A Mother’s Day Letter from Jellybean

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If a puppy could write a letter to its’ pet parent, this is what I think my sweet little Jellybean would say to me:

Dear Mama,

I hope you know how much I love you!  I love you with all my big puppy heart, my chubby belly and what do you call them?  Oh, yes, my big, soulful eyes!  I am fur-ever grateful you typed hypoallergenic/non-shedding puppy into that laptop thing of yours and I popped up.  We are a match made in heaven!  I know I fill your heart with joy and love.  I can tell by the way you look at me with such love in your eyes.  You have changed over the years since we found each other.  I have helped to heal your heart.  I know that because you smile more, you laugh more, and you are not afraid to try new things.

I am glad I gave you some ideas for writing children’s books about me.  I am dog-gone proud I helped you realize that dream.  Who would have thought that silly ol’ me running away with your sneaker in our book Naughty Little Puppy would lead to such fun opportunities with me by your side?  I love visiting places where we share our stories.  I can tell how much you love when the children join in the reading or laugh at the silly things I do in the books.   That must be a special thing for a mama that taught kindergarten for so long.  I think it – what do they say?  I think it feeds your teacher soul.  I’m sure my teacher, Miss Mickayla, feels the same way when she reads our story Sloppy Kisses.  Although I am wondering, do you really need to tell everyone that I had to take the Canine Good Citizen class three times?  It’s a little embarrassing.  Well, our neighbor did call me your “wild child” when I was a puppy, didn’t he?

Most of all though, I love snuggling with you and I love that you take such good care of me.  I know I am one pampered pooch and I am pawsitively happy to call you my mama.

Sloppy kisses and lots of love from Jellybean!

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

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A Turkey, A Dog, and A Bear…Oh My!

One minute we are sitting with our team of therapy dogs and handlers talking with children at a local YMCA for a Healthy Kids event and the next minute in my peripheral vision I see something that makes my heart start to pound.  I begin a little self-talk.  “Please don’t come over here! Please don’t come over here!  Oh please don’t come over here!”  Jellybean stands at attention, sensing something is about to happen.  I can feel her body tense and I hear a low growl.  “It’s okay Jellybean.  She won’t hurt you,” said the cowardly one.  She looked at me with such trust, then turned and looked at the big, yellow-beaked creature coming straight toward us.  I take a deep breath and tell myself, “I can do this.  I can do this.”

We are sitting in the stands at York College for the girls’ basketball game.  The game is in full swing; both teams running up and down the court, buzzers going off, whistles blowing, fans cheering, Jellybean and the other therapy dogs sitting behind the home team sound asleep.  Seriously, they sleep during the game, oblivious to the hubbub around them.  Suddenly the buzzer sounding half time goes off and the dogs jump up and quickly spring into action as the fans climb into the stands to pet their favorite four-legged pals.  Jellybean is soaking up the attention from a young fan when I give her leash a little tug.  I take a deep breath and mutter to myself, “Oh, no, not again!”   I sense movement at the corner of the bleacher.  There it is; the green hairy leg, complete with a green and white striped sock and a gigantic orange sneaker.  My eyes are big as I watch and silently plead for it to go the other way.  But to no avail, as it gallivants around the corner of the bleacher heading straight for us.  I start to sweat and my heart beats double time.  Jellybean must sense my fear, because she lets out a bark so loud and ferocious that it scared the other dogs into a barking frenzy like York College basketball has never known.

It’s Bark in the Park Day at the York Revolution baseball game.  Jellybean and I are seated behind third base.  In case you wondered, yes, she has her own seat and yes, she is wearing her favorite pink baseball cap and Revs t-shirt.  I actually brought her little pink bed along and tucked it deep into the stadium seat so it would stay down all by itself.  We are enjoying the game and sharing a basket of tasty chicken tenders, when fans around us start chanting “Down Town!  Down Town!  Down Town!”  I quickly stuff the tenders in my bag and go on high alert.  I look at the big screen in the outfield to see if I can determine where my nemesis is located.  Oh no, it is right behind the players in our section, just a few rows in front of us.  Just as I spot the furry mascot, it turns around and our eyes lock.  I can’t breathe.  Then, its’ gaze shifts to my precious little puppy and it is on the move.  My first thought is, “Oh please, somebody hit a homerun.  Somebody do something to distract this overzealous, overgrown blue bird before it gets to my baby!”  Jellybean on the other hand seems intrigued as it plops in the empty seat beside her, rubbing its’ over-sized belly with one hand and stroking her back with the other.  Me, on the other hand, I am frozen in my seat.  I am watching what is happening right beside me, but I seriously can’t move.

