Animals own humans, not vice versa

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 19, 2008

Well, the ring has been on my finger just a little over a month, and the word “congratulations” still gets tossed at me fairly often.

It’s usually followed by, “How’s married life?”

Married life is great; thanks for asking.

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Interestingly, the question no one asks is, “OK, what’s it really like living with her?”

That’s the more important question.

That’s the one that cuts through all the niceties and pleasantries.

The reality is, I wasn’t ready for her impact on my life.

Sure, I knew her before the wedding, but you don’t really know someone until you live with her.

Nothing prepared me for the hair. It’s everywhere.

She whines in the morning and when nature calls, I’ve got to be ready.

I’m talking, of course, about my newly adopted dog, Suzy.

She’s a mutt, but don’t dare tell her that.

She believes she among the finest of the Natchez blue blood gentry.

Her true roots are a bit murky. She came from the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society.

Her tail was bobbed and our best guess is that she was a failed attempt of someone seeking to raise a squirrel dog.

She has the nose for hunting, but probably not the heart. She’s easily scared by loud noises.

So she’s remade her self-image as a lady of Natchez.

And like the strong women of Natchez society, Suzy’s strength is unmatched to her small stature.

Looking at the small beagle-meets Jack Russell, meets foxhound, meets feist, you’re likely to misjudge her strength. I sure did.

One of the first nights of our cohabitation, I made a mistake and didn’t put a large fixed barrier between her sleeping quarters and the ones for humans.

Somewhere around 3:30 a.m. I awoke to find that I was pinned into the tiniest sliver of mattress imaginable, my precious wife on one side and the furry queen of the house on the other side.

Taking advantage of the fact that I easily outweigh Suzy by 150 pounds, I started pushing her small body off the bed.

Through the fog of sleep, I realized that something was wrong.

Maybe my arm was asleep or perhaps I was using my left hand and it was in some kind of bind.

Those were the only logical answers my mind could create.

The more I pushed against her white-furred body, the more her apparent death grip on the sheets strengthened.

Apparently, Suzy has superhuman — and superdog — strength in the early morning hours.

Aside from her amazing powers, her uncanny sense of humor also makes me smile pretty regularly, too.

One of her favorite things is to play “keep.”

It’s like fetch, but the item tossed is never returned.

Usually it’s hidden in another room or perhaps paraded past the nearby humans.

The message is simple: You can throw the ball, but it’s still mine.

In fact, the world belongs to Suzy. Julie and I are really just there to serve her needs.

If you don’t believe me, just ask her how married life is.

Now she’s got two people attending to her every need.

Life for Suzy is good, and getting better with each new day.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or