Unidentified Smells

Don’t worry, this post won’t be as gross as you think it is going to be based on the title.

We’re in the car. All of us. Even Crappy Dog.

Crappy Dog has settled into our family quite seamlessly.

Being the new guy, he often gets blamed for things he isn’t responsible for. Like that time there was a yellowish liquid all over the kitchen floor. “Crappy Dog peed on the floor! What is going on?!” (The pipes were leaking under the sink.)

Or that time the garbage can was pulled over and trash was ALL over the pantry. “Crappy Dog got into the trash! He has never done this before, what is going on?” (When I cleaned it up I found a ziplock of salmon with a billion tiny, tiny puncture marks in it…way too small for dog teeth. It was Crappy Cat who got into the trash. I swear those cats have been extra naughty because they know we’ll point fingers at the dog. Cats are tricksy like that.)

So we’re in the car.

Crappy Baby asks:


If it smells like trees, it is probably trees. No?


He says it smells like broccoli too, so immediately I suggest the dog.

But Crappy Baby replies:



Poor dog. He only smells like unclean broccoli.



He never did figure out what he was smelling.ย 

I’m very thankful that Crappy Dog enjoys baths and that the kids have learned to never, ever give him cheese.ย 



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89 Responses to Unidentified Smells

  1. Shanna says:

    The cat did it?! Man, cats are jerks. I have one, I know! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. LOL. Clean broccoli. Never knew there was a different smell between washed and unwashed broccoli!

  3. Mrs. Gendy says:

    And stinky cheese means extra stinky tooty dog, I recently discovered.

  4. Wow, this sounds just like our house. But instead, it’s me saying that it smells like corndogs and that all I want to eat is corndogs, and my husband saying, “It doesn’t smell like that.” And I’m not even pregnant.

  5. Heather V says:

    I love how the simplest things kids say can be so freaking funny.

  6. Baguette has some language delay, so we’re not at this stage yet. However, she can say Wicket’s name, and she can tell you that dogs say “Woof, woof, woof.” But if you ask her what Wicket says, she is silent. Because Wicket generally is, too.

  7. Richie says:

    Just like our house, only it is my 6 & 3 year old daughters blaming everything on my 1 year old daughter!

    • Mel says:

      That’s my house too, except 8, 4 and 2 years old. Who farted? Evie did it. Who climbed up to the top shelf of the pantry and ate all the cookies? Evie did it. Even Evie has started, who wrote Dawon (Damon- the 4 year old) on the wall? Evie says ‘Ebie did it’

  8. Annie says:

    Gosh I’m glad I’m not the only one whose son asks questions like, “What’s that? It looks like the oven.” Uh, because it’s the oven?

    If your dog is a little tooty, we’ve always lived by a spoonful of plain yogurt. It’s like a dog toy that saves your life!

  9. KpMcD says:

    I wish my dog smelled as nice as yours. I long for the day he smells like unclean broccoli instead of… well whatever he rolled in thirty minutes ago.

  10. Charity says:

    I like how you say “tricksy” like Gollum. I totally imagined his creepy little face and him saying “tricksy cat-ses.”

  11. Sarah G says:

    Our son told us last night, as we were driving home, enjoying the cool(er) evening air: “A cow pooped and Caleb smells it.” We were passing a farm with about 100 cows in it…Gotta love this time of year : )

  12. tara says:

    Hahah poor Crappy Dog! Cats are super tricksy like that. Little jerks. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Weird. Clean broccoli? I didn’t know there was a difference between clean and unclean broccoli.

  13. Naomi says:

    I love how the dog in this post is drawn perfectly. lol

  14. Dirty broccoli vs clean broccoli-I didn’t know there was a scent difference! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Krista says:

    Just please never ever feed your dog peanut butter! Worst dog-farts EVER. Experience speaking, here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Never realized there was a difference between clean and unclean broccoli smell before, now I’ll know!

    • Tina says:

      We buy peanut butter doggy treats for our pug! Maybe that explains all her gas.

