Amanda Hopper Writes

A writer's tale of living and working in the country.

Coup d’état

“The dogs are fighting!” Grant screams as he slams the back door.
Snarls and growls fade as the door separates us.
“Why did Jessie attack Missy?” I ask.
“No momma, Missy attacked Jessie this time.”
Ever since Missy came to live with us, Jessie has been alpha dog. She expects to be petted first, eat first, and be put into the truck first when we go to the farm. And Missy lets her. Well at least Missy used to let her.
I walk out into the back yard and Jessie runs up to greet me but as I stretch out my hand to pet her, growling rumbles from beside me. I look down and Missy is firmly planted beside me warning Jessie to back away.  
And she does.
So I reach down and pet Missy first, then she walks away so I can pet Jessie. As I try to grasp what has changed in the pecking order, realization dawns… Jessie has been overthrown.
Jessie has always been top dog but when we go to the farm she is bested by Ranger, the next-door neighbors’ large golden retriever. They were never any battles, he just claimed it. And the rest of the dogs fell in line.
Missy is an incredibly smart dog, and she adores Ranger. It is strange, but you can tell that she adores him.  I think that girl realized that Jessie’s power was up for grabs after she saw Ranger decide it was his. And at home, Missy has decided it’s hers. Missy will now draw blood if Jessie tries to get to me before she has had her time.
I’m ashamed to say it, but Jessie deserves everything she gets. She bullied Missy for months, and Missy finally realized she’s bigger. It’s like watching your kids fight and when the timid one finally lands a punch, you know you should do something adult-like and punish them, but secretly you’re thrilled that they stood up for themselves.
The first floor was framed today. It will be finished tomorrow. Two more weeks and the entire outside will be finished. Crazy…I never thought we would get to this point, and now it’s going so fast. I know it will slow down again when the interior finishing begins, but that will still be so exciting with the daily changing of the details.


  1. What does Coup d'etat mean?

  2. A coup d'état (English: /ˌkuːdeɪˈtɑː/, French: [ku deta]; plural: coups d'état), or coup, putsch or overthrow, is the sudden unconstitutional deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either civil or military.

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