Heater, Mother of Lance

The secret to our clean floors

Coco still sleeps in a crate next to our bed, and up until we caught on to the fact that she was manipulating us we would let her out in the morning at the sound of her first cry thinking that she desperately needed to go wee. But when we clumsily made it to the back door and suffered the cold morning air on our bare legs, she would casually step outside, wander along the perimeter of the patio, leisurely stretch her legs and then lie down. Like, oh, I’m sorry, were you in the middle of something? Because I just wanted to get a head start on being an asshole.

Now we just tell her to shut it when she starts crying, either by yelling those very words or by blurting out whatever noise comes out of our sleepy throats. Sometimes it’s TSHHH! or PIHHHH! or SO HELP ME GOD. And it works, she goes back to sleep until Leta marches in, and then it’s over, do not expect her to remain silent inside that crate, not when there is a child around to keep track of. You can’t do that to a herding dog, dangle a child in front of it and suggest that said child be ignored. Do you have any idea what could go wrong? Sure, there are wolves and flash floods and diphtheria to worry about, but worst case scenario is that this child decides to go to the bathroom AND NO ONE IS COUNTING. How will we ever know how many people are left in the room?

Once everyone is awake we all go upstairs to have breakfast together, and eventually Coco ends up underneath Leta’s chair. This is the place where treats rain from the sky, and the silence with which she assumes her position there suggests that she’s hoping no one else will catch on to her secret. Because if Chuck discovered the magical supply of Cheerios she’d have to share her bounty. What she doesn’t know is that Chuck is well aware of the frequent treat storms that emanate from Leta’s chair, he just knows that her diet is so limited that it’s not worth the wait to sit there for a stray refried bean. It’s not like FILET MIGNON is ever going to come flying off that counter.

Earlier this week both dogs were completely wiped out from having spent eight days at a kennel, so wiped out in fact that Coco didn’t even hear Leta stomp into our bedroom. She even slept through the commotion of me leading Leta upstairs to have breakfast. I left Jon to sleep in a few extra minutes and assumed he’d let Coco out of the crate when he woke up. Thirty minutes later Coco dashed up the stairs, totally frazzled, a thought bubble exploding out of her head that said OHMIGOD OHMIGOD OHMIGOD. Instead of running in to greet me like she normally would, she immediately slid seven feet from the doorway of the kitchen right into her spot underneath Leta’s chair. Only then did she look up to see if Leta was still there. And when Coco saw that she was, saw Leta eagerly spooning mouthfuls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch out of her bowl, I swear to God that dog sighed, like I CAN’T BELIEVE I ALMOST SLEPT THROUGH THE BEST PART OF THE DAY.

I kneeled down, scratched her underneath her chin, pointed to my belly and said DUDE, HAVE I GOT A PRESENT FOR YOU.

  • 쵸이스박

    2009/03/06 at 11:58 pm

    안녕 하세요????
    우연찮게 웹사이트를 검색하던 도중 세계에서 가장 영향력 있는 블로그를
    접하게 되엇는데 궁금하기도 해서 한번 방문 해보앗습니다…
    비록 영어라서 소통은 불가능 하지만 그래도 아주 휼륭하다는 느낌입니다…
    당신은 아주 휼륭한 블로깅입니다^^

  • Chrissy

    2009/03/07 at 5:36 am

    I love this post!! So freaking cute!

  • zelzee

    2009/03/07 at 6:31 am

    Dogs are a great way to keep your floor clean…………….

    So are crawling babies……………

  • Sara in Nebraska

    2009/03/07 at 8:42 am

    That was a freaking GREAT post! And I vote for the picture of customer service for next year’s calendar.

  • Jen

    2009/03/07 at 12:28 pm

    This happens at my house but the dogs sit underneath the husband. He’s quite good at dropping food.

  • Mocha Dad

    2009/03/07 at 1:44 pm

    I used to slide my cat across the floor to tidy up, until my wife found out. My wife protested more than the cat did. In fact, he seemed to like it.

  • Lisa

    2009/03/07 at 2:03 pm

    I always tell my friends everyone should register for a dog when they have kids. Without a dog, I can’t even begin to imagine how much more vaccuuming I would do.

