Clusterphobes Beware

Where’s Jack?? Is Ninja Jack hidinks?
[flat silence]

C’mon boy!  Come out where we can see him!  Oh wherrre can Jack be??
Put the camera away and we can talk.
Jack Jack wants to come out where we can see, so Jack Jack can samplesome the bourguignon that Mommy’s got marinating, when it’s beingdinnertimes!
[exasperated sigh]


OK, let’s get one thing straight, lady: You blog this, and the laundry basket tastes vinegar vengeance, got it?
Ohhhh there’s my Jackie booooyyy!!!

Heh.  Thanks, Finn.  (There’s "mountain fresh" bleach in the hall closet.)



  1. I am a clusterphobe.. I didn’t realize there was a name for it until this site. I hate clusters.. they totally creep me out. Just thinking bout them makes me nauseous.

    Adorable dog though.. LOVE the first pic…

  2. OMG that is hilarious.
    We had a long haired mutt who would get in the same state… we just let him thaw out on the kitchen floor… MOPS!!!!

  3. you guys r silly says:

    jack jack looks veeeeeeery disdainful, like : “yeah??? what are YOU lookin’ at???”



  5. Ah. Now I see why long-haired St. Bernards were not as successful as their short-haired brethren for avalanche rescue work.

    All the same, though, I can’t wait to get my newfie! 😀

  6. Awesome – I work at CNN and we get viewers sending in tons of pics of their dogs (and pigs, and alpacas, and llamas and cats) in the snow – many of the galleries at
    have these photos – just surf around and you’ll find them.
    No snowy pics in my blog – but lots of animal stories just the same:

  7. I love these! Until the first snow cluster dog was posted a few weeks ago, I had never seen this phenomenon. (Hell, the dogs I had when I was a kid were probably at least half coyote).

    Gah! It’s like snow tumors.

  8. Vinegar vengeance! Ha ha ha! And if we use the mountain fresh bleach on Mr. Jack Jack, he will be even more the ninja-snow-hider!

  9. Awwwwww, the first pic is byootiful!

    *scrolling down*

    Whut The-

    Mffft ….


    *singing “Shiny Disco Balls”*

    PAWS UP, Finn Bebeh.

  10. misscrisp says:

    “I disapprove of this elemental intrusion.”

  11. I too am a clusterphobe… ack!! But the dog is a very sweet boy.

  12. it’s like elephantitis…

  13. It’s only a temporary condition. [snicker]

  14. *shudder*

    I had to cover the bottom picture while marveling in the cuteness of the top!

    Snow tumors, indeed, Redz!

  15. I CAN’T HANDLE IT!!!
    Jack is too freaking cute.
    I want to go where there is snow so i can get a pic of my poochie doing the same thing!!! :o)

  16. you guys r silly says:

    its NAHT a TUHMA… &:o[

  17. that first pic is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Worthy of framing and placing in a gallery if you ask me.

    The second? FUNNY!!! lol!

  18. Snow Clumpster. He does not appreciate the humor we see in this. snicker snicker tee hee

  19. Frozen clown pants, too funny!

  20. Relax you guys. It’s not clusters. It’s not tumors. It’s a stash for the upcoming… SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!

    < ----Theo

  21. Looking at this pic again I feel kinda sorry for the little fella. Quick someone get a hair dryer. It’s like Carrie at the prom.

  22. Oops, for some reason, the brakets were mistaken for code. Here it is again :

    (THUMP!) < -----Theo

  23. [shaking it off]
    Oof. Somebody’s asking for it.

  24. Thanks, YGRS, I knew I could count on a follow-through!

  25. Ugh. The first picture is WAY to cute, but the second is awful! I mean the dog is adorable, but I know I am a clusterphobe now. If that were my dog and he came out of the snow like that I would go brush him off ASAP! ACK ACK ACK! But cute first pic!

  26. Best snowdog ninja EVAR!!!

  27. …and then we helped the cats make cat-angels in the snow.

    it was a banner day it was.

  28. what’s all that white stuff on the ground?

  29. what a gorgeou animal!i just hope somebody told this dog to come in when his toes start to get numb. then again, moderation is not a boarder collie’s greatest strenghth.