      • Nah, pugs are just gassy; it’s a brachycephalic thing. Our French bulldog is the same way. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, why it always smells like something *died*, I don’t know!

  16. Angel says:

    On Sunday, my son (just turned 2) walked into the room licking his fingers. In a very proud voice he announced, “yummy rice!” I studied him in a confused sort of way. We had just finished his birthday party, but I hadn’t served any rice. When I noticed the mud in his hands though, I knew. “That’s not rice, honey, those are sprinkles!” I had left the rice krispie decorating stuff on the coffee table!

    (My son is allergic to milk, and my husband to gluten, so rice krispie treats are an easy substitute “cake” for them. I set out a tablecloth and let the kids decorate their own. Way easier than planning party games. )

  17. Audette says:

    Random other comment: bought your book this weekend (belatedly, but from the best independent book store in the US – Tattered Cover!), and read it aloud to the family while on a 2-hour drive. WARNING TO OTHERS: this is unsafe. My husband kept almost driving off the road because he was laughing so hard.

    • Ami says:

      I blogged about when and where to read it – I started it on my lunch hour, and never got to eat, because I kept running out of the break room to read parts out loud to people!

      • K says:

        I made the mistake of trying to read it while nursing the baby down and I kept waking her up!

  18. Ami says:

    I had a cat chew up a library book once. Had them up and away from kids and dogs, and the stupid CAT ate an entire corner. Cats are evil.

    • D'Arcy says:

      I had a cat that chewed clothes. He would even pull things off hangers in my closet and chew the sleeves. He ruined many of my favorite things! I still loved him tho!

  19. Kristen says:

    I was driving with my kids the other day and had tried a new fragrance. I thought it was nice, kind, of cedar-y. My kid disagreed. “WHAT is that bad smell, Mommy? It smells like trees.”
    “It’s my new perfume. I kind of like it.”
    “I DO NOT. You should not use it any more, I think.”

  20. Stefanie says:

    I believe I can clarify the clean and unclean broccoli smell.
    Clean broccoli would be fresh uncooked broccoli.
    Unclean would be one of the following: the smell of steamed broccoli, the smell of old broccoli and last but not least…the gas which is produced quite quickly after one consumes broccoli.

  21. cassie says:

    I wonder if Crappy Baby smelled fresh mowed grass? It smells very green… tress and broccoli smell green too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Kathy says:

    Being the mom of 4 and gramma of 3, there are many many smelly stories and anecdotes I could share (most of which have been retold at family gatherings/dinners, even tho my kids are all over 30 – we all still love a smelly story.) Anyways..I just wanted to say that I think you are pretty, and your kids are cute..but that Crappy Dog of yours is really freaking adorable!!!!!!!

  23. Cheryl P. says:

    Don’t you just love it when they say they smell something yet you can’t figure out what it is because they don’t have the vocabulary to describe it fully? I do too. That and, “Mommy? What’s that sound?” He doesn’t describe it. I have to do the guessing game because at that time there are about a bejillion sounds. I like how he tries to guess too. “Maybe it’s the dog. No, no. It’s not the dog. Maybeeeee, it’s a truck.” As if those two things sound the same.

  24. Dawn says:

    Hey, why isn’t crappy dog a stick figure? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Shelley West says:

    Unrelated, but related. I have a 2 year old daughter and an infant boy. Infant flatulence is not discreet! When my baby boy let one fly, my daughter exclaimed “Elephant!” Then she thought about it, and said “bee.” I guess the ‘buzz’ was not loud enough to be elephant worthy. We, evidently, blame flatulence on imaginary animals in our home.

  26. Jill says:

    LOL unclean broccoli. Somehow I know just what he means!

  27. Carrie W. says:

    Poor Crappy Dog always getting blamed! Good call on avoiding cheese. Cheese dog farts are the worst evah.

    • wilma fingerdoo says:

      Cheese farts are bad, but nothing compares to Dog Butter farts. Our Pointer puppy stole a stick of butter off the counter (softening for cookies) and I’ve never experienced such a noxious odor in my life…it curled my eyelashes.

