One Stick, Two Sticks, Three Sticks, Four…


In a previous post titled, The Carrying Dog, I spoke of Jellybean’s love of carrying things.  Now that spring has arrived and the March winds have finally settled down, it is open season for stick hunting.  Sticks are scattered everywhere!  Big sticks!  Little sticks!  Fat sticks!  Skinny sticks!  What is more exciting for a rambunctious little puppy than a menagerie of sticks scattered over neighboring yards and streets.  They are free, free I tell you, just there for the taking! The urgency of our recent walks seems to have slowed down a bit as Jellybean loses herself in the art of picking just the right stick to carry home. Is it the smell, the texture, the shape, the size?  Do we really even know?  What I do know is that Jellybean is in absolute doggie heaven as she sniffs and sizes up this wondrous treasure trove.  Finally, after a lot of sniffing and sorting, she chooses just the right stick.  She then expertly uses her right paw to hold the stick down while she snaps off any excess twigs with her teeth. Snap, spit, shake of the head.  Snap, spit, shake of the head.  Snap, spit, shake of the head.  Let me tell you, she is as efficient as any titanium bonded non-stick stainless steel pruner when preparing her stick for the great walk home.  I actually did a little research and it seems that a dog of her size can put about 60 pounds of pressure into her bite.  No wonder she accomplishes her task with such ease.  Once the stick has been manicured to her liking, Jellybean clenches her prize between her teeth.  Head and tail held high, she prances down the street, balancing the stick carefully as she walks.  She turns her head from side to side, as if to ensure that any passerby acknowledge the importance of this process.  Being the loving and enabling pet parent that I am, Jellybean is welcome to bring her new found treasure into the house and add it to her collection.  That is, if she can fit it through the door!



Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

A Klatch of the Four-Legged Kind


A klatch is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a gathering characterized usually by informal conversation.”  Therefore, a coffee klatch would involve drinking coffee and chatting.  A sewing klatch would involve sewing and chatting.  It would make sense then when Jellybean meets up with her neighborhood friends it would be considered a wag, sniff and play klatch.  It never gets old watching Jellybean and her four-legged friends meet and greet each other.  It can be compared to a dance, the steps are that choreographed.  Jellybean spots a friend in the distance.  She immediately stops and watches, as she determines exactly which friend she is about to encounter.  Slowly her tail begins to wag, just a bit, to acknowledge she has spotted this four-legged pal.  She takes a few steps forward, then stops, not wanting to appear too “easy.”  Slowly she moves forward as her neighborhood friend approaches from the other direction.  As we get closer, Jellybean can no longer contain herself, and stands on her hind legs, pawing the air as if saying, “Hi there, Sweetie Pie.”  “Hey, it’s me, Gordy!”  “What’s up, Buddy?”  “I see you Sport!”  “Here I come!”  Suddenly, not unlike a nitro funny car, employing all 8000 horsepower when the light goes green, she takes off!  I am by no means a small person, and how this 18 pound dog is able to literally propel me forward is just plain crazy!  We hurry down the street, Jellybean’s tail wagging as she pants and whimpers in her excitement.  Me, I’m just hanging on for dear life! Finally, the klatch commences.  The intense excitement tones down a bit, as these neighborhood friends begin the dance.  Noses twitch and sniff, as tails wag energetically.  They begin to circle each other and sniff all the appropriate details.  After the ritualistic greeting has finished, puppy play time is initiated.  This is where I make the comparison to a coffee klatch.  Their get together is based on friendship and commonalities; things like sniffing, wagging, playing and barking.  They interact with each other; psyching each other out, front legs down on the ground, tushies and tails wagging high in the air, until one pounces.  Soon the real play begins and they race around each other, moving in and out of the leashes with expertise.  Energy spent, they are then content to sit alongside each other while the two-legged variety reach down to pet and praise them.  Just like that the klatch is adjourned.  As if they suddenly remember why they came outside in the first place, these furry friends are now ready to run, army crawl, or play catch your tail as you spin down the street.  At least that’s the direction a walk with Jellybean can take.  Of course, those are stories for another day.  That being said, here’s to a good walk and a good four-legged friend!