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

Once upon a time

Every morning at about 9AM Chuck wanders upstairs having spent his morning doing WHO KNOWS WHAT in the dark corner of our bedroom. Something to do with candles and a tattered copy of Twilight probably, but he instinctively knows that it’s precisely that time of the day that I like to take pictures. And maybe he’s going to be in one of them. Hopefully today I will be in a forgiving mood and snap a shot of him lounging on the couch, doesn’t matter, he gets a treat anyway if he balances that cage of live lobsters between his ears.

Which begs the question: why have I not tried that one yet? Anyone have access to some lobsters? Preferably some persnickety ones with anger management issues.

He knows it’s time to work, always has, and if I don’t make him pose for a picture he becomes listless, begins to stare nervously at walls and inevitably will stand next to one of us awkwardly like he’s about to fall over. Even Leta notices this behavior, and last night when Jon and I got back from a quick business trip and she asked where the dogs were, her response to the fact that they were at a kennel was, “Can they please stay there?”

“You don’t want the dogs to come home?” I asked.

“I don’t!” she yelled. And when I asked her why she explained, “Because Coco is crazy, and Chuck creeps me out!”

I know! THAT’S WHAT GOTHS DO.

We recently started a chart where Leta can earn rewards if she gets herself dressed in the morning, goes to bed without a fight, and tries new things. That last part is pretty open, and she’s earned points for trying new food, wearing a a pair of pants that had a displeasing texture (one that caused her head to fall off), and a few days ago we got her to touch Chuck. VOLUNTARILY. She was reluctant at first, but that reward chart just loomed in her brain, and out went her hand, two of her fingers hovering over Chuck’s back. And then she did it, she dropped her arm and for several hundredths of a second her skin touched Chuck’s fur, and the resulting shiver that went down her spine shook the bed wildly causing Jon to wince as his vasectomy had yet to heal.

Last week when it was time to get dressed up for Halloween, Chuck was ready to work, ready for the challenge, although there wasn’t much of one to conquer. This year his costume involved nothing humiliating (relatively speaking) nor did it require him to pose in possibly illegal positions. Our goal this year was to help bridge the wide divide between the dogs and our wonderfully peculiar oldest child. Leta, the dogs can play castle, too!

Just to give you an idea of what we were working with, here’s Katey in Chuck’s full costume:

  • Erin from Joisey

    Wow, those are the BEST costumes ever. I would proudly take those dogs out on Halloween, or more likely a Halloween parade. Too cute.

  • dukemom

    TSWC is correct, and beat me to the grammar/usage punch. Once you know the correct meaning of the phrase “begs the question,” you will notice when it is used incorrectly (almost all the time). There is a whole website devoted to the use and misuse of the phrase, in a tongue and cheek manner. http://www.begthequestion.info

    I apologize for stepping off topic.

    The dogs are hilarious and adorable.

  • kristanhoffman

    OH MY WORD how precious!!

    We are nowhere near so clever, but we DO dress Riley up every year for about 15 min to have a good laugh:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kristan/2901051985/

  • barbara

    Haha! You have to wonder what they are thinking as you dress them up and balance stuff on their heads. Great costumes, Heather!

    My mom dressed her beagle up like a bumble bee this year. She was the hit of their Halloween party!

  • NamasteNicole

    At first I was all AWWWWW… and then I saw that first one of Chuck with the helmet! ROFL!

  • adulterousellie

    See, pugs never need dressing up. They’re just naturally comic.

  • Jojo

    Katie, you had better earn some overtime for this one.

  • joaaanna

    Please include one of those pix of Chuck in the new calendar. I would buy one of those!

  • The Mommy Gap

    500 points for the use of the word “persnickety” in a blog.

    One of my all time favorite words.

  • Surviving Lotus Land

    OMG. Why, oh why, have I not thought to dress our dog up in my girls’ old costumes before? The fact that they have a penchant for dressing as fairies and cheerleaders and he’s a boy makes it all the more deliciously humiliating.