  28. Wanda says:

    I nabbed a copy of your book at BEA today and came to check out your blog. I have to comment to say, I’m your newest fan! I was planning on gifting it to a friend who just had a baby but I’m keeping it for me, I’ve been laughing like a crazy lady on the train!

  29. Suzanne Rubin says:

    “Clean broccoli.” An excellent descriptive phrase. I will be using it!

  30. Krista says:

    I love the unclean broccoli description!

  31. Sara says:

    As an owner of a flatulent dog, I completely relate and I would’ve pegged the broccoli smell on him too!

  32. AM says:

    You are amazing at drawings cars ๐Ÿ˜›
    About as good as I am. My son is always suspicious of my drawings of supposed “cars”.

  33. Mandy says:

    Man, your littles are so dang cute.

  34. Wendi says:

    Aren’t kids the best? So funny how he had to make that clear that it was unclean. Did he mean stinky? LOL

  35. K says:

    I love the pic of Crappy Dog looking all innocent. He didn’t make the unclean broccoli smell!

  36. Kim says:

    This reminded me of two long standing saying we have about stinky stuff at my house.

    Upon smelling a yucky smell we say “I smell a smelly smell, that smells smelly.

    Our second one is “that smells like fresh flowers.

  37. Jen says:

    We have the great misfortune of being able to drive by a waste water treatment plant on our way to/from the mall….my boys say it smells like “chicken and poo”…..pretty accurate!

    Also love the noncrappy dog picture

  38. Jo says:

    Hey, Crappy Dog doesn’t look crappy enough, that picture is excellent!

    Was he just smelling countryside fresh air?

  39. Brenda says:

    Crappy dog IS adorable!!
    Tricksy cats are wicked, lol! I got a sweet little dog once to keep my cat company (and motivate me to walk, which totally didn’t work) and the cat did indeed find the dog entertaining! The cat began knocking items off high shelves, counters and the mantle for the dog to chew on and get scolded for (until logic hit me!)
    Naughty cat! Lol.

  40. Cassandra says:

    Speaking of smells…

    I emailed my husband at work yesterday to tell him that our nearly 2 year old son’s farts were smelling like stew beef and that it was very weird. He emailed me back to tell me that when he got our little boy up that morning he thought he smelled like hamburgers. Very strange. We haven’t eaten any beef lately so no idea why he smells like this.

    Anyone else ever had their children smell like their hiding beef in their pants?

  41. Matti says:

    HAHAHA!!! This reminds me so much of my three-year-old son! One of his favorite questions these days is: “What does it smell like in here?”
    The other day in the car:
    Him: What does it smell like in this car?
    Me: I don’t know… you tell me!
    Him: Hm. I know! It smells like… WEED.
    Me: Uh……………. WEED?…….
    Him: Yes. You know, the stuff they grind up and make into bread?

  42. Nikki H says:

    In my family (my children are grown) things got blamed on the cats AND the dogs, but the true perpetrators were the children.

  43. Maja says:

    My eldest daughter (5) has a particularly sensitive nose, and is always asking what that smell I can barely detect is (or the obnoxious ‘who farted?!’). The other day on the way to church she complained of a smell of chocolate poo – say what?! Turns out it was the chocolate brownie in the front seat mixed with baby sister’s poopy nappy. Now if only I could teach her that she who smells the nappy is she who changes it!

  44. foxgarden says:

    My kids have been very fond of gum lately, particularly watermelon gum.

    My car now smells kind of like fermented watermelons. I’m really hoping this is because there are gum sticks in the car getting hot and soft in the sun, but I’m kind of worried that maybe there’s some other explanation.

  45. Robin_j says:

    A few weeks back we located the source of a terrible smell in our living room- a little cache of found-then-rehidden Easter eggs!! I wanted to cry for joy when I found them!

  46. Melissa says:

    You always make me laugh, and then I laugh even more reading the comments! I’m going to squeeze this baby out from laughing so hard! First I need to clean my computer screen from spraying it with spit.

