Hilarious story of disastrous cross-country move with dogs

I'm not a dog person. It's not that I don't like dogs, but they're not my thing, and usually I skip over any news-item, blog-post or conversation that contains the word "dog." Not my bag.

But once I started reading Hyperbole and a Half's "Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving," I found myself unable to stop -- except to laugh uproariously:

Unfortunately for the helper dog, it took us nearly a week to get everything packed up. By the time we were ready to begin the first part of our two-day journey to Oregon, she seemed almost entirely convinced that she was going to die at any moment. She spent the entire car ride drooling and shaking uncontrollably.

But the simple dog seemed to enjoy the trip.

Even though she threw up seven times.

She actually seemed to like throwing up. To the simple dog, throwing up was like some magical power that she never knew she possessed - the ability to create infinite food. I was less excited about the discovery because it turned my dog into a horrible, vomit-making perpetual motion machine. Whenever I heard her retch in the backseat, I had to pull over as quickly as possible to prevent her from reloading her stomach and starting the whole cycle over again.

But as far as the simple dog was concerned, it was the best, most exciting day of her life.

Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving (via Making Light)



  1. I love H.5 so much. I end up sending almost every one to my wife, even though I know she subscribes to the RSS feed too. As a dog person, this one is doubleplusgood.

  2. I think whoever raised my dog took her on a lot of trips. She loves the car, and seems to “understand” the concept of a temporary dwellings. Once I show her a motel room, she seems to know that it is our place, and accurately drags me back when she’s done walking.

    I hope this bodes well for any future move.

    Dogs eating vomit? I think that’s a feature. Makes cleaning up the carpet a lot easier. Kira once ate a pocket gopher, chucked it up, and ate it again. All of it. Bones, fur, guts, everything. Really, it was easier cleaning up the stain than it would have been to scrape up a fairly big chewed-up rodent.

    1. A bit of a messed-up story: Years ago I went to a beer-fest in the countryside (ugly business generally and not a favourite pastime of mine). Afterwards, on the way to where we were staying, one guy threw up inside the car that was taking us. The owner calmly told him “not to worry, I´m just going to let the dog in later”.
      The dog positively couldn´t wait to get in, wagging it´s tail enthusiastically and jumping with joy. Twenty minutes later, there was not a speck of vomit to be found, and the dog probably hammered from the ingested alcohol.

      1. One creatures vomit is another creature’s sustenance. What is to be counted as “waste” is strictly related to the specific organism under discussion.

        Ain’t ecology grand?


        I personally try not to be disgusted by the life-habits of non-human organisms…and sometimes I even succeed.

        1. I wasn´t disgusted. More intrigued and quite a bit amused, mostly by the equanimity of the car´s owner, indicating that this was somewhat of a routine procedure.

  3. I have a couple of dogs that eat _much_ worse than vomit. And, yes, their attitude is ‘I made my own food! Yay!’

  4. I love Hyperbole and a Half. Her posts never, ever fail to make me laugh hysterically. I started reading it back in April and it rapidly became my favorite blog on the internet. … With the exception of BoingBoing, of course.

  5. I love that blog so much. Basically every single post since she started doing drawings with them is total comedy gold, many of them downright eye-wateringly tongue-blisteringly funny. The earliest stuff is kinda hit or miss, but she fairly rapidly found her stride.

  6. My vet said that riding in a car isn’t the most enjoyable experience a dog can have, they have a much higher range of hearing than we do, and it’s quite possible that car engines make noises that we will probably never hear (but they do..).

    That said, my dog likes going in the car, because we usually take him somewhere he likes to go.. for example, the mountains.

  7. Proverbs 26:11 “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”

    Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating was fond of quoting this text in regards of the Conservative opposition.

    1. Oh, come on. Dogs have been honing their anthropomorphization gig for the last 30,000 years. Let’s give them some credit.

