Jellybean and the Great Nail Clipping Caper

Jellybean - covid 19 hair

Rona, Rona go away.                                                                                                                    Please do not come any other day!                                                                                            Little Jellybean, little Jellybean, Little Jellybean wants to play… without tripping over her overgrown nails and furry coat that is.

Oh Covid-19 how you have messed with our lives!  Our new normal is not something we could have ever imagined.  It has wrapped its ugly viral self around the very core of everything we as humans hold dear; family, friends, and freedom to name a few. The impact has now extended to our four-legged friends as well.  As pet owners, we have taken an oath to care for our fur babies and ensure their overall health and wellbeing is a priority.  And then came the Corona virus and the groomers closed.  Everyone is doing their best to care for their menagerie of pets to the best of their abilities, but some things are better left for the groomer.  After two months, such is the case for my little Jellybean.

Keeping after her ever growing, long, thick, somewhat bushy hair coiffed to my liking has been quite a challenge.  We work on it every day, several times a day, well…actually all day long.  Her last grooming appointment was February 23rd.  You see, I am a bit over the top with her grooming. Without exception, she sees Miss Angie every four weeks for the spa treatment, which includes bath, haircut, nail trim, and a few extra niceties.  That being said, she has missed her March appointment, her April appointment, and I am pretty certain her May appointment will not see the light of day.  I continue to work every day to keep my little “Chia Pet” as I now call her, as comfortable and well-groomed as possible.

Ah, but I digress, as it is not her overgrown mass of fur that is the only problem the Corona Virus has brought upon us.  Her nails seem to be growing at warp speed.  Jellybean has never been one to enjoy having her nails clipped.  When she was a puppy, I played with her feet all the time, which was supposed to help her feel comfortable with this regular part of grooming.  Deep down inside I am rather certain she met with an uncomfortable situation a time or two before we found Miss Angie.  Jellybean absolutely loves her groomer!  All I have to do is mention her name and Jellybean jumps up, does a happy dance and heads to the door for some major puppy love from the best groomer around.  Although Miss Angie says it is not Jellybean’s favorite part of grooming, she is able to keep her nails trimmed perfectly.  Seven weeks into our shelter at home situation, I called Jellybean’s vet for help.  They said they would be happy to see her and trim her nails for me.  Now I was the one doing the happy dance, as I had noticed my little Bean was occasionally limping if we took an extra, long walk.  Now, let the nail clipping caper begin!

April 1 – 9:30 appointment for nail trim

April 6 – 8:30 appointment for nail trim

April 16 – 9:00 appointment for nail trim

What the heck, you ask?  Did I mention that Jellybean has anxiety?  You only see it once in a while; fireworks season, thunder storms, or riding in the car when it is raining, and she has a bit of separation anxiety as well.  Jellybean does have medication that she takes for extreme situations.  Did I mention my puppy does not enjoy going to the Vet for any reason?  Her yearly appointments are always a bit tedious even though they make such a big fuss over her.  Enter Covid-19 and pass-through pet service at the veterinarian’s office.  I thought I was preparing JB well for her nail appointment by giving her one of the anxiety pills the morning of her appointment.  The “pass through” did not go well, but I powered through it and returned to my car to wait for the call that they were finished and sending her my way.

Thirty minutes later, the nurse called to say they were sending Jellybean back to me.  Her nails were not done, as “Jellybean was acting like a Jumping Bean” and they were unable to perform the procedure without causing further anxiety or harm.  In addition, it was noted that the prescription was two years old and she had plumped up a bit, so it was in fact ineffective.  The nurse noted they were updating the meds to better align with her current weight.  They released Jellybean to her Mama saying we should reschedule for the following week.  Once home, I removed the medication from the bag and placed it on a shelf in her closet.  I then pulled a brochure out of the bag and my heart sank.  It was a brochure for a supplement for dogs with behavior disorders.  Oh my, Jellybean!  Anxious, chubby, and poorly behaved!

The following week Jellybean and I returned for round two.  I gave the two medications as directed, making sure to purchase Velveeta cheese, as it serves as the most effective method for disguising pills. We arrived for our appointment in a timely manner.  Once again, the pass through did not go well.  I sat in my car holding my breath.  The nurse called after only ten minutes to say that the nails on her back paws were done.  They were unable to do the nails in the front and they were sending her out free of charge.  It was noted I would be receiving a call from the doctor.

After some small talk with the doctor, being sure to remind her that the Jellybean she sees is not the norm, I plugged my new book and reminded her of Jellybean’s work as a therapy dog.  Of course she knows all of this and was excited for the new book and very sympathetic to Jellybean’s situation.  She was also upfront with letting me know that she had one more thing she wanted to try before we had to have a conversation about twilight sleep.