  47. Arrynne says:

    Once we left a Costco-sized bag of jerky on the counter. We came home to a very clean bag that formerly contained jerky on the floor. We immediately blamed the dogs. On closer inspection, there were tons if teeny punctures from kitty teeth. We think the cat tried to break into the bag, then knocked it to the floor where the dogs demolished it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. Angela says:

    You almost brought the cat’s rights activists out again LOL. My 3yr old always ALWAYS asks me what “that smell” is. The funny thing about that is, I CAN’T SMELL ANYTHING. Ever. I’m exactly the wrong person to ask.

    • TNMom says:

      I am missing my sense of smell, always have been…my kids are all the time asking me “whats that smell?” I dont know honey…

  49. The amazing thing is 9.98 percent of readers know exactly what she meant by unclean broccoli smell.

  50. Rene says:

    Wow! You must really love your dog. His artwork is so detailed…and yes, never feed cheese!!! We’ll know if the kids sneak him some cause his artwork will revert to stick dog like! lol

  51. amanda says:

    This is cute. didnt know there was a difference in the smell of broccoli. I love the drawing of your dog. very cute. i love your blogs they always give me a good laugh…keep em coming. your family is so fun.

  52. anna says:

    I don’t think that your dog drawing is crappy at all. Looks like you’re faking the crappiness ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love reading your blog. Thank you for all the laughs!

  53. ml says:

    Wow, you are super woman to juggle two kids, hubby and two pets!

  54. Krista says:

    I just started reading your blog about 2 weeks ago, and tonight I finally caught up to the most recent post!! Thanks for the laugh – I’m a soon to be parent. ๐Ÿ™‚

  55. Sandra Nelsen says:

    Nice detail on crappy dog. He looks like he is the star. Don’t think I have seen you draw crappy car before, or maybe I wasn’t paying attention. Anywho, I really enjoyed the drawing on this crappy post, and the subject is hilarious as well.

  56. Lesa Pinker says:

    Love the post in general, but the fact that you call out cats for being so sneaky and getting the dog in trouble. We kept finding a pee spot in the corner of the kitchen. It didn’t seem to smell like cat pee so we blamed our dogs. We didn’t know which one it was, so we figured one was guilty and one was guilty by association, so they both got yelled at repeatedly. Finally, my husband set up a video camera sting operation. When we looked back at the footage, guess who was doing the deed? Yep, the rotten cat! I still feel bad to this day that I shamed those poor dogs for something they didn’t do!

  57. Morgan says:

    Tricksy, tricksy!

  58. Alicia says:

    If you have a really gassy dog though give him a heaping tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt with his regular dog food. Helps a ton.
    P.S. That crappy dog picture is far from crappy. You’re getting really good.

  59. Woolies says:

    It is ALWAYS the cats. Our # of cats has suddenly increased to 4, due to 2 interlopers coming to spend the summer with us. Poor dogs.

  60. julie says:

    Your kids are hilarious but of course you get top marks for taking the time to draw things out & putting everything in context and having the best come backs ever. Really, the perspective on your kids’ comments is just priceless (will get a couple books to throw around tho to other moms, that’s a good way to pay you back for all the good laughs)

  61. Barbara says:

    Its my first time in your blog. And is so funny. Thanks you made my day!

  62. Stephanie says:

    Growing up we had a mental Yorkie that thought he was brilliant. We got a new cat, he didn’t like this cat, so, knowing pooping on the floor was something pets got in trouble for, he’d raid the litterbox, and put cat poop in the living room. We had grey carpets at the time and the cat would come by and try to bury the poop in the carpet, which totally didn’t work. The dog’s plan was not, however, fool proof. He couldn’t figure out how we knew it was him. It never occurred to him that the litter stuck to the poop, meant it was not deposited on the carpet originally. Plus, sometimes he was overcome with the urge to roll in it so then we TOTALLY knew there was cat poop on the carpet somewhere, waiting for us. ๐Ÿ™‚

  63. Ferrall says:

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