  30. Must… resist… commenting… on… dog’s… well-being… or… safety!

  31. “what’s all that white stuff on the ground?”

    Whatever it is, Jack seems determined to pick up as much of it on his coat as he can. You know how border collies like to organize things.

  32. I hate when that happens

  33. Jack looks embarrassed to come out from under the bush. Well, how would you feel if you looked like that?

  34. Yes I hate WINTER too

  35. Love the poodle imitation.

  36. The snow balls are the sickest thing ever, really this should be on ugly overload.

  37. “i just hope somebody told this dog to come in when his toes start to get numb”

    “how would you feel if you looked like that?”

    Oh man, next time someone puts a pic of a cat begging for Pounce treat, someone will say it’s cruel to taunt the cat like that, that the cat must be straving and is probably in the verge of dying!

  38. What ees thees BLEEN? Specifically excluded from the Glossary, so sorries, B-B-BUT WHY?

  39. Jack Jack is a fantastic name for such a pretty boy.

    He doesn’t look too happy about having that second picture taken though…

  40. We used to have a long haired terrier that liked to stay out in the snow so long he would get ice balls on his tummy. He would click when he walked until the ice melted.

    He never got this bad, though.

  41. Nice to know the dog and share a nickname! I bet that dog will fall asleep on the couch or on his owner’s (owners’?) bed and give he/she/them a different sort of…ahem…puddle.

  42. *dog and I

  43. Frozen Wasteland says:

    For those in non-snowy climes, this DOES NOT HURT! (except maybe a ding to dignity). The snowballs are very hard to get off – if you try to pull them off, they compress into ice balls. Snuggle up with some towels in a nice warm room, Jack!

  44. genetic lemon says:

    Those are some fancy lookin’ pantaloons yer got der.

  45. Y’all should come to interior Alaska–the air is so dry that the snow doesn’t stick to you. Only downside–no snowball fights or any of that stuff (snowball fights? Does anyone actually have those? I grew up in California; whaddoiknow?). In Fairbanks, a thrown attempted snowball goes “FOOF” and scatters into the air…

  46. Ninja Jack only looks ike that in the second picture because he’s sure he’re trying to make him come in and melt before he achieves the much coveted 360 degree snow cone effect.

    (You see, then he comes in and LEAPS, nija fashion, on the warm and dry unsuspecting human he loves best. Just because.)

  47. Arvay — that makes me sad.
    I’ve got a *wicked* snowball arm.

  48. Helene – actually, i was joking about the numb toes thing. i think that’s a strictly human-parent warning.

    i’m pretty sure he got covered in globues by having a grand ol’ time, and that his frolicking probably kept him nice and toasty.


  49. Persephone says:

    I’m confused about why people find the little snow-clusters so upsetting. They’re just something that happens when long-haired dogs go out in the snow.

    My parents’ dear departed Ginger loved nothing more than to roll around in snow for as long as she could get away with it. When she got in my mom would have to melt the snow-clusters with a hair dryer. 🙂

    I think both pictures are adorable!

  50. p.s. no snuffer, i!

  51. Persephone — that’s funny, I’ve gotten snow buildup out of my car’s brakes that way.

  52. anner,

    sorry, I’m feeling a bit defensive. I guess you had to be there —>

  53. useta hada kitteh says:

    He’s annoyed in the second picture, because they called him out of hiding and ruined the ambush he’d planned (all those snowballs were carefully gathered ammunition). Now his plan is thwarted, because everyone can see the size of his snowball arsenal, and they can amass even more snowballs under their trees-of-hiding, and then, kersplat, Jack’s all covered with snow on top of him, too, and he didn’t even get to ambush anybody. (Anybody wanna build a snowfort? I have this sudden craving…)

    Arvay — here in relatively southern Prairie Canada, our snow is generally too dry to make snowballs, too. If the temperature goes up (oh please, please, please) to around freezing, then all the kids (and some non-kids) are out making snowmen and forts and snowballs, but most of the time (like now) the snow just won’t stick. (it’s -20 degrees Celsius right now, in early afternoon, with the sun shining brightly…that’s -4 Fahrenheit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the temp goes down to around -30 C one of these nights, which would be -22 F. Snowballs definitely do not stick at those temps.)

