Not Exactly Fearless Blogging
What It Looks Like

Dogged Determination

I got an email the other day from someone asking me if, by any chance, I was ALSO the author of a different blog. Like, a blog beyond any of the other four frillion sites I contribute to, maintained under someone else's name and life story, all sneaky-seekrit-identity-like. 

I cannot even imagine having the copious amounts of free time one would need to pull off something like that, and also the organizational skills. Like, is this the blog where I'm a boring suburban mother-of-two with a penchant for sucker-punching my readers in the vaginas at the end of every post, like "funny funny Star Wars run-on-sentence funny BAM! EMOTIONAL KAPOW! WHO'S CRYING AT WORK NOW, SUCKAH?" Or is this the blog where I'm a fabulously carefree 20-something in Los Angeles who blogs about all the interesting people she sleeps with and spells everything The British Way, because she thinks it makes her sound fancy? Or is this the blog where I'm a 40-something dude who posts a lot of Stargate fanfic and bitches about all the major dramazzz at this year's ComicCon? I AM SO CONFUSED. I DON'T KNOW HOW SUPERMAN DOES IT.

Anyway. So I get this email and click through to the other blog in question -- you know, just to make sure I WASN'T maintaining a second secret blog identity (maybe I had a stroke? or am taking too much melatonin and sleep-driving to all-night Internet cafes?) -- and it was Hyperbole and a Half. Which. You know, MAJOR COMPLIMENT THERE, for anyone to possibly think Allie and I are the same person, even though we have both been repeatedly harassed by vicious geese, because she is so, so much funnier than me. And probably you. I'm sorry, but it's the truth. 

ANYWAY. OH MY GOD. THE POINT! IS! That thanks to that email I got all sucked up into an Archives Vortex, that thing you do when you just start clicking "previous entry" over and over again and then next thing you know it's two in the morning and you're reading stuff from two years ago that you maybe even actually READ two years ago, but it's like when you turn on the TV and there's that one rerun of Cheers or Seinfeld or the Star Trek One With Tribbles and you've seen it before but it's one of your FAVORITES and you have to watch it anyway. Because it's AWESOME, and maybe only reruns once every couple years! This is your chance! Until TV Land reruns it again next Sunday, or whatever.

Wait. Shit. That wasn't actually my point after all. 

No, my point REALLY is that I read this entry about Allie giving her dog an IQ test, and it made me laugh a ridiculously snarffily amount, and then, because it was -- again -- two in the morning, I started eyeing my own dog, who was sleeping on a piece of paper next to her dog bed, probably because that paper was something important and her underside gets all oily in the summer. 

I totally should give her an IQ test, I thought. And then post the results on my blog, which wouldn't be copycat-like at ALL, because one single solitary person thought our writing styles were possibly kind of similar already! We might even be the same person! YOU CAN'T PLAGIARIZE FROM YOURSELF. FACT. THAT'S HOW WORMHOLES GET STARTED. 

At this point I wisely decided to go to bed. 

Only to wake up a few hours later thinking: DOGGY IQ TEST TIME, BITCHES.

Test One: Problem-Solving Ability

This involves hiding a treat under a can, and seeing how long it takes your dog to knock the can over. 

I thought a full-sized can would be unfair for Ceiba, since that would be like me expecting you to knock over one of those orange road-work barrels with only your nose, but using something like a tomato paste can seemed maybe too easy, so I went with a small plastic cup. I hope this does not invalidate my very scientific results.


To her credit, Ceiba definitely seemed to know the treat was under that cup, though she was at a complete loss as to what to DO about this confounding conundrum, other than 1) sniff the cup, and 2) stare at me.





After a few minutes, it appeared that Ceiba forgot that the treat was even under the cup in the first place, and kept looking for it elsewhere. Over here? Over here? Now back over there again! Wait, over here! Still nothing over here, let's try back over there again!

I thought, perhaps, that my dog is simply a visual learner, and this test was unfairly skewered against her skills, so I switched to a clear glass. Maybe if she could SEE the treat, she'd be a bit more motivated?



Score: 1 point.

Test Two: Escape Skills
This one involves tossing a towel or blanket over your dog and seeing how long it takes them to escape.


She actually did pretty well on this one! It took her about 20 seconds to get free, although she did run directly into the TV cabinet first, but the testing criteria doesn't mention any point deductions for headbutting large obstacles, therefore I am awarding her the full 3 points.


Test Three: Social Learning

Stare at your dog. After three seconds, smile at your dog. They're supposed to see this and come over in search of love and validation and who'sagooddog who'sagooddog and etc. At the very least, there should be some tail-wagging. 

