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“There are no bad days when you come home to a pug.” – Anonymous

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” – Ben Williams

“If you remain calm in the midst of great chaos, it is the surest guarantee that it will eventually subside.” – Julie Andrews Edwards


Presley the pug puppy who has joined my family will, in a few days, be 14 weeks old.

To look at her, and photos from her first days with us, it’s clear she has grown. Her legs are longer, her naps are shorter, her teeth are sharper.

The bloody and bruised marks on the arms of my friend Cheryl and me could lead those in the mental health profession to think we are harming ourselves.

We are not. Our demon-possessed, I mean, beloved angel Presley is responsible for the marks and the accompanying pain.

Several weeks ago, something happened that caused one of her eyes to protrude more than it should have. This is something lovers of pugs and other flat-faced pups must be aware of. In order to decrease the inflammation, Presley’s eyelid was sewn shut.

And, of course, to keep her from pawing at her stitches, Presley had to wear an E-collar.

Fortunately, a friend allowed us to use her dogs’ soft E-collar, which probably made the ordeal a bit easier on Presley. And us.

Imagine, if you can, a very small, low-to-the-ground puppy, with a big blue circle of material around her neck, framing her little pug face, sort of like large flower petals.

You smiled at the thought, didn’t you?

Now, think of this frenetic moveable ball of fur zipping wildly through the house, sliding on hardwood floors. But all you really see is something that looks like a big blue cape in motion.

And the cape, or E-collar, much longer than her little body, makes a shuffling sound as it drags along the floor announcing her arrival.

I kept thinking it all reminded me of something, and Cheryl finally made me realize Presley looked and sounded like Lord Farquaad, the short-in-stature, ruthless ruler of Duloc in the “Shrek” films and stage play.

There have also been times in the past two weeks when she reminded me of a blue sombrero zipping across my living room floor.

The stitches came out Friday, and the E-collar is, thankfully, a part of Presley’s past.

No matter how frustrating we found the two weeks of stitches and the collar, it never fazed Presley. She took it all in stride.

In the first three or four days, she’d trip over the collar and, like a fuzzy tumbleweed, she’d somersault across the floor. Then she’d get her bearings and start all over again.

Finally, her blue attachment became second nature and she found ways to run and jump without it getting in her way.

I’ve heard folks talk about how difficult it seemed to become parents or grandparents later in life. Well, I understand completely.

Thom and George, the older dogs, still eye us with disgust for bringing this wild little interloper into their space to shatter their peace.

And we continue to plead with them to be patient with Presley.

Sooner or later, she will calm down, we promise them.

It’s a promise we hope holds true.

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