    I think this doggie looks incredibly funny — I’ve never seen that happen in real life!

  54. Helene – no problem. i was there, and though i did not weigh in, let’s just say i’m feelin’ ya.

  55. Feelin’ me? Whoa there, I have a boyfriend!

    I don’t mean you Theo!

  56. blueberries4me says:

    I’d love to dump him in a hot bathtub right now.

    No worries, Clusterphobes I have your back!

    (His expression is priceless)

  57. First picture is such a perfect holiday card shot.

  58. Jack has boo boo pants. And he can frown and glare like Nate Nate (my dog). They would either hate each other, or really intimidate all the, uh.. smaller, less cute dogs on the block. pftz.

  59. it’s a personal floatation device! he could be floating in the sea…passing ships would be all like, “captain what’s that up ahead? oy! it’s that furry iceberg we heard about on the news.”

  60. I’m sure he’s a nice doggie, but two things:
    1.) All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
    2.) Doesn’t he look like he’s hiding in a dark snow-encrusted hedge labyrinth, just waiting for some unsuspecting person to walk by?

    Just sayin’ there’s some Shining action going on here…oh, wait! Except for the completely ridiculous snow clusters.

  61. oh boy! is it inuendo (and deflection thereof day) on the CO?

    ok, my turn:

    [assumes awkward yet defensive tone]: c’mon, Helene, i was just talking like the kids…you know not feelin’ ya litterally, more like “i feel *for* ya.” like, i’m on yer side here…oh and it just so happens that i am happily married. and even if i wasn’t, i’m just not that kind of girl. [bursts into sobs]

    (the preceeding has been a friendly melodramatic jest.)

  62. How does that snow cluster globe thingy happen?? Poor doggie looks really cheesed-off in the second pic.

  63. p.s. my parents corgi gives that same look on the doggie’s face. it’s like “ha, ha, very funny, you’re laughing at me becase i look silly, but it is you who are silly on the inside.”

  64. Anner & Helene… tsk

  65. Theo — secretly, you want that to happen…

  66. TSK!

  67. I dunno, if you let him go any longer, he might end up looking like the Michelin dog.

  68. KindAGoofy says:

    Holey moley folks aren’t you taking the second photo a WEEEEE bit too seriously? It’s a funny picture – I laughed so hard that I suspect I broke something. The dog is not in distress – he’s got snow-tocks! And I thought I was kinda’ goofy … sheesh.

  69. Blossom… the snow-globe cluster happens cuz the dog goes out, plays in the snow, fur gets a bit wet, snow sticks, then sticks, and sticks, and sticks and … a..nd……s then they run into the kitchen and cause a deluge, while wagging their happy little tails cuz they’ve just had the best time EVER!
    At least, that’s what Sooty our long deperted, long haired beuatiful mutt did way back in the ’70s in Bonnie Scotland… yes there was Snow, in the 1970’s .. in Scotland.. not much of it nowadays… *wistful tones* Ah those wur the Days my friends…** wanders humming old tunes and fades into a Missouri sunset….**

  70. andrea l nash says:

    Here’s all I can find about BLEEN:

  71. Victheoria’s Secret. Ooh. Aah.

  72. Animal faceds don’t work the way human faces work, which is good for general hilarity (See ref. #1: Rabbits, Disapproving) but not for interpreting their emotions through a photo. He *does* look seriously cheesed-off. But I think it is hilarious, and I doubt he is! He’s a BORDER COLLIE, people! They love being outdoors off-leash!

  73. andrea I nash: excellent, thanks – a new and useful word! Plus “snow-tocks” – what an educational day I’m having.

  74. Pyrit — ow, my mind’s eye! (And everybody else’s!)

  75. Jane Laberee says:

    If he chases his tail now, will he sound like a tambourine?…maracas, maybe?…sleighbells?

  76. I’ve never lived with either a long hair dog or in a place with this much snow (our 1 inch today will prolly be about it!) but it just *looks* painful, lol! Like big ole matts. I’m guessing it’s not tho! Love the expressions on his face – my pup is super expressive too. Break out the hair dryer!

  77. HaHA!
    Funny funny peeps!

    And, I am still marvelling over this clusterphobia. It was completely unknown to me until the last snowballdog we had here on CO.

