Celebrating 100!

As a kindergarten teacher, the 100th day of school was such an exciting time of the year.  It was an important academic, social and emotional milestone for our students.  The first one hundred days were spent growing an eclectic group of four and five year-olds with varying skills and needs into a community of enthusiastic learners and caring classroom citizens.  By the time the 100th day of school rolled around the classroom was running like a well-oiled machine…well, on most days.  This special day’s lesson plans incorporated all areas of the curriculum around the one hundredth day theme.  A favorite activity was for each child to decorate a paper bag and bring it to school filled with one hundred items.  The children filled their bags with such things as mini marshmallows, cheerios, and the ever popular bag of one hundred pennies.  One year a student brought a bag that contained 100 false teeth.  Her grandmother worked at a local dental supply company so it made perfect sense for the teeth to be used for the assignment.  I can still see the children sitting in a circle on the carpet anxiously awaiting the reveal of each bag of one hundred items.  This is the kind of memory that gives me a “warm fuzzy” as we used to say. 

Now retired with my constant companion by my side, I am celebrating a different kind of one hundred.  Today is my 100th blog about my sweet little Jellybean on my WordPress site, A Lady and Her Mischievous Little Dog. What fun it is to share my special stories with you.  Whether Jellybean does something cute, silly, loving, naughty, etc. there is always the makings of a little story about it.  Over the next few weeks look for me to bring back a few of my favorites.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read and share my blog posts.  It means so much when you leave a little comment. As for Jellybean, currently stretched out on the floor with all four paws in the air, one can only imagine what her next move will be.  Whatever it is, rest assured I am one proud mama who will be right there with my iphone and laptop ready to share it with the world. 

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Look Who’s 7!

Jellybean celebrated her 7th birthday on April 1st.  I think you could say I am in denial.  How is it even possible that I found this little nugget of sugar (thus the name Jellybean) six years and 9 months ago?  We’ve celebrated each of her birthdays in style. This year Jellybean celebrated her birthday with her friends at doggy daycare.  She shared a special cake with all the pups that came to play that day.  She was named Doggy of the Month for April and was provided a special birthday hat to wear when posing with her cake.  Naturally Jellybean checked through her closet in the morning and she went to daycare wearing her Minnie Mouse birthday shirt with the fancy ruffles sewn along the edge.  She was even allowed to strut around daycare wearing the shirt all day. What fun! 

Yummy birthday cake!

Jellybean’s first birthday is most memorable and special because of the “God light” that surrounds her in several of the photos I took that morning.  Those close to me know that I believe with my whole heart my late husband sent her to me and the light that surrounds her is a message of love and healing from him. He left this world on April 1, 2003 and she came into this world on April 1, 2014.  Of all the puppies I looked at, she is the one that captured my heart and has helped ease the pain each year when the anniversary of his passing comes around.  

Surrounded by light sent from heaven above

Happy Birthday to my rambunctious, sassy, loving, sweet little Jellybean! 

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

My Sweet Jellybean

This little nugget of sugar got all dolled up bright and early to send you lots of sloppy kisses, wiggles and wags on this Easter morning.  For me, this quote from Gilda Radner says it all, “I think dogs are the most amazing creatures: they give unconditional love.  For me, they are the role model for being alive.”  Hoppy Easter from Jellybean!

Time for a nap. It’s hard work looking out for the Easter bunny.

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Who Says Chivalry is Dead?

Does anyone else have a dog that has a few favorite toys, and always has to grab one on the way out of the door when going for a potty walk?  Over the years, Jellybean has become attached to Hedgehog, Porcupine and Teddy, otherwise known as “Baby”.  After her harness has been fastened, Jellybean bolts out of the hallway and into the living room to grab one of her favorite stuffed friends and heads for the door.  She proudly carries her squeaky toy of choice up the brick sidewalk and out onto the driveway.  Once there, I give the command for her to leave it.  She gently places it on the ground and glances back several times to make sure it is safely awaiting her return. 

On this particular day, the three-year old that I babysit, requested that we alter our route so he could look for some sticks.  Collecting sticks is a favorite past time of Jellybean as well, so she had no objection to his request. In the excitement of collecting a plethora of sticks, Jellybean’s toy was forgotten.  Poor Mr. Hedgehog lay forgotten out in the driveway…or was he?