    Oh, Scout. Come here boy……. hehe

  • layners1302

    honestly the best thing i’ve seen in a while!

  • NolaMomma

    Ha. That’s awesome. You have to put the one of the two of them together in the next calendar!! Katie has the best job ever!

  • MamaCass

    Have you ever seen The Labyrinth with David Bowie? That last photo of Chuck alone looks like the little guard dog who won’t let them cross the bridge…it’s been a long time, but something like that anyway. Made me chuckle.

  • robin.optima

    I know Coco annoys you but she is adorable. Chuck is stoic.

  • Got2bVT

    This entire series of pictures makes me very happy.

  • OldGrayMare

    Thanks for the laugh, those are great pictures!

    You know, I have the opposite problem with my dogs, my kids won’t keep their hands OFF of them. Well, my son, who has anxiety disorder, won’t stop hitting them, but my daughter? I’m still trying to banish the image of her at about 10 months old reaching up from the floor to grasp my boxer’s private parts out of my brain. It doesn’t bode well for her teen years…

  • SuzieQ1

    Coco is cute as can be, but I love me that Mr Chuckles dog!!

  • RebeccaLand

    Idea for Halloween 2010: Chuck as The Cure’s Robert Smith and Coco as “Miley Cyrus.” Yes, I put her name in quotes since it would be the equivalent of dressing Coco as a Bratz or street walker Barbie doll.

  • Queen Bugaboo

    Fabulous.

  • Bunny Farts

    Coco should get points for trying something new. I laughed so hard when I saw her in that girly thing, and Chuck, well I think Chuck is great, I always look forward to the dog pictures and stories.

  • meegieshell

    Awe…wait for it…some.

  • former-miss-know-it-all

    I must admit that I am not a dog person. So when I see dogs dressed up, it’s kind of like looking at traffic cones. I really could care less what they are wearing..because they are like aliens.

    Your kid however, is another story..because she is just-like-my-girl (that should make you feel better). AND I live in Salt Lake (which means they should be friends). But maybe that’s too much to have two Leta’s together. Oy.

    Anyhoo…loved the part about Leta touching the dog, and the pants that made her head pop off. That is so my daughter…weird pants, weird hair rubberbands, weird juice that looks weird, weird lady who acts weird. Who knew how much weirdness existed in the world!? And thanks to our kindi-age females, we’ll never wonder again!

  • Brittewater

    I’ve never met a little girl that owned dogs and was weirded out by them. I hope it doesn’t last past adolescence.

  • Meggiemarin

    Leta doesn’t like the dogs?! I would be heartbroken.

    Is this a permanent “Ew gross!!!” thing or temporary “I sometimes dislike cupcakes, but only every other Tuesday” thing?

  • dkmissie

    I love Chucks costume and Coco is just cute

  • Megan Ellen

    Hmmm how can I phrase this gently…?

    I think your daughter is going to grow up into a cat person.

    Now that the hate section is gone, I feel safe enough to post that without going on the wall of shame.

  • hopelds

    My two dogs are now trying to bury any old clothes they can find – I guess I have to limit their access to your website.

  • The Bold Soul

    Chuck the Crusader! I always knew he had it in him.

  • Bratfink

    “Because Coco is crazy, and Chuck creeps me out!”

    As if I don’t hear THAT every year at my family reunion.

    Seriously, I LMAO and choked on my eggs.
    .

  • herbette

    OMG OMG OMG OMG!
    awesome scroll down!

  • Googooboyy

    I wish my cats could be made to wear those mails like dogs could. The moment I bring anything that loosely resembles like a piece of blanket, my cats run for cover.

    Btw, Chuck looks cute. ; )

  • the niffer

    God, Leta cracks me up. You have raised one awesome, if peculiar, little girl. And the costumes totally rock. I can’t believe you got Coco to sit for that long.

