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

It’s A Covid Kind of Christmas

Poor Jellybean!  Look at those sad eyes.  She knows something is up.  She has watched me decorate the house for the holidays with our twelve foot tree, lights, garlands, snowmen, and wrap package upon package.  Yet, she senses that something is off.  Could it be the lack of fellowship with friends and family among the festive decorations?  Could it be the cautious interactions in passing with neighbors when we walk?  I agree with her.  I feel it too.  Although I’ve decorated like it was 2019, it simply isn’t.  It is 2020 and the last ten months have thrown us off kilter.  As we navigate our way through our new normal, even our pets are picking up on our uncertainty and frustrations.  My choice of Christmas card this year was impacted by everything happening around us.  Somehow it didn’t feel right to design a card around something silly, so I went with a meaningful message.  Although I could not resist adding a picture of Jellybean dressed in her sparkly red sweater, a big bow atop her furry head.  And now as I hold my precious Jellybean in my lap, I assure her that we will be okay.  We continue to practice social distancing, wash our hands – or paws – frequently and take every precaution we can to keep our loved ones and those around us safe from this horrid virus. Even though Christmas may look a little different this year, presents will be delivered to family and Santa Paws will find his way here to deliver lots of presents for Jellybean to open Christmas morning.  As talk of availability of vaccines is covered on broadcast after broadcast, there is hope that the spring will bring renewed energy and a return of calm to our world.  So Jellybean, turn that frown upside down and be grateful for the wonderful life we live!  Sloppy kisses to all! 

 

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

So Very Thankful

As the Thanksgiving holiday comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on how thankful I am to have this precious pup in my life.  Not only does she give me companionship and fill my heart with joy, Jellybean impacts others on a daily basis.  She provides a sense of security to my brother as he navigates a recent illness.  She is content to sit close to him so he can stroke her soft fur or entertain him with her silly antics.  Jellybean provides a sense of normalcy during this Pandemic to my elderly mother as she visits her “grandma” for a few hours out of the week.  Jellybean walks through the hallway of my mother’s apartment building carrying her lunchbox and upon arrival is quite happy to lounge in the chair across from her while my mother sits at her sewing machine working on her endless crafts.  Jellybean is always happy to oblige when an impromptu nap finds them snuggled together on the recliner.  A sleepover at “Aunt Mary” and “Uncle Dave’s” helps keep Jellybean’s separation anxiety in check as we adjust to all official therapy dog and author visits on hold.  It also provides some much needed distraction to the disappointment of life after retirement for my sister and brother-in-law in our stay at home Covid-ruled world.  In my neighborhood, we can walk our dogs together and maintain safe social distancing to ward off the feeling of isolation.  This was especially important during the early shut down phase of Covid-19.  Now it is even more important as we fear more of the same with the ever increasing number of positive cases.  My puppy is so many things to so many people.  I am beyond thankful and grateful to have her in my life and very proud that she is able to impact so many with her rambunctious, loving and selfless spirit.  Thank you Jellybean! 

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Twas the Night Before Halloween

Twas the night before Halloween, and all was so still, no witches in sight, yet the air had a chill. The pumpkins were carved and candy was bagged, yet something was missing, a lingering thought lagged.

With mama asleep on the other side of the bed, sweet dreams of her puppy rolling ‘round in her head. Jellybean was comfy on her blanket so soft, she snuggled and settled, her own dreams aloft.

When out of the bed she jumped up with a fright, “Oh, my goodness, it’s almost Halloween night!” Away to her closet she ran oh so fast, pulled open the door and stood there aghast.

The moon shone into the closet stuffed full; hoodies, sweaters, PJ’s, dresses with tulle. Oh what will I wear on Halloween night that will make a statement without giving a fright?

She rooted and dug and snuffed once or twice, then pulled out something pink both trendy and nice. With COVID 19 I can’t do a blessed thing, I’ll dress in my PJ’s and see what it brings.

All my visits cancelled! No therapy!  No schools! No sloppy kisses or hugs. There are so many rules. So pull out those PJ’s. Relax and just chill. Have a Happy Halloween! We’ll get through this – we will!

Happy Halloween 2020 from Jellybean!

Keep calm and stay fabulous!

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

To be…witched or not to be. That is the question.

Halloween 2020 is only a week away. So just what costume will Jellybean come up with this year?

Minnie Mouse?

A clown?

Perhaps a ladybug?

Last year’s cow costume was quite cute!

It has been such a crazy year. Maybe that is why I have not dedicated the usual thought to this year’s Halloween costume. But then I have a little time left to ponder the situation. So… stay tuned. Halloween is only six days away.