Enter our neighbor, Ben.  According to his service record, he is an almost twelve year old Malinois, or Belgian Shepherd. He looks quite similar to a German Shephard (I actually thought he was) and is quite a big boy.  He towers above Jellybean, yet they have quickly become the best of friends.  Ben is a retired Sergeant.  He was deployed by the U.S. Army in Afghanistan as a bomb sniffing dog, his operational area being the Kandahar Province.  His owner quite proudly shared with me that he successfully saved many lives because of his skill in locating dangerous explosive devices.  At this point, his “finds” are classified and won’t be released until his passing. His proud Mama shared his service record with me. During his time in the Army, Ben earned quite an impressive list of awards: Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon (1st Award), and NATO ISAF Ribbon.  It turns out that not only is Ben a decorated veteran; he is quite the gentleman as well. 

On this particular day, Ben came out for a walk and noticed that Jellybean’s toy hedgehog was lying in our driveway.  He pulled and pulled and insisted his owner walk him across the street.  She did so and he immediately went to the forgotten toy and gently picked it up.  Ben then continued to pull until he made his way along our brick sidewalk which leads to the front door. Reaching his destination, he looked around, and not seeing his furry friend, Ben carefully put the toy down on the step at our front door.  Having completed his due diligence, Ben was then ready to return home.  How sweet was that?  Ben’s thoughtful actions have me thinking that in the craziness of today’s world perhaps the two-legged population could take a lesson from the care and concern demonstrated by this gentle giant.  I ask again, who says chivalry is dead? 

Friendship comes in all forms.
Nothing better than taking a walk with a friend.

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Hangin’ with Lambie

Does your furry friend have a favorite cuddly?  Jellybean has loved her Lambie pillow since she was a six pound little pup.  She snuggles with “her” at various times throughout the day.  She nuzzles and nips at Lambie’s ears as if she is sharing her most precious secrets.  She pulls and tugs at the stuffed pillow pet until she has it placed exactly where she wants it.  If I give Jellybean the cue to “talk to Lambie” she immediately runs to her bestie and romps with her.  On cleaning day, Lambie is moved to the sofa so the vacuum can run across the carpet unobstructed.  As soon as Jellybean hears the vacuum start up, she races to join her friend on the sofa and watches intensely as the floor is cleaned.  Once Lambie has been returned to her spot on the carpet, Jellybean gently nudges her as if to reassure her plush pal that all is well.  More likely than not, she and Lambie then settle down for an afternoon nap.  After all, there’s nothing better than hanging with your best bud. 

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Move Over! You’re Hogging the Bed!

With a 4:45AM wake-up call several days a week, I find I am struggling to stay awake after dinner when I finally plop down on the sofa to catch up with my favorite soap opera or home renovation show.  Typically around 9:00 I take Jellybean out for a last call then we head upstairs to jammy up and watch some TV in bed.  The routine is pretty much the same.  Jellybean races up the stairs ahead of me.  When I reach the top step I bend down and she gives me one of her wonderfully sloppy kisses.  Then, I toss her several tiny three-calorie treats while I prepare for bed.  She meets me in the bathroom and gets a nice long drink of water while I brush my teeth, etc.  By the time I have turned out the bathroom light, she is pawing at the side of the bed.  As I reach down to pick her up, she quickly darts away and returns with one or both of the socks I have just removed.  Socks in mouth, I lift her to the bed and she settles in.  I turn off the ceiling light and opt for the small lamp on the bedside table.  I anticipate climbing into my wonderfully comfortable king-sized bed, pulling the covers up and catching the early news report.  There’s only one problem.  There appears to be a dog hogging my spot.  “Uhhh, Jellybean, could you move over please?  Mama is ready to crawl in bed.”  Her response is to look at me with those big brown eyes and a “who me?” expression on her face. “Jellybean, move over, I’m ready to get in bed.” Nothing.  She doesn’t even give an inch.  So I gingerly move my way in.  She is dead weight at that point, a twenty pound load of fur and cuteness overload. The last time I checked, a king-sized bed is about seventy six inches wide and should sleep two quite comfortably. Why then, am I perilously hanging on the edge of the bed with about sixteen inches of space to call my own, while she gets the remaining sixty? And why does my neck feel wet?  “Jellybean, did you dry your face on my pillow after you got a drink?”  “Is that you snoring already?”  Oh me oh my.  I have to chuckle to myself, the irony of it all. 

