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Eye On Olympia

Trooper on guard…

Okay, we'll write it first: There's a new Trooper on patrol at the governor's mansion in Olympia.

Gov. Chris Gregoire and her family have a new shiba puppy to replace former First Dog "Franz", the family's longtime pomeranian. Franz was struck and killed by a car earlier this year while in the care of family friends.

"He has big paws to fill," said Mike Gregoire.

Gregoire trotted out the new dog, Trooper, at the end of her usual weekly news conference Monday. The State Patrol found them the dog, hence the name.

"I said `Well we're really not interested in a puppy,'" Gregoire said. "Mike said `Let's go look.' Well, have you ever seen an ugly puppy?"

So they took him home.

Like Franz, Trooper seems like he'll be a good fit for politics. He soon got used to camera flashes Monday, yawning as he perched in the hands of Gregoire and her husband, Mike.

Both are clearly doting on the dog already. He's apparently discovered that Mike, a retired state investigator, is an easy mark for treats at mealtime.

Given the governor's description, it sounds like Trooper's ready to run for office.

"He's an independent little guy," she said. "The breed is independent, bold, bright, very social, loves little kids and (is) an escape artist."

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