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Is your pet a star? Prove it to mine

Life with a prima donna is pretty rough.

Feed me, touch me, move over for me. It’s a constant stream of me, me, me at our house thanks to a self-centered someone.

And, I guess, such a high personal opinion of oneself is fair when you’ve done as much modeling work as the head of our household has.

With big brown eyes, mostly jet-black facial features, floppy ears and a slim figure weighing in at only 19 pounds, our Suzy is a knockout.

And she knows it.

As the dog of a want-to-be photographer, her career began early, with her first true photo shoot at approximately age 2. Work came steady in the years to follow, reaching an annual apex with the family Christmas card each winter.

She accepts true payment only in bacon, but the rest of us figuratively pay all year.

I doubt my sometimes impromptu, sometimes not, photo shoots are entirely to blame for this dog’s ego — most of it’s natural — but they have helped spread her popularity across the Southeast, at least at Christmas.

Regrettably, Suzy (and family) has decided to withdraw from the biggest pet photo competition to ever hit Natchez, all in the interest of fairness.

It wouldn’t be fair, you see, for Suzy, the cutest of all dogs, to enter The Natchez Democrat’s Pet Idol contest. She’d simply crush the competition.

Instead, Suzy and I are looking forward to sitting on the sidelines and seeing just how many other cute pets are out there.

Pet Idol will officially kick off Friday, so get your pets and your cameras ready.

Everyone out there who loves their pet is encouraged to submit your best photo of Fluffy, Rover and Rex to our office before 5 p.m. July 27. It costs $10 to enter.

Next, all the competing pets will have their glamour shots printed in a special section on Sunday, Aug. 8.

From Aug. 9 to Aug. 17, readers of The Democrat can vote for their favorite pet for 25 cents per vote.

High vote getters will move on to the second round and be published in the newspaper on Aug. 22.

Winners will advance through two more rounds before taking the crowns as pet idols on Oct. 24.

All the money raised through the entry fees and votes will fund the Newspapers in Education program, putting newspapers in area school classrooms throughout the coming year.

So if your pet is a star, find his or her best side and get us the photo soon.

You can e-mail entries to petidol@natchezdemocrat.com, mail them to P.O. Box 1447, Natchez, MS 39121 or bring them by at 503 N. Canal St.

If you send a photo electronically, please plan to provide a credit card number over the phone or visit our office or mail in a check to pay the entry fee.

Maybe, just maybe, your dog is cute enough to knock my Suzy off her high horse. I sure hope so.

Julie Cooper is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or julie.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.