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Bruised fluffy ego not quick, easy to fix

Her perfect life was ruined six years ago when she met me; it’s been getting worse ever since.

She’ll never tell it to my face, but I can see it in her eyes — and her increasingly bizarre behavior.

She had it made before she met me, a spoiled only child living the high life, ironically at a house just off High Street.

I didn’t know it at the time, but she had the ability to change my life if I’d failed her test. You see, when my wife Julie and I first began dating, the key meeting for me wasn’t the proverbial trip to meet her parents. It was an interview with Suzy, the then 5-year-old mutt with an imaginary pedigree, which could have soured things between Julie and me.

Much later, I learned the first meeting with the tiny black and white dog was, in fact, a test. Fortunately, I passed. She liked me.

Of course, that was before her life came crashing down.

A year and a half later, poor Suzy had to adjust to living in the same house with me, sharing the attention of her owner, who was now my wife.

It was rough at times, but mostly it was OK. Suzy seemed to resent me at times, but realized I wasn’t going away.

Her life, while turned upside down, would eventually return to some normalcy. She realized the dog food came as soon as she got up — no more waiting on an owner who liked to sleep late.

Then, in February 2010, on a wild hair, our family grew from three creatures to four with the adoption of the cute, but no-so-smart Alice, another shelter rescued dog. The dachshund’s arrival signaled the next worsening chapter in the book of Suzy’s life.

One by one, Alice — several years younger than Suzy — ruined all of Suzy’s toys except for a few, sturdy rubber balls.

Alice constantly wanted to play, while Suzy preferred to nap in hopes that she’d awake to realize the entire episode was just a bad nightmare.

After a couple of years together, Alice has mellowed a bit and doesn’t aggravate Suzy as much. Just about the time they apparently signed a peace pact, something awful happened to them.

The already shared attention of their parents suddenly became splintered.

From Suzy’s small doggie mind — and from Alice’s even smaller version — a baffling occurrence happened approximately two months ago.

The four-being house suddenly became five when a tiny, noisy, smelly little creature appeared all of a sudden.

The dogs haven’t been the same since the moment baby Anna entered the house.

Curiosity briefly turned to fear, which has slowly morphed into an interested, but distrustful attitude.

To complicate matters, just prior to the baby’s arrival, we moved into a new house.

New surroundings and a new baby sister have caused the dogs to act out in strange ways.

We’re constantly finding them standing on or perched in some place where they don’t belong — chairs, couches, even shelves.

In a particularly bizarre moment, Suzy walked inside a cabinet as the door was opened. Given how much the rest of her life had change, it probably made perfect sense.

Hopefully we can begin repairing Suzy’s bruised ego soon as we begin doing a few family walks again.

All eyes will be on the baby stroller, but don’t tell Suzy. She’ll be proudly leading the way, head held high, remembering life before she had two sisters.

If you see her, make a big deal out of her. Her ego needs all the help it can get.


Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.