One big (leaky) party

So the kids went off on their adventure and then Otto and I loaded up the car while Licorice nervously paced my office. By the time we scooped up Her Furriness to put her in the travel crate, she was so relieved to not be left behind that she seemed to totally forget that she hates riding in the car.

We drove and drove and drove and drove, and we listened to a lot of “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me” and ate a lot of snacks, and when we pulled up at my folks’ house the next day, Licorice was all, “I LOVE ROAD TRIPS!” I am certain this had nothing to do with the potato chips I kept poking into the crate, by the way.

In truth, the drive was pleasant, if somewhat repetitive (where are we? still in Virginia? STILL??), though it was a relief to finally arrive and stop moving.

But, uh, did I mention that my parents got a new puppy?

Meet Zoey:

Zoey is adorable. She’s a black lab-ish pup who is sleek and shiny and prancey and loves you very much. Like most toddlers, Zoey believes that absolutely everything and everyone is SO VERY EXCITING and wonderful, and it is impossible to feel anything other than slightly giddy in her presence.

Also like most toddlers, Zoey isn’t terribly good at following directions, realizing when enough’s enough, or peeing only in designated areas.

Naturally, all of the humans in this equation loved her immediately. Equally predictably, Grumpy Old Lady Licorice pretty much hates her.

Zoey is approximately five times Licorice’s size, and all she wants in the whole world is for Licorice to play! And run! And romp! with her. This is best communicated through POUNCING on Licorice, with no mind whatsoever paid to the fact that even a single meaty paw is enough to flatten Licorice into a snarling mat of indignation.

My favorite is when Zoey approaches, Licorice starts growling, and Zoey’s response is to go front-down, butt-up, tail a-waggin’, in the universal PLAY WITH ME! position, as if Licorice’s “GET OFF MY LAWN, WHIPPERSNAPPER!” was instead an engraved invitation to a rousing game of Who Can Fit The Other One’s Head In Her Mouth.

This is all So Very Exciting for Zoey, who responds to any level of excitement by piddling, and then usually sitting down in the puddle she just made.

To be clear: This means that our “relaxing” few days without the kids has so far mostly entailed 1) trying to keep Licorice from killing Zoey, and 2) cleaning up Zoey’s piddle puddles.

Licorice has mostly regarded Zoey with disdain and solved the issue of being pestered by jumping up onto the furniture and/or into someone’s lap (where Zoey isn’t allowed), but last night when everything appeared to be perfectly calm—and we were, in fact, enjoying the final episode of The Next Iron Chef on Food Network—Licorice hopped off my lap, walked in a circle around the room, and then looked right at Otto and peed on the floor.

I’m telling myself this was her way of admitting she kind of likes Zoey, after all.


  1. Heather Cook

    HAHA… Oh Licorice, you’re awesome :)

  2. RuthWells

    Those are some mighty big paws on that puppy! And now I want potato chips.

  3. jwg

    I loved Next Iron Chef, until that egomaniac won! Now I’m boycotting the whole franchise unless they invite me to be a judge. In that case, i have no scruples.

  4. Jackie

    she is saying…. you may live her but, bitch, I’m queen!

  5. Larita

    I wonder if she’d get along with my dog. He’s pretty much exactly the same way around puppies.

  6. Tracy B

    Words of Licorice…”If she can do, so can I!”

    Merry Christmas, Mir!

  7. Another Dawn

    Potato chiiiiiiips! Wants ’em!

    Wait. Did you mention anything else?

  8. mamaspeak

    LOVE this post!!!
    We had a black lab, (Misty,) who didn’t get her brain cells till age 7. (Most get them around age 2. Also when they stop excitement peeing, et all…) Zoey totally reminds me of her.

    Poor Licorice is feeling left out. (And maybe marking some territory? Be grateful she didn’t pee on you. ;-) Feed Licorice first in front of Zoey. Eating in a specific order, (BTW, you should eat before you feed Licorice, & it should be in such a way that she can see you’re eating, can be something like a cracker or cookie, doesn’t have to be a meal.) is a huge signal to the dogs about the “pack hierarchy.” Zoey sounds like she’s submissive to Licorice bc of the “universal sign of play” she sports to her. But Zoey’s size is confusing to Licorice, as is the attention Zoey gets might be sending her a signal that she’s not top dog. Eating in a specific order in front of each other will be a big clue to Licorice that she’s still #1 in your hearts. Hopefully, it’ll allow her to chill a little and even maybe play (or just snuggle,) w/Zoey.

    Have fun! I love puppies, I’m so jealous!

  9. Scottsdale Girl

    ZOMG GIVE ME THAT PUPPY RIGHT NOW! *snooglesnoogle*

  10. Megan

    I’m impressed you managed to snap a photo of Zoey being still! My experience with Labishness is one of constant, blurry motion. And exhaustion – lots and lots of exhaustion…

  11. Heather

    The family for whom I nanny just got a new puppy – so the other day I spent time with a three year old and a … 10 week? old puppy. She managed to only pee on the carpet three times. Huzzah. (The puppy, that is…the 3yo has thankfully been potty trained since shortly after I started working for them last year!) She’s awful cute though – they both are heh.

  12. Jeanie

    Oh, Licorice, how cute of you! I just love Licorice, and now Zoey, too. Nothing like a puppy, if you ask me. Happy holidays to you all!

  13. Daisy

    Oh, dear. Revenge pee! Animals are so, so good at those.

  14. Joanne

    Oh Zoey – you have my heart as well.. Sigh, I miss my dog.

  15. Joan Murray

    What is that bed/cave thing that Zoey is sleeping in? and where can I get one? I need one (or 2) for my spaz dogs that need quiet hiding spots. where they can’t be pounced on by the cat.

  16. Mama Bear

    Guess what made it way to my house a few weeks ago? A black lab/border collie puppy, 5 months old now and also full of “ZOMG I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!! PLEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZ LOVE ME!! Can I taste you can I taste you can I taste you??? I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!” Complete with jumping up on you and throwing herself at your feet and grabbing your legs as you walk. She knows she’s not allowed, but she just can’t control the excitement yet. It’s exhausting! (And also… she’s 33 pounds, so although I can control her anyone smaller than I am can’t. Fun…)

  17. Kellie

    snarling mat of indignation <– favorite dog descriptor ever!

    We have two doxies and a border collie/neurotic shepherd mix (she herds the dining room table and all the cats) When she gets playful, our doxies get freaked out – because in her 35ish pounds of playfulness, she sometimes goes 'weenie bowling' in an attempt to get them to play!

    Licorice sounds SO much like our Tinker – complete with the resignation and spite piddling.

    Give her a smooch from our clan!

  18. Heidi

    Jeffrey Zacharian – YAY!

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