing the Coco video. She must already be a serious K9 rapper.

    How cute is the way Jon talks to her… “Is there a puppy in here??” No wonder she freaks out, I would too with all that cuteness.

  • Marta

    Sounds like you need the dog whisperer!

  • The thing about her barking at other dogs… yeah, our German Shepherd always did that. To dogs AND people. But she was just trying to be protective, I dunno if that’s what Coco is doing. She sure is a cutie, though.

  • puppies, fun aren’t they?

  • I love that it sounds like you are torturing her and not loving her. My puppy only sounds like that after he steps on his own ears (he is a basset hound) or cant get his toy out from under the bed.

  • I just brought a puppy home Sunday and she thinks she is terribly vicious, when really she is just a big ball of Corgi fluff. My little blog has been over run with puppy pictures, but every time she blinks it’s the cutest thing EVAH, so it must be documented. Obviously.

    How big is Coco going to get?

  • Tell Jon to tell Coco to get her own dang beer:

    Have you been to Rare Bird Finds? It’s awesome.

  • Catherine

    OH my God she sounds like she’s being tortured. My dog has never made that sound, though she does under the breath bark, mostly after we’ve shushed her for barking in the apartment after midnight. Darn teenagers.

  • I want a puppy. Write something else about the horrors of raising one so I can move beyond it.

  • PS: My brother has an almost 3 month old yellow lab and he makes that exact same noise. Except I often wonder if my brother’s dog’s yelp is his “redneck whoop” that he picked up from living with my redneck brother in Milledgeville, GA.

  • such a silly dog! I love the way you describe her. Val

  • How adorable.

    You and Ree are killing me with puppies….and I almost……..almost got myself one, but then my 2 cats brought me back to reality, along with the fact that you actually have to take a dog ……OUTSIDE to let it do its business, instead of scooping once a day.

  • wow…just watching her is making me tired. i forgot how crazy puppies can be. you can totally tell that chuck’s like – really? can we please give her maybe a little xanax?

  • Oh my goodness that bark is incredible! I love the excitement coming out of the crate – our puppy Judy did the same thing when she was younger. Now she just stretches her way out of the crate – it is just as cute!

  • nnjagurl

    Did anyone else watch that video with their own dog within hearing distance? Because mine was totally intrigued. She kept looking at my laptop and tilting her head this way and that…all: Hey Ma, what IS that???

    Coco has a fan here in snowy NH.

  • Our dog it always happy to see anyone. She acts like she’s completely neglected. One friend (who isn’t even really a dog person) said that whenever she needs a little boost, she comes to our house because our dog is always so excited to see her (and my kid, too) … it’s like her pockets are lined with sugar-favored crack and cat crap.

  • Amber

    I can’t listen to your video because it is making my usually intelligent beagle go NUTS. seriously. she’s all bent out of shape that a furrocious dog dared be so fierce in HER home.

    so, I’ll just have to take your word for it 😉

  • suzie

    simply horrific. you are a saint for not removing her vocal chords – or drugging her within an inch of her life.

  • Translation: Omigod! Omigod! Omigod! Omigod! Omigod! My people! My people! A sock! A sock! Omigod! Omigod! Omigod! Omigod! Omigod!

    Joyous, happy, annoying sounds – but so lovey. Poor Chuck.

  • meg

    welcome to the world of herding dogs…

    i just watched the video and my dog started barking and ran to see if anyone was at the door. he’s not right but i love him.

    coco will calm down in oh, say, 7 years. good luck!

  • She is adorable. The entire time I was watching the video–my two precious dogs were running around the house growling and barking trying to figure out where I was hiding this other dog and the people talking to this dog.

    The ran around from window to window, door to door, trying to find the hideaways. It was hilarious. Thanks as I really needed a good laugh. Of course the image of a puppy running into the sliding glass door is quite funny as well. I love it when I get two great laughs for the price of one.

  • Why do I get the feeling that Coco Furrocious and Christian from this season’s “Project Runway” would make a good crime fighting team? Fierce nonetheless.


    I just watched that three times and guaranteed I won’t be listening about avoiding wordiness in Communications Writing — the sound of Coco’s bewildered shrieking will be resonating throughout my brain. Like a pinball that can’t get out.

  • I was just playing that clip of Coco and my dog, Max, FLIPPED OUT. Beyond shoving his nose onto my laptop screen (and that glue-like snot is SO easy to clean off), he kept cocking his head from one side to another like he was trying to figure out what was going on. Then started to whimper until I convinced him that Coco was just excited to see her family.

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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