Well, if you haven’t guessed it by now, I suffer from Masklophobia.  This is an actual phobia that is characterized by a fear of people in masks and costumes, and costumed characters, such as the likes of Hilda the Turkey Hill Mascot, Screamer, the York College mascot, and even Down Town, the big-bellied baseball-loving bird for the York Revolution.  For me, I think it is the not knowing who is behind the costume that scares me the most. This is something that has plagued me as far back as I can remember and obviously is still an issue.  Case in point, just a few years ago I attended a conference in California.  Apparently we were a hop, skip and a jump away from Downtown Disney.  I refused to leave the hotel for the entire week for fear I would run into Mickey Mouse and his menagerie of friends.

My trip to Vegas with friends will drive the point home.  We were on the third floor of the M&M store thoroughly engrossed in the colorful candy displays, when out of the back room struts the biggest yellow M&M I have ever seen.  It was waving its’ pudgy white hands and stomping its’ chunky white sneakers as it danced across the floor toward us.  I turned to my friend and frantically announced, “I’m out of here!”  I hopped on the escalator and rode down to the first floor where I waited by the front door until the rest of the group arrived, apparently not at all phased by the phenomena of a walking piece of candy.

What can I say, I’m a mess!  I must admit, however, I am trying to work on it.  Being involved with the therapy dog group, Jellybean and I often participate in community related events such as this past Saturday where interaction with characters such as Hilda – the Turkey Hill Turkey, Smokey the Bear, and McGruff the Crime Dog are part of the entertainment for the event. I certainly don’t want my spunky little puppy to feed off my fear, so…for the sake of my sweet Jellybean I need to muster the courage to look those mascots right in the eye – or eyes, whatever might be the case, celebrate their uniqueness and try to find the joy that others seem to see in them.  Wait a minute, did that giant Hershey Kiss just move?

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

May I Have An Adjective, Please?

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Someone recently asked me to describe Jellybean in one word.  What? Describe her in one word?  I don’t see how I can do that!  Always up for a challenge, however, I thought about it for a while.  Sassy would be a good word to describe her, but so are playful and silly.  Then there’s lovable, spoiled and stubborn.  Okay, okay.  I can’t do it. There is no one word to describe this precious little puppy.  So, let me flip this game around and ask the question “May I have an adjective please?”  Here’s a few that would describe Jellybean quite well:

Rambunctious, affectionate, happy, precocious, amusing, joyful, assuming, bright-eyed, trusting, feisty, demanding, cuddly, stubborn, shy, eager-to-please, spoiled, rowdy, energetic, pouty, bright, faithful, loving, fun, pretty, exhausting, gentle, timid, goofy, pampered, therapy dog, naughty, frisky, loyal, mischievous, unpredictable, diva-like, friendly, cute, protective, smart, family, entertaining, pouty, loved, furry, snuggly, chubby, joyful, daring, sweet, devoted, wonderful, unassuming,  soft, best friend, well-dressed, accommodating, active, needy, merry, hilarious, well-groomed, gleeful, and lucky.

So there you have it, just a few words to describe my sweet little Jellybean.  Our pups are our family.  They have so much personality and are such a big part of our lives.  Now I’ll pass the challenge on to you.  Can you describe your furry little friend in one word or will you too need a plethora of adjectives to get the job done right?

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

It’s A Paw-ty!

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What do you do when your fur baby turns five?  Well… you throw a paw-ty, a dog paw-ty!  Oh – you also donate some hand-sewn fleece crate mats to a local shelter in your puppy’s name.  At least that’s what this over the top pet momma has planned.  Jellybean woke up this morning to a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday.  After our morning walk, she had a blast ripping paper and opening boxes to discover what doggy toys, treats, and apparel awaited her.  Then we slipped into our usual morning grooming routine of brushing teeth, washing the area around her eyes, applying allergy eye drops, brushing her fur, and adding a colorful hair bow.  This morning, however, there was a special birthday shirt waiting for her.  For her birthday this year, she is wearing a Minnie Mouse t-shirt embellished with tulle pompoms along the bottom edge.  Spiffy!  There is more fun to come, however, as I have invited several of her little friends over for an evening of romping, rolling and running around the house.  It should be a dog gone fun time!