The morning of our third appointment arrived.  I pulled out the Velveeta and administered the first medication, then, an hour later gave the next two pills.  An hour later we were headed back for our third visit for a nail trim.  Jellybean nonchalantly did a half-hearted attempt to exit the pass-through procedure.  I was feeling hopeful. Five minutes later an elated nurse called to say that Jellybean’s nails were trimmed and she was ready to go.  What a relief that was!

I’m not saying that medicating my puppy was my first choice for this situation, but when I tell you her anxiety was through the roof, I know it was the best thing I could do in this circumstance.  The most frustrating thing of all is that I do not understand how pass through service was not considered for pet grooming all along.  I am relieved to hear that there are individuals working hard with the powers to be to get this situation remedied.  We owe it to our fur babies that offer up unconditional love every day.  That being said, I’ve told Jellybean to cross her paws that she is able to see Miss Angie before her June 4th yearly appointment so that we don’t have to add nails to the list of vaccinations and exams that are scheduled for that day.  We would much rather have a pampering session with Miss Angie.


Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author


My Little Chubba Wubba


A trip to the Vet Saturday morning for a routine vaccine for my happy go lucky puppy ended with me feeling like the worst puppy parent ever.  As the doctor flipped through the pages of records that have accumulated in Jellybean’s short four years, I knew from the look on her face, she wasn’t happy.  Now mind you, I usually leave the Vet’s office feeling pretty darn special, as she has proclaimed me to be one of her top three favorite people in the whole world.  Jellybean’s teeth are apparently among the most beautiful set of dog choppers she has ever seen.  That would be thanks to my diligence in perching her on the sink and brushing them every day with doggie toothpaste.  Not the cheap stuff mind you, I pay an exorbitant $10.00 for the Vet-recommended tooth paste.  Jellybean is partial to the Vanilla Mint, although as much as she likes chicken, I thought the poultry flavored would be to her liking.  Her eyes are clear and bright, the fur around them white and clean.  So often dogs of her breed have stains around their eyes from the watering that is a consequence of their shallow facial structure.  Not Jellybean, I wash her eyes every morning, then diligently apply eye drops to keep her allergies and watery eyes in check. She also drinks bottled water, as I have read that tap water can promote staining in dogs of her stature.  She is brushed every day as part of her morning grooming to ensure that her heavy coat does not tangle and mat.  It should be obvious to anyone I make Jellybean’s care a priority.

That being said, I was starting to feel a bit uncomfortable when the Vet’s brow furrowed as she flipped back and forth between the pages of visitation notes.  I had a very uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach, because I knew exactly what she was referencing; Jellybean’s weight.  Yep, my little Jellybean is a chip off the old block.  She loves to eat!  She loves to snack!  She lives for cheese!  When I was asked to put Jellybean on the scale, I wanted to pull the old weigh-in trick that I have personally observed at a local weight loss clinic.  The old strip down as far as permissible before weighing in technique could have applied here.  I am certain that the heavy knit cable sweater that Jellybean was wearing that day accounted for at least half a pound.  Then there was also the heavy metal clip on her leash.  If the ladies I observed can take off their earrings and any additional jewelry along with sweaters, jackets, shoes, socks, etc. before weighing in, then certainly Jellybean should have the same option.  But alas, with her squirming and wriggling, they settled for a weight that showed up twice on the digital scale.  So, when the doctor looked up and stated her “concern” that Jellybean has gained three pounds in the last two years….in my mind I immediately began subtracting for the sweater, the clip and the squirminess while on the scale.  I calculate that she is probably two pounds overweight, not three.  Red-faced I stood there and had to answer questions about her daily feeding.  Her kibble is not the problem, and I was honest about that.  I measure out her food daily.  It is the snacks and treats that are doing her in.  I admitted that I am an emotional eater, and my poor little puppy, who loves her mom so much, has taken on the same bad habits when it comes to eating.

The expectation is that when we return to the Vet in June, for Jellybean’s annual physical and shots, she is to be about three pounds lighter.  Although I appear to make light of this predicament, I do understand that it is my responsibility to see that Jellybean is happy and healthy.  This really hit home when I went to the grocery store later that day and bought a pack of ground beef, three pounds to be exact. As I placed it in my cart, it hit me.  Oh my goodness, this is how much extra weight my little chubba wubba is carrying on her small frame.  It’s time for some changes in our household, for both the two-legged and four-legged kind.  New Year’s resolutions, here we come!

To be continued…….

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

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