Results: Inconclusive, because Ceiba never made it through the initial three seconds of eye contact before she charged over to me, all FOOD? YOU HAVE SOME FOOD? ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME BECAUSE YOU WANT TO GIVE ME SOME FOOD? I WOULD BE HAPPY TO ACCEPT SOME FOOD OH MY GOD WHY ARE YOU SMILING AT ME INSTEAD OF GIVING ME SOME FOOD?

I skipped scoring this one, mostly MY DOG DOESN'T HAVE A TAIL, YOU ASSHOLES. Way to make her feel self-conscious about it.

Test Four: Advanced Problem-Solving

A god-awful hybrid of past failures. Hide the treat under the blanket or towel. See how long it takes dog to find it. 

Results: Ceiba immediately deployed her patented make your beddy digging technique that she uses to, well, make her beddy, before collapsing in an exhausted I've done nothing all day heap. She has also destroyed our couch cushions and multiple decorative throw pillows with it, but BOO-YAH, if it didn't help her find that treat in just over 30 seconds.


If you would ever like her assistance in recovering buried dead bodies in the woods, email me. Just make sure they smell like compressed turkey jerky first.

Score: 3 points

Test Five: Manipulation Skills

This test requires that you build a low table that your dog cannot get her head under. Then you hide a treat underneath it to see if it occurs to her to retrieve it with her paw. This presented a challenge, because 1) my dog's muzzle is the size of a roll of pennies, and 2) my dog has a somewhat long history of getting her head stubbornly stuck in places, so I didn't want to use anything that could possibly crush her puny head like the overripe plum that it is.

I went with a heavy package of Ikea curtains I've been meaning to hang up since, oh, 2006, propped up by couple Sookie Stackhouse novels. 


Since I wasn't sure if that was Ceiba's preferred vampire franchise, I added a magazine with Taylor Lautner on top. 

The results were astounding. It took Ceiba less than three seconds to retrieve the treat. Unfortunately, she went with violent brute force instead of dexterity...




Score: Obvious test proctor error. Student should not be penalized. 3 points

Test Six: Language Recognition

An easy one: Shout random words at your dog in the same tone you usually use to call her name and see if she knows the difference. If she stays put, call her name. If she comes only to her name, congratulations! Your dog is not a complete moron.

Words Ceiba responded to in a super-excited, running-over-and-jumping and OMGOMGOMG fashion: Refrigerator, movies, tangerine, Sookeh, dumbass.

Words Ceiba ignored completely: HER ACTUAL NAME.

Score: 1 point for enthusiasm; sticking the landing. 

Ceiba's final score was a measly 11 points, which puts her in the Your dog is not too bright, but is most likely very cute range, and thankfully the testing website did not include a caveat or asterisk that added "provided you find seizing hummingbird-eared hamsters on stilts to be 'very cute'" or something. 

Basically, I just spent an entire morning scientifically proving (and documenting!) something that I (and the Internet!) already really knew: My dog is pretty damn dumb.


Good thing she coordinates with our floors so nicely. 



My daughter has a min pin named Amber, looks just like your dog. And like your dog, pretty damn dumb, but cute as hell!


Ohhh my goodness.

Thank you for also getting me lost in the ARCHIVE VORTEX of Hyperbole, oh my. I had to absolutely pry myself off of Allie's blog to come back to finish this post. But I did! I did finish! And I am glad!

I am also glad Ceiba coordinates with the floors so well. I think it adds to the cuteness.


I found Hyperbole and a half about a month ago (IN LOVE) and the first thing I did was put a towel over my dog. She got full marks so I decided to quit while I was ahead.
And I can totally see how one would mistake you two, I had that passing thought too until I watched the goose video.


hahaha! laughing loudly to myself alone in my office... probably sound crazy, good thing I work at a mental health clinic.

Megan@Blueberry Scones

Love that test! I think you might have spawned a "make your dog take an IQ test" meme.


Amy, just about everyone I know picked themselves up off the floor after collapsing in laughter reading that comic, then ran off to test their own dogs. The results were all hilarious. Thanks for documenting your session with Ceiba, that just makes it even funnier! :D


LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Hyperbole and a Half so much. I actually just did the archives vortex a couple weeks ago myself, and spent a whole weekend convulsing with laughter while my husband looked at me like I was a nut. Then I gave our dachshund an intelligence test, and she passed with flying colors. I think she's going to Harvard.


Lol! Now I'm headed over to read the other IQ test.


It is my dream to one day be mistaken for Allie Brosh. Fact.

Sprite's Keeper

So, you're saying that since my dog Harry has no tail, I shouldn't hold it against him that his spider killing skills suck major milkbones? I guess I need to apologize now..

Hi, I'm Natalie.

After reading that Hyperbole post, I tested my dog. (He's a "genius".) Then, I used the same test on my infant daughter. (She's also " not too bright, but is most likely very cute range". ;>)


You know, drawings are nice and all, but seeing real pictures of the Dog IQ test in action? Priceless. Seriously funny.