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And a fun time it was!  Just as I imagined, there were four dogs romping, rolling and running around the house.  The party consisted of Jellybean and her furry friends Josie, Kramer, and Oakley along with their respective pet parents.  They surprised Jellybean in that they came bearing gifts for the birthday girl; new squeaky toys and some scrumptious treats. The first few minutes of course were a bit crazy, but these four fast friends quickly settled down and began playing, checking out toys, exploring the house and checking in with us at the dinner table. It was a fun night, which we ended with a quick photo session.  The ladies tried unsuccessfully to round up all four pups into a central location so that we could snap a few pictures.  We finally decided that if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them.  That being said, each of us grabbed our own little fur ball for a fun photo session.  As we speak, Jellybean is one paw-tied out puppy.  She is sound asleep on the living room floor, no doubt dreaming of romping with her friends and munching on some delicious treats!

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Happy Birthday my sweet little Jellybean!  Momma loves you!

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

Spring Has Sprung

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Spring has sprung – or almost.  Technically I am a day early.  That being said, Jellybean and I welcome the warm sunshine and the longer, brighter days.  Our walks are becoming a bit more leisurely.  The cold, bitter air that stung my face and chilled Jellybean’s little paws has become gentler and kinder to my skin and Jellybean’s sensitive foot pads.   Jellybean once again has her nose to the ground following the scents of squirrels that recently scampered along our path.  The furry little rabbits that zig-zagged their way across the grass left a trail of bunny “delights” for Jellybean to savor.  Finches, blue jays and robins sing their sweet songs as we pass underneath the trees in our community.  Jellybean lifts her chin and looks up into the trees trying to determine the source of the beautiful songs.  The honking of geese as they return from their winter flight stops Jellybean in mid step.  She is very curious as to the strange honking sounds that seemingly come out of the sky.  Her stance is absolutely beautiful, with three feet solidly on the ground and one drawn up with paw in perfect point formation; her big curious eyes look skyward.  She intently watches the honking geese as they make their way to a nearby stream.  I must admit that as spring begins to make its’ appearance, I am a bit sad about one thing.  It’s time to put away Jellybean’s ridiculously large wardrobe.  Into her closet go Jellybean’s hoodies, jackets, snow suits, snow boots, sweaters, and pajamas. I will miss watching my little fashionista strut around the neighborhood in her fashionable garb. But alas, as much as I enjoy showing off her extensive wardrobe, I am quite cognizant of the temperature changes that are forthcoming and recognize she needs to go all natural in order to be comfortable.  But all is not lost.  She still has her hat collection, ball caps to be exact;  there is her pink floral cap, a pink cap with white polka dots, and a beautiful lilac print cap to name a few.  What little puppy doesn’t need a cap complete with a visor to keep the sun out of her eyes while tooling around in the car?  I breathe a sigh of relief as I realize that although her closet will be virtually untouched until next fall, she will still be that loveable, fashion forward little pup that proudly prances her way through life.

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

 

Homegrown Love

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Just when you think you know where life is taking you, it can suddenly take an unexpected turn.  Enter my brother; exactly a year and six days younger than me.  He is a mason/block layer by trade.  Forty two years of climbing ladders and scaffolding, carrying bricks and cement blocks and his hips are simply shot.  He can barely walk, and when he does, he must depend on a walker.  One unsuccessful surgery to date has landed him in dire straits.  In other words, no work equals no income.  After forty two years of making a living building, creating, repairing and restoring homes, businesses, old buildings, and the like, he has hit a wall.  It appears that this wall is even tougher to break through than any brick wall he ever built.  The wall has a name:  Disability.  What a nightmare!  The hoops that one has to jump through and the time frame for having one’s name go into the system, is in my opinion unacceptable.  Six months just to get a name into the system, then scheduling of hearings and continued paperwork.  I am being told it could be all but a year until assistance is available.  This is a pretty hard pill to swallow for someone who started working at the age of fifteen and by twenty had settled into his work as a mason, his livelihood for forty two years.

Why am I writing about a topic such as this today when I usually write silly little blogs about my puppy Jellybean you ask?  Actually, this blog has everything to do with Jellybean.  You see, about two months ago my brother called and asked if he could come and stay for a while.  With no income, a depleted bank account and hips that were failing him, it was all but impossible for him to continue to live independently.  Not to mention that his rental was on the second floor.  Watching him labor up and down the steps to his apartment brought tears to my eyes every time I saw him struggle through it.  Although I never planned on a roommate, other than my four-legged one, how can you say no to someone so totally in need?