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Over the Top

Okay Mama, have you lost your mind?  Are you kidding?  A pink snow suit?  Now you have really gone over the top.  Do you actually expect me to wear this thing?  What will all my friends say?  I know my new friend Ben would never be seen in one of these.  Josie wouldn’t even consider it.  Oakley and Kramer agree there is nothing wrong with a simple sweater or coat, but they would never stoop to wearing a doggy snow suit complete with leggings, a fur-lined hood and a dedicated design for ease when potty needs arise.  The things I do to make you happy.  Here goes.  Wow!  It is cold out here.  It’s cold enough to make my furry little ears stand straight up.  Hmmm, wait a minute.  I’ve been out here pouncing around in the snow for a while now and I’m not even cold or wet.  There’s not even any ice balls stuck on my chest and legs.  Hey, I take that back!  I think I like this winter contraption.  I can run, jump and roll in the snow and I feel all snuggly and warm.  Thank you Mama.  Maybe you haven’t lost your mind after all.  What’s that you say?  There is a gray one in my closet in case this one gets wet and there are doggy boots in there too? Arf! I may have to take that back! 

Hey there readers, would you like to know what else I have in my closet?  I have an outfit for every day of the week, every season and any kind of weather imaginable.  Check out my most recent book on Amazon,  Jellybean’s Closet,  to discover the many outfits from which I can choose. Even though I feel a little silly sometimes, I know my Mama dresses me up because she loves me very much.  I am one very lucky four-legged fashionista indeed!

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Laundry Day Blues

As I gather the laundry and carry it down the steps, Jellybean is right at my heels.  She loves laundry day!  My laundry closet is situated right down the hall from the guest bedroom.  I generally do my folding in there.  I drop the fresh laundry on the bed then fold, sort and organize my piles to take back upstairs all the while tugging and pulling it from underneath Jellybean.  I swear it is like she materializes out of nowhere the minute the laundry hits the bed.  She rolls on it for a minute, enjoying the fresh scent and warmness, then snuggles down into the pile.  I can’t tell you how many times I have returned to the room to fold the next load only to find the previous load has been pushed to the floor or scattered over the bed.  As a matter of fact, Jellybean is currently pouting because I am working on my laptop and not giving her 110% of my attention.  And where is she pouting, you ask?  She is giving her best puppy dog eyes while snuggled on a pile of freshly laundered clothing of course.  I guess you could say she’s got the laundry day blues.

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

One Sock, Two Socks, Three Socks…Four?

Does anyone else have a four-legged friend that is infatuated with socks?  Not just any socks mind you, just her mama’s.  This has been a thing with Jellybean since puppyhood.  Thank heavens those razor sharp baby teeth are a thing of the past.  My toes had some painful encounters with them as my “wild child” attempted to pull my socks right off my feet.  As a six year old, it is now not so much about the fight but rather the recovery.  At the end of the day, when my socks hit the floor, Jellybean races to snatch them up.  With a mouthful of freshly shorn socks, she stretches and paws begging to be put up on the bed.  The next order of business is to find just the right place to stash them for the night.  Perhaps this daily dose of socks would do well tucked under her blanket, or maybe nosed under my sheet, or cutest of all used as a pillow for her furry little head.  I’m not known for having fragrant feet, but I suppose it is simply the scent of her mama that is so comforting to her.  I must admit I find it quite adorable, that is until laundry day rolls around.  I always seem to be one sock short of a full pair, hence, the section in my sock drawer for stragglers.  Eventually they all seem to find their mates as Jellybean mysteriously appears with a random sock from who knows where.  Oh the quirks of our four-legged friends.  What would we do without them?  What about your fur babies?  What kind of quirky behaviors do they have?

Let’s Ring In A New Year

Jellybean and I would like to wish each of you peace, love, joy, good health and happiness as we prepare to close out 2020 and ring in a new year.  I am truly grateful to all of you for taking the time to click on my blog post every two weeks to read the little stories I post about my precocious little pup. I am excited to share more of Jellybean’s adventures in the year to come. I see a story about lost socks coming your way. We are hoping for the return of pet therapy and author visits in the year ahead as we get a handle on this pandemic.  If all the dog bones align with the stars, a new book will be coming your way as well.  Yappy New Year everyone! 

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author