Six Monkeys: Meeting a new family member

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By Kelly Dolejsi

She’s looking at me with her old-man eyebrows right now. Her pink-and-black dotted foot lies against her gray-and-black mini-jowl. She’s almost asleep. Her humongous ears twitch every so often, when Joss Stone hits especially soulful notes on the stereo and any time Zooker moves.

Zooker, my 11-year-old Chow Chow mix, has a new, horrifying 15-pound companion. It’s not a tumor. It’s so much worse: a puppy.

He doesn’t mind her so much like this, curled up serenely, croissant-like, real-normal-lazy-dog-like, just a breathy little hill in the carpet. But the carpet smells like pee and that calm, gentle crescent roll has sunk deep tooth marks in Zooker’s tail – and our arms, my glasses, my husband’s cell phone, our chair legs, our box spring, our bookmarks and all the weeds in our backyard.

It’s as though she is both Hansel and Gretel and our house, us and everything we touch, is made of sopapillas and beautiful, crunchy peanut M&Ms.

Let me introduce Piqué, our 9-week-old (today!) Great Dane. About three weeks ago, Michael and I drove to Bixby, Okla., to pick her up. She had tiny ears then and she shivered the first time she was hoisted into my arms.

Actually, it was all kind of weird.

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