Now enter Jellybean, my furry, little love bug.  She has been so happy to have him here.  Who ever thought she would be providing her therapy services right here in my home?  She scampers down the steps in the morning and heads down the hall to the guest bedroom to give him his good morning kisses.  I can hear him greet her with “Hi baby!”  “How’s my little girl?”  “I was waiting for you!”  She eats it up all day long.  She comes running when she hears, “Where’s my little Jellybean?”  She jumps up on the couch and covers him with her sloppy kisses.  When I have to leave for the morning or afternoon, she is right by his side.  They snuggle while watching television.  She checks in on him throughout the day.  They have become quite the little duo.  My sister and mother have been helping as well.  On the days he is at either of their houses, he apparently is always asking about her.  “What do you think Jellybean is doing?  I wonder if she spent much time looking out the window.  Do you think she went out and played in the snow?  I’ll bet she is begging for a treat right about now.”  Upon his return to our house, I don’t know which one of them is more excited to see the other.  I pray that the system does not fail my brother in the end, he deserves way better.  But, I am happy that as a family, we are able to help him in his time of need and that Jellybean so readily acknowledges his need for love and companionship.  Watch out brother, here she comes!  Get ready for some of Jellybean’s unabashed love – in the form of sloppy kisses of course!

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

A Home Well-Loved

I recently hosted the Winterfest Potluck Dinner in my condo community.  Having just bought the home this past June, I was not only honored to host, but also thrilled to show off my farmhouse/country décor and have an opportunity to share fellowship and a plethora of tasty dishes with my new neighbors.  Jellybean was in heaven!  She received so much attention throughout the evening.  By the time the festivities wound down and the house was still and quiet, Jellybean was ready to snuggle and catch up on her missed naps.

The next day I sent a text to a very dear friend, noting that the Winterfest gathering was a huge success.  Just so you know, her mother is the former owner of the condo and also served as host for this particular celebration many times throughout her twenty some years in this condo.  My friend was amazed at the timing of my message.  She had just returned her mother to her new home, a local assisted living residence.  It seems that on the ride home, her mother asked, “Does Bev still like living in my house?  Does her little puppy like it too?”  My friend was amazed at the clarity at which her mother spoke of both Jellybean and me, especially with the severity of her memory loss.  She assured her mother that indeed we do love it here.

I was really touched by this.  I have known Del and her family for years.  When I was a classroom teacher, I babysat her grandchildren every summer and also many a Saturday night.  Now that I am retired I babysit her great-grandson three days a week.  Del’s daughter was also my hair stylist for over thirty years.  Fast forward to this summer and I became the owner of the home that Del lived in and loved for over twenty years.  As you can see, the connections to this family run very deep.

As the week went by, I kept thinking that I should do something for Del so that she can see how much Jellybean and I enjoy living in her home.  I decided to create a photo book for her.  I spent an afternoon looking through pictures on my laptop and gathered the ones I thought represented how comfortable we are here.  I began with how infatuated Jellybean is with the cows that appear at the fence outside our sunroom window.  Jellybean spends hours on the sofa looking out the window.  It is one of her favorite spots.  I am so lucky to have a sunroom that is a total wall of windows.  It faces the field on a neighboring farm.  The cows come down and hang out by the fence.  Several ground hogs play in the brush.  Birds in a variety of colors frolic in the thick bushes, squirrels perform high wire acts in the tree right outside the windows.  We’ve even had a stray cat reach its little paws up and peer in the window.  Needless to say, Jellybean did not tolerate that very well and looked at it more as of an invasion than nature at play.  I have many pictures of Jellybean lounging here or sitting at attention, depending on the activity outside our windows.

I also included pictures of my big farm table, where my entire family can be seated together for meal time, my late husband’s barber chair – a cherished piece of furniture – which found its’ home in a corner spot of the sunroom, and pictures of baby Jay and Jellybean as they went from getting to know each other to becoming best buds.  I often refer to them as Peanut Butter and Jelly, as you don’t see one without the other.  I also included a picture of the infamous Jellybean’s closet, which now houses Jellybean’s ridiculous collection of coats, sweaters, jackets, hoodies, snowsuits, pajamas, etc.  I’ll bet Del could not have imagined that the closet system she had installed for organizational purposes would be so perfect for my spoiled little puppy.  I’m sure Del will get a chuckle out of the pictures of Jellybean frolicking in the yard as the snow gently falls.  The pictures of her snow-covered face are absolutely adorable and speak to the high level of comfort and complete abandon she feels when playing here.