    What we should all have in this country at this time is Clusterf&%@ophobia.


  78. Theo – Sight gag, literally.

    btw, I’m on the laptop, which means, I’m sucking molasses through a straw.

  79. You suck, pyrit!

  80. that is the maddest-looking dog I have ever seen!

  81. Jack’s adorable! The snow-balling happened to my dog all the time. I always thought she looked a little like the dragon from The Never Ending Story whenever she came through the door looking like that. 😀

  82. Are clusterphobes skeeved out by fractal broccoli?

    BTW, I actually eat fractal broccoli. It’s great with cheese! Of course, everything’s great with cheese.

  83. Arvay — that stuff is inSANE. I think my brain broke.

  84. violetgreen says:

    Holy Fibonacci numbers! That fractal broccoli is science I can relate to! Chomp!

  85. LOL!! I think there’s more snow than dog on that dog.

    Brilliant, Finn!

  86. Wow, I didn’t realize there were that many more clusterphobes out there… I, too, am one…even though the ones on the dog’s legs didn’t bother me so much… Buuuut…I like how Mr. Doggie here is looking all “OH SNO IS ME!!!!”

  87. Ya know, I first encountered fractal broccoli at the farmer’s market, and thought that it was some crazy California thing dreamed up by enginerds for amusement. but guess what? It actually dates from the 1600’s. Google “romanesco” (the official name) and see! And the greatest part, to me, is that it’s actually tasty, unlike a lot of novelty vegetables and fruit that they hybrid up around here…

  88. SNOW TUMORS! That is excellent.

  89. (Scrutinizes Lauri’s puddin’ cache.)

  90. is there a co rule in which if you are doing something cute AND seem annoyed about it, that makes it cuter?
    b/c I would ratify it!

  91. I thought the first picture was black and white at first 😛

    Man, I wish I had some snow and a woolly dog right about now.

  92. It’s like the snow-clusters I’d get on my mittens as a child playing in the snow!!!!! Well, except bigger. And cuter.

  93. fifi I lurv you rule. The cute but annoyed rule.

  94. ok enough with the broccoli, people its jack jack we are talking about here!!!!
    I am standing up for him, however that last picture says to me you’ll stop the guffs and laughs and put that camera away now right. but the vengful vinagrette is priceless , thanks I need to smile today

  95. TanksMommy says:

    “If I sit reeeeeeeealy still they won’t see me hiding in here” Im so sneaky! (he actually looks like he believes noone can see him and he is pulling a fast one. HAHAHHA!)

  96. TanksMommy says:

    Picture 2..he looks totally embarassed! Like he is saying “what-everrrrrrr”!!!!

  97. snow poodle legs!

  98. Peg of Tilling says:

    Wow, that’s definitely a Warner Bros. look on Jack Jack’s face…and Meg? Best captions ever!

    And fractal broccoli…who knew?

  99. Peg O’T — thanks! (‘Twarn’t Meg today.)

  100. Violet's mama says:

    Oh my! I keep scrolling back up for another laugh! This has got to be the funniest picture and caption EVAH! Love it love it love it!

  101. i’m not a clusterphobe, but i’m afraid of the broccoli anyway. i think i’m also afraid of regular broccoli.

    i can’t stop looking at this doggie and his adorable expression. herding dogs know they are smarter than most of us. i think yale is going to start admitting them soon.

  102. Anner — that’s where the President went to college, isn’t it?

  103. My amusement for the evening: I emailed these pics to my parents, and was on the phone while they opened them. My mom asked “When did you take that snow one??” then started laughing really hard at the cluster one, and only eventually realized they were not taken by me, and were not pictures of our dog. (Who’s part aussie, and more gray than this, but loves the snow just as much)

  104. Arvay, Theo, and others so concerned- Come to any college campus around Boston for truly wicked snowball fights. Preferably at midnight. Not so much this year, unfortunately.

  105. Heh, Julia2… I’m not 100% sure, but I *might* be able to huck an iceball just far enough to hit that dome on the north side of Faneuil Hall. [winds up]

    I’d aim for the Great Dome at MIT, but you never know what else might be up there.

  106. …and Theo? Best captions ever!