I called my cat a toaster and a bucket with my "I-have-food" voice, she didn't come. But when I called her name, she appeared in the doorway, but wouldn't get any closer because she could see I didn't have food.

You should try the dog IQ test with your cat. Except don't use mice as your "treat."


On a bored, hot Friday afternoon I found myself laughing my a@@ off in my cubical (aka hell).. I have 3 pugs back home that while cute as crap, only one has a chance in hell of finding his way out of a paper bag... They are known simply as the gimp (black one with bad hip and a modicum of smarts), ole one-eye (blind in one eye that veres to the left mysteriously) and the big, slow, dumb one (kind of reminds you of the jock you went to school with that smoked too much pot and is probably bagging groceries now back home or picking up trash after sporting events.) Thanks for the laugh and now headed to Hyperbole to waste the rest of this crappy afternoon!


There might need to be a different test for her. I mean her brain can't be more than the size of a pea, right? So she's needs a different test. The, pea sized brain test.

Sorry...can't resist. I'm a big dog person. Although, I just vacuumed up as much hair as your dog probably weighs soooo...hmmm. Shrug.

Amy in StL

I love that blog. However, your Ceiba posts always rock my world! Such a great way to waste a few minutes on a Friday in a nearly empty office....zzzzz


An amalah/allie crossover? Heaven!!!


Yeah. Because not only do you have time to write two hilariously funny blogs, plus columns, while raising 2 boys under the age of 5, you have time to draw multiple cartoons for each post. Snort.
Although you're write about Allie. FUNNY.

Meg from Ga

That really made my day! We have 2 min-pins and I see that "Fuck it" look a lot!!! Too Funny!


Meanwhile my cat opened the cabinet door and brought out fixins for turkey sandwiches.


Poor Ceiba. Good thing she can't read, or her teeny little heart'd be breaking into itsy bitsy pieces...

Momnivore's Dilemma

Give Ceiba more credit. She's a member of canine MENSA...

Stephanie M

Oh Amy...that was fabulous.

I really hope you're going to make it to Blogher 11 next year.


I think that test is rigged. Way to go, little Ceiba! who'sagooddog?

Maxine Dangerous

I love your blog more with each passing day. :D


Amy, I SERIOUSLY was thinking to myself "Amalah is so much like Allie...I wonder who came first" when I starting reading this post. I followed Dooce's suggestion over to Hyperbole and got lost in the vortex for DAYS. I have two kids at home who need to eat at regular intervals or I would have finished sooner. Let's pay no attention to the fact that I forgot to feed my eldest that one day. You are both hilarious and I knew immediately which blog you were referring to before you mentioned it. (I win!)


OMG, the Z snaps got me. I can't stop laughing!


I found Hyperbole earlier this year and it has transformed my life.
Every time I see a horse I say "I'm a mother f***in horse!"
And collapse into giggles and chuckles while whoever is with me titters nervously.
PS. I want to smoosh your dog in between two pieces of bread. Please make her be a hamburger for Halloween!


"Words Ceiba responded to in a super-excited, running-over-and-jumping and OMGOMGOMG fashion: Refrigerator, movies, tangerine, Sookeh, dumbass."

Now you know how all our cats got their names. We just kept calling them different nicknames until they started responding to something in particular.

Also, this post was totally worth getting in trouble for reading it at work.


This made me laugh a lot. Though I must admit that despite my reasonable intelligence I'm with Ceiba in reacting to things like IQ tests with thoughts of "fuck this shit".


Holy shit! I love you even more because you love Hyperbole and a Half.
I love her alot [insert alot here]


hilarious... but I gotta correct your record. You actually CAN plagiarize yourself. Has to do with copyrights or some such, I think. (I also think Doris Kearns Goodwin was criticized for plagiarizing herself, uncredited.)

Sorry, nerd alert.


Been reading you forever, but first time commenter (woohoo!). You had me cracking up the whole time. Seriously, woman! You are hilarious~


Hyperbole is my other favorite blog(besides yours). But the real question of the day is this: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR FLOORS SO DAMN CLEAN!?!?!? Seriously they are shiny and there are not any pet fur tumbleweeds anywhere.


Ohhh I laughed my ass off at this and then I made my Hubby read it so I could laugh my ass off at him laughing! :)


I am not ashamed to admit that I like Hyperbole and a Half enough to have actually bought blog merchandise. It's fantastic.

I had never thought about the connection, but you know.. yep. You both exhibit similar kinds of awesomeness.


Haha Amy, that was just grand. Thanks ;-)


Um, yer WaaaaaaHaaaaaaaaaaay funnier than Hyperbole. Way.


I <3 Ceiba. So much.