So, when Del inquires if Jellybean and I still like living in her house, I respond with a profound YES!!  YES!!  YES!!  We love everything about it.  Most of all we love that the house came already filled with love.  Del left some of that behind for us.  I am forever grateful for the opportunity to make a home for Jellybean and me in a home that permeates the love bestowed upon it by its’ former owner.

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

 

My Little Snow Bunny

Have you ever read the children’s book by Robert Munch titled Thomas’ Snow Suit? The adorable little boy is reluctantly bundled up to the max in preparation of having an afternoon romp in the snow.  His snowy day outfit is complete with snow jacket, snow pants, boots, scarf, hat, and mittens.  Every time I bundle Jellybean up for a romp in the snow or a potty walk, I am thankful that the people who design dog clothing are quite in tune with the needs and habits of our four-legged friends.  A quick squat and it is business as usual, then back to romping and playing in the snow, no worries about the outfit.

Aside from allowing Jellybean to potty as needed, her new snowsuit is really quite ingenious. It allows her to dive in head first, bulldozing the snow-filled yard as efficiently as any Troy Bilt Storm 2410 model without getting snow and ice balls packed on her legs and in her pits.  Her face, on the other hand, is a different story.  She looks up and it is literally packed with snow, eyes barely visible. She gives a shake and back she goes for another round.  She then rolls on her back making a line of snow angels.  As her back digs into the snow, the resulting imprints resemble a line of giant hotdogs.  Suddenly her tail takes her by surprise.  She begins to spin circles, snow flying around her as she chases this mysterious, silky creature.  When the chase is complete, the yard looks like someone has been here spinning donuts on a snow mobile.

Did I mention that Jellybean also wears snow boots?  Maybe I should say Jellybean has snow boots.  It is quite the effort to get them on her.  But for goodness sake, with the recent bone-chilling sub-zero temps, what is a poor little puppy to do?  So we try.  If she is walking, just taking care of business, they are quite effective.  They protect her feet from the cold and salt-covered sidewalks and roadways.  However, when she is bull-dozing, rolling, and zipping around in circles, I can count on at least two of her red and black Muttluks flying off her feet sailing high in the air.  It must be the kindergarten teacher in me that never went away, but I find myself counting throughout her snowy day follies to make sure all four paw coverings are accounted for.  “One, two, three, four.  Yep still on.”  A few minutes later, “One, two, three, four.  Oh, good.  We’re on a roll.”  Once again, “One, two,  wait a minute.  Where are numbers three and four?  Is that your boot all the way across the yard hanging on the snow-covered bush? Oh, I see number four over by the driveway.  My goodness, Jellybean, you really know how to have fun in the snow!”  That’s my girl; my snow-loving, rambunctious, silly little puppy!

Rabbit Delights

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Ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling.  The sound of sleigh bells rang through the house as Jellybean’s nose nudged the antique bells that hang from an old leather strap on the front door knob.  I paused as I pulled a plate from the dishwasher.  “Ok, Jellybean, I’ll be right there.”  Ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling.  “I said I was coming my precious little fur ball.”  Ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling.  “Ok, ok, I’m coming!  Aye, yai, yai!”  After choosing a colorful winter snow suit for Jellybean to wear on her walk, she dutifully stretched her neck and allowed me to slip it over her head.  Next she handed me a paw and pushed it through the first sleeve opening, then repeated the action with her other front paw, the her hind paws.  Always the willing fashionista, Jellybean stood quietly as I pulled the snow suit over her back, making sure it looked perfect.  I then reached down and hooked Jellybean’s leash to her collar and out the front door we went.  Jellybean stood on the brick step and sniffed deeply.  I am always in awe at what a pretty dog she is.  Naturally I choose puppy outfits that compliment her white silky hair and deep, dark eyes.  I try to make her such a little girly, girl.  Much to my chagrin, it hasn’t happened yet.  Jellybean’s posture clearly showed she smelled something that was pleasing to her.  Her body was stiff, her long silky tail was up, and her head was cocked to the side.  Her nose quivered as she frantically sniffed the air.  Without warning, she leapt off the step and into the patch of grass by the front door.  Jellybean sniffed again and then buried her nose deep down in the cold, wet grass.  Her tail gave a little wag, and she scooped some unseen object out of the grass, turned her head away from me, gave it a chew and down the hatch it went.  She moved to the left and repeated her actions.  “Jellybean, no thank you.  Leave it.”  Her concentration was such that she gave no evidence of hearing me, so I gave her leash a little pull.  “No thank you Jellybean. Leave it.”  This caused her to pull even harder on the leash as she dived in to retrieve another tasty gem.  “Really, Jellybean?  It’s not like you haven’t eaten yet today.   Why on earth do you need to eat rabbit poop?  I can’t imagine it is that good.  If nothing else, it seems to me it would be a bit dry.”  Ignoring my barrage of questions, Jellybean pulled hard against the leash and stretched as far as she could to retrieve another round nugget. “Jellybean, remember the Vet said she would prefer that you not snack on rabbit poop.  There are so many other better options….carrots, green beans, actual dog treats.”