  107. SeaBreeze says:

    What a sweetie Jack-Jack is! He totally looks like he’s all set in his snow-field in pic 1, ready to hang out there all day and maybe even move out there permanently! In pic 2, he looks all “Thank you SO much for hysterically laughing at me! It was bad enough that you made me come out of my Perfect Winter Hangout, but now you’re laughing at me as well? Thanks EVER so much!”

    … since Mr Walking Snowball Arsenal might be just a little bit grumpy at being made to stand there & pose despite those have-to-be uncomfortable mini-snowballs between his toesies…

  108. Heck, go for MIT, Theo! You’re far enough away to avoid whatever fallout there may be, right?, and they sure enough deserve it 😛

  109. Oh I’m sure they’d backtrace the incoming arc fast enough, and determine my iceball’s point of origin, similar to how the Allied forces in WWII took out that Nazi “supergun” that was shelling Paris from hundreds of miles away. And I shudder to think what MIT student hackers would dream up to return fire with.

  110. [ponders]
    Cal Tech, now… THERE’S a plum target.



  112. That’s nice, T. (ice tea?)

    But ice melts.

    Puddins don’t.

    (fills ramekins while studying a map of the Great Lakes region)

  113. The Honourable Gladys Anstruther says:

    Jack is working on his Poodle disguise, there is just the coat with cotton balls stuck to it and Voila we ave zer franche Poo-del

  114. aw he looks funny! i wonder why it sticks to them like that. must be heavy!

  115. That dogs face is priceless in the 2nd picture. He’s all “I don’t understand it either”.

    I would love an explanation of the weather conditions that causes this hilarious phenomenon.

  116. cristinutria says:

    Oh Meg!! Your dialogue is hysterical!! It had me and my cube-mate rolling!

  117. Ooh, that looks just like my boy Sparky. What great dogs they are. This is my first CO post evarr.
    Long time lurker, tho. been around since the early daze.
    I heart teh Qte…

  118. “what choo lookin’at” says jack in the 2nd pic.
    too awesome. I wish it was warm enough here to make clumpy snow…we’re sitting at -34C with wind chill… brrrr

  119. Theo – haha, good point. however, both Clintons went there too, as well as Taft. maybe the herding dogs should stick with Harvard anyway. one thing is for sure; they would not like Wesleyan. herding dogs like those around to behave.

  120. first of all, this photo was so cute it merited a return visit from me.
    And my return was rewarded by noting the terribly cute title of the picture: “Jack Emerges” hee hee

  121. fifi — Amen to “cute but annoyed.” I’m thinking there’d be some serious cattage in that cat-egory, ’cause they are SEW good at looking annoyed when something undignified happens to them.

  122. Oh my!! Incredibly cute. :]

  123. this dog definitely comes with a lot of baggage.

    too cute.

  124. I don’t get the clusterphobia. I just see cute dog + snow = CUTEOVERLOAD. I love Jack’s freckles and agree that the first picture is just artistic in its beauty.

    I live in north Texas. We got an inch or two of powdery snow. Total freakout on the highways. It took hubby and me an hour and a half to drive a little over twenty miles to work today. Not because of the roads; because of the other drivers! Everyone was creeeeeeeeping along. Hubby grew up in Colorado, and said that people there drove faster than that even when there was ice all over the highways.

  125. TwinklyTerrapin says:

    Oooh, “vinegar vengeance” is almost a Googlewhack–only two hits, one of which is Jack’s dialog…

  126. Aww, poor guy. Looks like he lost a fight with a caulking gun.

  127. Alice Shortcake says:

    Happy memories of my dear old dog Scamp – he loved nothing better than wallowing in snow and bringing tons of the stuff into the house via “snowballs”

  128. Rofl!! The doggie doesn’t look too amused.


    Hahaha, what a sweetie! <3

  129. OK, “Looks like he lost a fight with a caulking gun” is sublimely silly.
    😉 to Flodnak.

  130. omg that looks like it hurts. poor doggy 😦


  132. Poor baby…..that doesn’t look like fun.

    The poor dog looks a little embarrassed in the 2nd photo. I guess I would be too if I looked like that!

    What’s next, a few minutes in the tub with warn water to rid him/her of his snowballs and warn him/her back up?