  • frida

    2009/03/07 at 5:26 pm

    Please save Oreo!!Oreo has 6 days left to live! Euthanasia date: 2009-03-09 Reason for euthanasia: Space

    Breed: American Staffordshire Terrier
    Age: Young adult
    Gender: Female
    Size: Medium
    altered, housebroken,

    Shelter: Escalon Animal Shelter
    25100 E. River Rd.
    Escalon, CA

    More about Oreo:

    This is my dogs sister, someone save her.

  • LIesel

    2009/03/08 at 4:46 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh. I laughed so hard tears were streaming down my face. Thank you for sharing so clearly. I could picture the whole thing in my head. We have three dogs (no kids, yet) and I can totally relate. Hysterical!

  • Thomas Matlack

    2009/03/08 at 5:08 pm

    “There is no more important question at this moment in history–with markets collapsing, corruption rampant, two foreign wars, environmental disaster at hand, and the fabric of the American family disintegrating–than what it means to be a “good” man. The conventional wisdom is that men don’t like to talk about their interior lives. But James Houghton and I have come to the conclusion, after running a venture capital firm together for a decade, that conventional wisdom is wrong and that men are desperate to tell their stories and hear how other men have met the challenges of our time.
    We have collected a cross-section of men–black, white, brown, gay, straight, rich, poor, liberal, conservative in small towns and big cities–to help us look at this issue by writing about a moment that shaped them as a man. We have a drug lord who spent 15 years in Sing Sing and the US Noble Laureate; a football Hall-of-Famer and a Russian Kick-Boxer; a sniper scout in Iraq and the best known war photo journalist covering that war; drug addicts and stay-at-home dads. We have Pulitzer prize winners (Charlie LeDuff), Golden Globe winners (Matt Weiner) and just regular guys–fathers, sons, husbands–grappling with what the hell to do as a man when the world is falling apart around them and what, in the end, really is important.
    At the center of our project are our website, http://www.goodmenbook.org and the forthcoming book “More Than a Few Good Men.” The goal of these print and electronic forums is to begin a national discussion amongst men. To that end we are kicking off a national Essay contest March 1 (which runs through May). At a time of darkness, this is a unique opportunity, in our minds, for a reassessment and a new perspective on the part of men in our country.
    Our mission is modeled after Newman’s Own. The Good Men Foundation will support men and boys at-risk across America. All proceeds from our book, magazine and merchandise go to the foundation. All copyrights are owned by GMF.”

  • cheap content writers

    2009/03/08 at 7:06 pm

    That is the funniest thing I have seen in a very long time. Thank you! Brilliant!

  • Food Vigilante

    2009/03/08 at 7:38 pm

    My five month old Beagle spends most her day perusing the floor for droppings. I have three boys who unwittingly feed her quite well. Who needs a vacuum? HA!



  • Littlemamma

    2009/03/09 at 7:07 am

    My laugh for the day! Good luck on your book tour, I can’t wait to pick up a copy!

  • Littlemamma

    2009/03/09 at 7:07 am

    My laugh for the day! Good luck on your book tour, I can’t wait to pick up a copy!

  • Aliya

    2009/03/09 at 10:07 am

    OMG, that is funny. Maybe I’m behind the blog times, but I just found you through Daddy Scratches, who I found through Pioneer Woman, and I have checked out a few other blogs here and there, but they don’t all speak to me. This dog story strikes a funny bone in me, because we have 3 dogs, 2 cats, and a bird. They rule our lives, my life would be so much easier if I didn’t have my animals, but alas, I love them, and wouldn’t know what to do with-out them. Besides, I don’t have to clean my floor, not for food anyway, only for hair…
    ;o) Thanks for the laughs!


  • Cristian

    2009/03/09 at 10:37 am

    I dont know if could be healthy for animals.

  • Heather

    2009/03/09 at 10:49 am

    Just wanted to let you know that I saw you on the Today Show this morning. You were great. I’ll be looking for your book.

  • Anonymous

    2009/03/09 at 5:54 pm

    Shopping and Info had something on dogs the other day which was pretty interesting. http://www.shoppingandinfo.com

  • Susan

    2009/03/09 at 7:18 pm

    Seriously, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but DEMI MOORE (the real one) follows you on Twitter. You are such a superstar!!! Saw you on Today this morning, you looked fab.