Last June, when Jellybean had her yearly physical, her Vet had asked me if Jellybean ate rabbit droppings.  I responded that unfortunately it was one of her favorite delicacies.  I asked her how she knew that, and she shared the fecal test showed evidence of a parasite that is specific to rabbit droppings.  Fortunately it is not harmful to dogs, although she would prefer Jellybean found some healthier alternatives for snacking.  Still it remains an issue.  It doesn’t help that our neighborhood is polluted with rabbits and Jellybean’s short little legs ensure that she walks with her nose glued to the ground.  All instincts kick in when we near an area in which rabbits have left evidence of their frolic and play.  While this is not an everyday occurrence, it happens often enough that it worries me a bit.  Jellybean usually follows commands pretty well, and follows a “no thank you” or “leave it” quite readily, unless some of those delectable round nuggets are nearby.

It turns out that rabbit poop is actually loaded with various nutrients.  It is high in fiber, digestive enzymes and a natural source of vitamins from the B family.  It may be that this tendency comes from natural instinct developed long before dogs were domesticated, and it was a natural practice for them to ensure their diets were nutritionally balanced.  Because rabbits are not carnivores, and get their nourishment from plants and grains, any diseases they may develop are not transferrable to dogs through their droppings.  Just like chocolate and cheese for humans, moderation is the key.  Who knew?  Does anyone else have a pup that thinks rabbit poop is the best thing since milk bones?

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

 

My Wild Child

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Another rainy Saturday, but Jellybean had a fun-filled day despite the dreary weather.  She had an appointment with Miss Angie, the groomer, in the morning.  She absolutely loves her!  Then, in the early afternoon, we had a basketball game at a local college with many of her therapy dog friends.  Since she missed at least four of her naps due to her busy schedule, she came home and slept the rest of the afternoon away.

Around dinner time, the skies began to clear and a gentle wind began to blow.  Soon it was inviting enough to take more than a quick potty break out the front door.  We decided to take a walk around the block.  Jellybean dutifully did her thing and we continued on with our walk.  Suddenly, Jellybean stopped in her tracks.  Her tail began to wag.  I looked to see what had caught her attention.  It was her new friend, Kramer!  Both dogs were excited to see each other, so they greeted and sniffed and wagged and sniffed some more.  It was at that point that Kramer’s mom suggested we stop in so Kramer and Jellybean could have a little puppy playtime.  I was concerned that Jellybean’s feet might be wet and didn’t want her dirtying anyone’s carpet.  Kramer’s mom assured me it would all be just fine, so we agreed to stop in for a little bit.  Once inside, we both removed the leashes from our respective puppies.

Jellybean wasted no time!  She took off and headed straight for the bone that Kramer had lovingly placed in the dining room, unaware that it soon would be confiscated by her new friend.  Jellybean picked up the bone, turned and headed up the steps.  Now mind you, this is the first time we have been in this house.  I was mortified! “Jellybean,” I yelled, “Get down here!”  Nothing.  “Jellybean, get down here!”  We all turned as Jellybean came charging down the steps into the dining room.  I should mention the bone was nowhere in sight.  She began racing around the dining room table.  Soon, Kramer joined her and they began playfully chasing each other around the house.  As they played, we sat in the living room and chatted.  Suddenly, Jellybean turned toward me, looked at the couch and suddenly raced toward it.  She jumped on the couch, ran from end to end, then without warning jumped onto the coffee table and slid off the other side.  She then jumped back up on the couch, onto the coffee table and off the other side before stopping to catch her breath.  It was at this time I was thinking, “This is the last time we are ever going to get invited here!”  I reached down while the getting was good and clicked her leash in place.  I was embarrassed beyond belief that my puppy would behave this way in someone else’s home.  Barb, on the other hand, thought Jellybean was a hoot!  Thank goodness she is a true dog person and found the humor in Jellybean’s burst of energy and over the top behaviors.  Hopefully Kramer was able to recover his bone and relax with his mom the rest of the evening.  I’m thinking that next time, perhaps Jellybean and I should host the puppy playtime!

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here!