The Move


Change is not always an easy thing for humans, much less our four-legged companions.  As Jellybean and I prepare to embark on a new phase in our lives, a new home, I have been contemplating how to ensure that my little four-legged friend transitions successfully.  Of course I have considered some of the obvious;  routine, safety, and familiarity.  I know there may be some things I have not considered.  Therefore, I googled “How to prepare for a move with your dog” and found there were over 2 million sites I could check out.  Obviously, I am not the only one who is a bit nervous about the impact that a move may have on a furry friend.

The research explains how to pack for your dog, making sure not to wash beds and blankets, as the familiarity of their former home will be an important factor in adjusting to the new home.  They suggest recreating familiar spaces and routines to keep the environment as stress free as possible.  Prior to  moving in, it is important to explore the new home with safety in mind.  Once there, introduce areas of the home a bit at a time and be sure to keep the same rules they followed at the old homestead.  There are many things to think about as I prepare us for this move.  I am happy to say that most of what I have researched has already been on my mental “how to keep my puppy happy and well-adjusted” list.

The thing that concerns me most is how Jellybean will adjust to having just me in her daily life, as it used to be.  You see, we have spent the most incredible year and a half with my sister and brother-in-law.  Not only do I think about how difficult it will be for me to go back to living as a widow, with Jellybean as my outlet for conversation and unconditional love, I also think of how difficult it will be for me to fill Jellybean’s very large bucket of neediness.  Likewise for my sister and brother-in-law, as she has become a cherished part of their lives.  Daily conversations generally consist of things like;  “Did you see Jellybean chase her tail this morning?”  “Jellybean fell asleep with her head on my lap this afternoon.”  “Jellybean spent all morning hiding her treat, then, I sat with her and we watched squirrels playing in the yard.”  “I sang the crunchies and chicken song to Jellybean today and she ate everything in her bowl.”  “What is Jellybean’s schedule today?”  Jellybean!  Jellybean!  Jellybean!  The three of us cannot seem to have a conversation without including the antics of Jellybean.  Although it will be a transition for all of us, we are not moving to another state.  Quite the contrary, we are moving 30 minutes east.  We have already talked about daily schedules and how Jellybean can spend the day with her aunt and uncle when I have to work.  We have even gone as far as to talk about sleepovers.  Crazy, isn’t it?  But then, how wonderful it is to have a family that cares so much.  Jellybean and I wouldn’t have it any other way!



The Great Canine Badge Caper

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This weekend Jellybean and I had the opportunity to participate in an event for the local Girl Scout chapter.  We were there as part of KPets, the Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy organization.  This is an organization whose motto is “Touching lives, warming hearts through human and animal interaction.”  At any given event you may see dogs of varying breeds and size, cats, mini horses, rabbits, etc. The five dogs that were in attendance during our 2-hour session were met with enthusiasm as the 200 plus young ladies oohed and ahhed over these four-legged fur babies.  They petted and stroked their fur, shared stories about their own pets, and giggled and smiled at the apparel and accessories chosen for this specific event.  It was refreshing to hear so many of the girls sharing their accomplishments as they spoke about the various badges adorning their sashes.  These young, achievement oriented girls represented their organization well, and are enthusiastic leaders in the making.  On the drive home, I glanced at my tired little puppy and started wondering what sort of badges she would earn in the dog world.  After some serious contemplation, I actually came up with a few:

COMPANIONSHIP BADGE – Jellybean has brought so much light into my world.  She earns this badge for romping into my life and being my rambunctious, fun-loving side kick.

LOYALTY BADGE  – I could not ask for a more loyal four-legged friend.  Jellybean is constantly by my side.  This badge is awarded for her unwavering loyalty.

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE BADGE  – Jellybean asks for nothing in return, yet gives so much!  She earns this badge for her big heart and sloppy kisses.

NAPPER BADGE – She earns this badge for leaving no spot unturned to find the very best place to nap.

COLLECTOR BADGE – Jellybean is a collector of many things; toys, sticks, pinecones, treats.  She earns this badge for proudly prancing down the street with her treasure of choice.

CONCEALER BADGE  – Jellybean is a certified concealer.  She earns this particular badge for spending much time and consideration as to the perfect hiding place for her special treats.

BEST DRESSED BADGE – Jellybean is quite the fashion diva with her vast wardrobe and accessories.  Jellybean earns this badge for accommodating me, her over the top pet parent, when it comes to having just the right outfit for any occasion.

TAIL CHASING BADGE – Jellybean earns this badge for her expertise at spinning at a high rate of speed as she pursues her elusive fluffy white tail.

MOON WALK BADGE  – Jellybean has been awarded this badge for having mastered backing up lickety split from behind the couch when she hears the rattle of a snack bag.

NAUGHTY BADGE – This was Jellybean’s very first badge, earned for running away with things that did not belong to her.  She was very quickly deemed a naughty little puppy.