That is so funny! But even more so because I was reading the same Hyperbole and a Half entry last night, too!! Her sketches and your photos both had me rolling! Thanks for the double laugh.


Allie is so damn funny she makes me snort - on purpose, kind of like applause for the funny.

Her blog has gone NUTSO the past few months though. Like, bam, straight to the moon on how many comments she gets. I feel lost in the fray now. LOL I'm so happy for her - she's got a good schtick!


Too freaking funny...and, now my husband thinks I'm demented because I asked him if he wanted to give our dogs an IQ test.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves)

This was one of my favourite posts over at Hyperbole and a Half. I was crying when I read it. I love that you have a dog you could do an IQ test on. I would try this on my cats but they'd probably try to kill me in my sleep if I dared to throw a blanket on them.


I found your site from Sprite’s Keeper. I love it. I’m going to poke around a little bit, but don’t worry I’ll put everything back where I found it!!

aka alice

OMFG...sooooo funny. I don't have a dog, but am forwarding it to everyone I know with a dog (or a cat for that matter) because I KNOW they will force their pets to take the test.

hmmmm but now I'm thinking I should test my teenagers...I wonder how they'd do?

I do love your blog...(signed a frequent lurker an very occasional poster)


Funny Stuff!!


Funny Stuff!!


Funny Stuff!!


Funny Stuff!!


Oh, wow! I was giggling like a pothead. :) I'm tempted to try it on my dogs, but I have a feeling they'd all look at me like I was an idiot.


I like that I am not alone in my use of the words "fuck" and "shit." I was starting to feel lonely. To feel like I should become a crab fisherman (fisherwoman?), so as to have a friendly environment in which to curse freely and unabashedly.

Also? Sookie Stackhouse is the SHIT, and I am having withdrawals after reading all 9 books in two months, and now cannot freaking afford the 10th book.

(Am borrowing it soon from a friend. Am scared that I have already forgotten the 200 plot twists. Fuck me running.)


The Archives Vortex. Ahh, I know it well. IT HAPPENED TO ME AFTER I FOUND YOUR SITE! Sorry, I didn't mean to yell at you.

Brigid Keely

1) I loooove hyperbole and a half.

2) I miss having a dog. Even a dumb dog.

beta dad

Here's a link to a video I made of my babies laughing like crazy at that Hyperbole.5 story, "Dog." It's pretty cute, if I do say so myself.


Your description of Ceiba's test made me laugh so hard I had an asthma attack. Worth it.

Suzy Q

Thanks for turning me on to Allie's blog. Am very happily being sucked into her archive vortex, much as I started with you. Please send fresh Depends!


I've been reading your blog for years, just found Hyperbole a few months ago, love them both! I was actually sucked into the vortex for both blogs lol, well worth the time spent :o)

Eleanor's Trousers

To be fair, I could probably not do half of these things when hungover, so I'm just going to give Ceiba a pass and suggest a strong pot of coffee. It does the trick for me every time.


love love love allie (did you see that cats have sharp parts post? hilarious)! Also, love that you took pics of your dog doing the test= awesome!

die Frau

You and Allie make me laugh for very different reasons, but I do see the similarities.

Our Wheaten terrier, Penny, does quite poorly with the blanket trick. She just sits there and waits for us to stop laughing, or she'll just lie down in her sudden new cave.

I think she might do well with the cup thingie, but that's because we got her this cube that has holes where you put dog food and she has to nose it around to get the food to come out. I did have to teach her how to use it, though.

I love that Ceiba came when you called her Sookeh. Safe to assume that you did at least one a la Bill Compton tone?

P.S. How 'bout that newscast with Russell? Both hilarious and nauseating.


1. That was a fine one-line characterization of your blog, BTW.

2. I'm delighted to learn that you, too, get sucked into archives vortexes. I sort of assumed you were too successful and busy. Also, I always feel so stalkerish when I do that.

3. The only dog IQ test I'd ever heard of was one where you point your finger. If your dog looks where you're pointing, he's a genius. If your dog sniffs your finger, he's a dummy.


"Since I wasn't sure if that was Ceiba's preferred vampire franchise, I added a magazine with Taylor Lautner on top. "

Haha! Way to cover all the bases.


God help me, I did this to my toddler. And I took pictures. You know, to use on my blog, because using your kid as a guinea pig is totally acceptable when it's done in the name of SCIENCE.

So thanks, Amy. I now know my baby is a doggy-genius.

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I believe you said you were in Ohio.

The new Ohio risk pool may help you out if you have been uninsured for six months. You may want to check the ODOI.



You were the first blog I followed religiously starting about a year and half ago. Hyperbole was the second. I'm glad my blog reading worlds have collided. Also weird because as I was quickly scrolling to get to the top of this story and saw Ceiba with a blanket, Allie's post popped in my head - who knew - it was actually going to coincide! Also, You rule!

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