  • Chris R

    I think it’s funny when a child isn’t fond of dogs. My 4YO boy gets irritated with our dog, Mary. He says she “screams” too much. [barks] Wonderful pics!

  • karenT

    Now put katey in the princess costume! Oh wait, this isn’t that kind of site.

    …or is it…

  • Lifeissweet16

    My daughter has always been such an animal lover! We knew everyone in the neighborhood because she would befriend every person with a dog. I hope Leta gets over it soon. 🙂

  • lizgwiz

    I love Chuck so much.

    And I love how delightfully quirky Leta is. Reminds me of the daughter of a friend, who once announced that she could no longer wear, touch or see any purple clothes. Why? They made her throat hurt.

  • SandraDee

    Chuck. My knight in shining armor.

    The last solo Chuck pic is just perfect. Like, “OK lady. I’m here for the knighthood and drama, but would you just get this damn helmet off my head? It’s impaling my three remaining brain cells…..”

  • The Prima Momma

    WOW! Chuck is rocking that knight costume. That’s the true measure of a model – whether it’s your size or not, CAN YOU MAKE IT WORK? Yes. Yes he can!

    I look forward to his Vogue cover!

  • girlplease

    Awww poor dogs. I will never get why kids wind up hating their dogs. A cousin of ours always tells us of the tales of her daughter (3) and their dog. The poor dog is really suffering too. She overfills the bowl with food and then holds the dog at his collar and refuses him food. Cruel.

    I hope that my son stays amazed and amused with our two dogs. He squeels at the sight of them. Our oldest one definately has the “ohhhh maaaannn” look going on while the younger border collie is defiantely “ohhhh why is he laughing? he’s giving me a complex.”

    We are guessing that the border collie and him will be best friends one day.

    And the cycle will continue with the next dogs going “ohh maaaan” and “ohhh he’s laughing at me again.”

  • saturdayjane

    The expression on Coco’s face is pretty priceless.

    “Oh my GAWD, the other dogs at the kennel will never let me live this down…just snap the picture already.”

    One would think that Chuck would be the more easily embarrassed between the two!

  • d3 voiceworks

    another chuck lover signing in [pita that it is, though :(] wonder how he did walking in two boots ‘stead of four?

    also, thanks to the grammarians as i am obsessed with good grammar as well, and now understand the btq issue.

  • KateHouse

    They are unbelievably patient (looking, at least). Great work.

  • shawnadammit

    Chuck is one handsome dog!

  • P

    I’d swear eternal allegiance to Sir Chuck- and I’m not even into that crap!

  • suzers

    Chuck is a saint and he’s almost constantly my wallpaper. We (me and the dogs) are your very loyal fans.

  • curlsz

    “Because Coco is crazy, and Chuck creeps me out!”

    Rolling with laughter on that one – I’m guessing she is NOT going to be a pet owner when she’s on her own.

    The pic of Chuck with just the helmet is a perfect calendar pic! Which month is a warrior month? I’ll have to google that one and get back with you.

  • The Lola Letters

    Wow, I am officially in love with Chuck and Coco. Sheesh. That close up of Chuck needs to go on my fridge. (…and I don’t even know him.)

  • vvghealy

    Heather
    Have you read the Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz?
    My son has sensory integration disorder and it sounds like Leta has some sensory issues. My son has strong aversions to certain types of clothing (cannot have the tag touch him), sounds(the vacuum sends him into a frenzy), when people touch him he says it itches. He has difficulty with transitions and his sensitivity to smells! oy! Food is one of the biggest issues for him, certain textures make him gag and picky doesn’t begin to describe the level of pain we go through during mealtime….There is a companion book that has really helped us as well, The Out-of-Sync Child has Fun.

  • The Lola Letters

    My husband says that fleece blankets make his teeth hurt. (?) But he functions just fine otherwise.

  • riogringa

    I love the close up of Chuck and his helmet so much I kind of want to frame it.