    2. What, you don’t thing dogs caninimorphize us? Please. My dog probably thinks I’m Alpha Wolf and our kids are a couple of puppies and that’s just fine with me.

  8. I have seen a Newfoundland lap up the black, slimy, hideously stinky gack that came out of a drain that had been stopped up for a long time.

    There is precious little that a dog will not eat.

    1. Dogs have a much much more developed sense of smell than we do; and, as smell contributes so much to the taste of food, I like to amuse myself by thinking that the canines feel that we are fools – for not joining them in their “feasts”.

  9. A friend was complaining that the dog kept bogarting the cats’ food. To a dog there’s no such thing as “cat food” and “dog food”. There’s just “food” and “not food”. And frankly, they’re not so sure about the existance of “not food,” so they have to test that theory on a regular basis.

    1. OMG, so true. We had a very nice boxer for a while and he was constantly going into the bedroom where we had the litter box for a “scooby snack.” Totally foul to have him walk out with cat litter around his muzzle, wondering what all the shrieks of disgust were about.

  10. The sheer range of noises our dog could make was impressive,but the funniest was the chattering whine he’d make when he seriously wanted something (like the Christmas turkey)) – his teeth would actually chatter as he whined and drooled.

  11. The story of her dogs are always great, especially with the neurotic need she has to make her dog feel good about itself despite the clear blissful ignorance it lives in.

    My personal favorite story is the one about the fishing trip she took as a father. I am actually saddened by the thought of her running out of stories from her childhood.

  12. I found something my dog wouldn’t eat.

    A food something.

    A year or so ago I bought, on impulse, a package of “Gansitos” snack cakes, from the Mexican-based Bimbo Bakery.

    Gansitos are “chocolate”-coated twinkie-like things which in addition to “creme” filling have a little dribble of supposedly pineapple flavored goo inside.

    I ate half of one, and it didn’t taste right. Not at all.

    I picked apart the various parts in the other half, and tasted them individually. Nothing tasted actively bad except the chocolate coating. Think, candle wax flavored with carob and burnt toast.

    Then I whistled for my dog and put the half down on the ground for her. Kira picked it up, mouthed it, and put it back down. I encouraged her to try again. She licked it, sniffed it, looked at me and walked away.

    Good dog!

  13. allie truly is queen of the internet. i check her site daily, hoping upon hope that there’s a new blog entry.

  14. DogStarMan, are you Sirius about that?

    I think I know why dogs like vomit. Adult wolves will gorge themselves and then return to wherever their pups are. The wolf pups will start licking at the adults’ mouths, causing them to regurgitate. Then the pups eat up the vomit. So, I figure that vomit is kind of like baby food for dogs and brings back memories of happy times. Nostalgia is funny that way.

    Remembering this the next time your dog tries to lick your face might be enough to make you gag, which is okay. Your dog won’t mind at all.

  15. Not a dog person, Cory? No kidding!! Is ANYONE at boingboing a dog person? Nothin’ but cats on BB! Sleepin’ cats! Keyboard playin’ cats! Kittehs (whatever the hell that means) and cats with poorly spelled phrases attributed to them!
    Spend an afternoon with a dog. You will soon realize that cats are really no better than squirrels as companions.

    1. A lot of us developed our distaste for dogs precisely because we *have* spent afternoons with them.

      I like animals that know how to leave me alone.

      1. Heh, I had to go and er… ‘drain the lizard’ earlier and left the bathroom door open, because I was alone in the house except for my dog. Who just sat in the landing, staring at me in a very unnerving manner for the duration of the urination and grinning, in the way that dogs do.

        All I could think of was Allie’s dog and *thinks:’TRIANGLE CIRCLE SQUARE’*. I would have PMSL, was I not already P.

      2. A lot of us developed our distaste for dogs precisely because we *have* spent afternoons with them.

        I like animals that know how to leave me alone.

        I would suggest not procreating, if you haven’t already.

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