  • Go EveryWhere Team

    2009/03/09 at 10:57 pm

    The Today Show and great dog stories combined? What a star! We wanted to stop by your blog after seeing you on the Today Show today then we read about your travel schedule and that made us want to leave a comment even more. Our Cloud Computing product is perfect for you pregnant, superstar, celebrity mom. We’d love for you to come play with us and try out a beta version of our webtop which allows you to create an environment that you can log into from anyone’s computer, form anywhere and see all your goodies. No need to lug around your own computer anymore. Love to hear your feedback and your readers too. Best of luck and let us know when you’re doing a team show with @garyvee 😉

  • BonnieBelle

    2009/03/10 at 1:05 am

    Ah, it’s times like these I really wish we had room for a dog. Of course, I strongly believe the four cats we have would object in furry and possibly disgusting ways if we brought a canine in the house without their permission. Which they will never give.

  • kurt

    2009/03/10 at 8:59 am

    I want a Coco soooooooo badly.

  • dogs pets

    2009/03/11 at 2:22 am

    very touching story … this reminds me to our lovely dog.
    Coco is really man’s best friends … 🙂

  • micahmaranda

    2009/03/11 at 6:39 am

    Wait- UPSTAIRS for breakfast? What kind of crazy house do you live in?

  • Infopedal

    2009/03/12 at 4:50 am

    I have a poodle with the name of Bello, and i almost fell off my chair when i read ur post, he did exactly the same thing 🙂

  • New York

    2009/03/12 at 6:48 pm

    the best way i found is just take the shoes off!, we have a dog and tis great! unless she poops. taking shoes off does wonders

  • Jollywire

    2009/03/12 at 11:22 pm

    Dogs are good as food finishers, they just make me feel not guilty for throwing away leftovers.

  • Storeworth

    2009/03/12 at 11:28 pm

    Haha my dog Casper did exactly the same thing. Great post 🙂 U manage to put a smile on my face 🙂

  • Zach

    2009/03/13 at 11:31 am

    God I really want a dog more than ever now!

  • Bath Screen

    2009/03/12 at 4:04 am

    All I have to add is that you DEFINITELY need to make your diaper bin lockable, I dont think I need to go into too much further detail do I!!!


  • carpet cleaners queens

    2009/03/14 at 9:47 am

    Hehhehehe.. I cannot stop laughing while reading your post.Well, i need to say that COCO is great. I think i need a dog now.lol!

  • painting services

    2009/03/17 at 8:18 am

    Ha ha . I miss dogs. Great post!

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    2009/03/18 at 7:58 am

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  • interior painting

    2009/03/20 at 1:42 am

    oh thats a nice story coco is awesome.Now i think i need to buy a dog.. Grate post

  • yalastore

    2009/03/24 at 4:09 am

    I have a GR named Max who’s character is pretty much like Coco, sometimes a little too smart for their own good 😉

  • pricetrooper

    2009/03/24 at 4:14 am

    Dog’s are really lovely creatures. Hope you guys seen Marley and Me! Great movie though the ending was sad…..

  • pricetrooper

    2009/03/24 at 4:15 am

    Dog’s are really lovely creatures. Hope you guys seen Marley and Me! Great movie though the ending was sad…..

  • JonathanHope

    2009/03/24 at 4:16 am

    Not a dog but I had a cat named Coco once.

  • kewysearch

    2009/03/24 at 4:23 am

    Personally, I think Coco sounds more like a dog rather than a cat or any other animals. Anyway, thats another story…

    Thanks for sharing the interesting story. I hope to visit your site more in the future. Keep up the great work!

  • Personal injury lawyer

    2009/03/26 at 5:41 am

    No i think COCO sound like a hen what do you think. Am i right.

  • Wooden Floors

    2009/04/03 at 9:18 pm

    thanks for the post, funny. Yeah what would we humans do without our animal friends, what a boring life it would be. I myself have gotten me a pet squirrel.

  • College Dating

    2009/04/04 at 10:21 am

    Like what other people say “Humans cannot live without animals”. I believe COCO loves you and you love him too. This sounds good relationship between the two of you.

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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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