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

 

Paw Patrol

As I continue with renovations around the condo, I have to be mindful of the work that is being done and how it affects my rambunctious little puppy.  This last round of work involved installing new wallboard and painting – lots of painting.  Not the best situation for a nosy little puppy that likes to be where the action is.  Thank goodness Aunt Mary came to the rescue by suggesting a sleepover at her house.  It seemed like the perfect solution.  My contractor could work without interruption downstairs and I could get some much needed computer work done upstairs.  Always one to send Jellybean off on an adventure with a fully loaded backpack, I made sure she had food, treats, toys, potty bags, brush, two choices of collars (Martingale and harness), sweater, thunder shirt and her love bug pajamas.  I gave her a pass on the toothbrush, as she prefers her Mama to be the one scrubbing those pearly whites.  Her Aunt Mary has a set of bowls, several puppy blankets and her Mickey Mouse bed on hand so we didn’t have to worry about those things.

Off we went to Aunt Mary’s house.  On the way I made sure to reinforce that she was having a sleepover with Aunt Mary as I had to go to “work.”  That has always been a key word that she seems to connect to me leaving her behind and she is okay with that.  She was happy to see everyone when we arrived and spent lots of time sharing her most wonderful sloppy kisses.  She was not overly anxious when it was time for me to leave, so at least I wasn’t feeling too guilty.  Of course I suffered from the usual Jellybean withdrawal throughout the day.  It is just plain weird when she is not in the house.  However, it sure was a productive day for me on the computer.  My sister kept me updated throughout the day, sending me random pictures.  As the evening progressed, the realization came to Jellybean that perhaps her Mama was working some overtime.  And so the “paw patrol” ritual began.  She insisted on sitting at a chair by the window so she could be on watch.  She sat there throughout the evening, then, returned to her post in the morning.  My sister sent me picture after picture of Jellybean poised on the edge of a dining room chair, stoically watching for a white car to pull in the driveway.  Around dinner time, her Uncle Dave packed her up and brought her home to me.  What a happy reunion that was!  I have heard it said that a home without a dog is just a house.  The truth be told, just a day and a half without my sweet little Jellybean was unbearable.  She brings so much energy and joy to our home! If you haven’t figured it out already, I just adore my wiggly, little ball of fur!  Here’s to our four-legged friends!  Thank you for your unconditional love!

Jellybean’s Closet

Naughty Little Puppy

The Perfect Hiding Place

Sloppy Kisses

 

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

 

 

Bang! Kaboom! Sizzle! Skedaddle!

Jellybean - bang kaboom sizzle skedaddle

What do you do when your puppy is terrified of loud noises and here comes the Fourth of July holiday?  This year is a particularly rough one with the holiday falling on Wednesday.  Heaven knows that Jellybean is ready with her patriotic dress and coordinating bow.  Communities and families are making it a week-long celebration with picnics, parties and fireworks shows.  Jellybean and I are approaching week two at our new home and loving it.  Did I mention, however, that we are directly up the hill from a beautiful park that serves the community with programs, concerts, recreational facilities and yes, gigantic firework shows?  Enter a carefree puppy that generally prances through life, ears flapping as she bounds from room to room, silky white tail held high. That is until she hears the loud pop and sizzle of a fire cracker set off in the local neighborhood.  Suddenly this carefree little puppy loses all sense of security.  Her ears droop low.  Her tail drags on the ground; she begins panting and looks at me with those dark, soulful eyes for help.  It is almost like she is saying, “Okay, Momma, you are my protector, do your job!”   The problem is, she will not allow me to do my job.  She is inconsolable and does not want me to pet, hold, or even speak in a reassuring voice to her.  She just wants to get to a safe place where she can hide until the fear no longer controls her.  That is usually under a piece of furniture; the sofa, the overstuffed chair, or a bed.

Medication is not my first choice to deal with Jellybean’s anxiety, and I have avoided it for the first four years of her life.  But let’s face it, there is going to be a genuine, full blown fireworks show right down the street. This is nothing to make light of.  She will be terrified and it is my responsibility to see that she is safe and comfortable during the event.  The timing for Jellybean’s yearly vet appointment provided the perfect opportunity for me to speak to her veterinarian regarding my concern.  The vet agreed that this event was much more intense than a neighbor popping off a few random fireworks.  We walked away from the appointment with a prescription of anxiety medication that should be given about an hour prior to the big light show.

The evening of the concert, to be followed by a gigantic fireworks show arrived.  We had a great day with lots of family and friends helping to celebrate our new home.  As evening approached, Jellybean and I headed downstairs to the family room.  I turned the television a bit louder than usual and the dehumidifier hummed in the background.  I gave the medication as directed, and put Jellybean in her ducky pajamas, so that the tightness of the material could help to sooth her. We made ourselves comfortable on the sofa and began to watch television in the family room.  Fifteen minutes later, Jellybean was sound asleep.  I heard the first boom and held my breath.  Jellybean sat up and looked around.  Then, quick as a wink, she snuggled into the blanket beside me on the couch and fell back to sleep.  The fireworks continued with big kabooms, sizzles, cracks, and bangs.  Jellybean remained as snug as a bug in a rug for the evening.  Whew!  All my anxiety about this night for naught!  Just to be on the safe side, I waited an extra half hour before rousing her to take a potty break and head to bed for the night.  I made sure to let her know what a good girl she had been as I fastened the clasp on her pretty pink harness..  I opened the door and we stepped out onto the brick pavement, and KABOOM!!!  A neighbor, one street over, set off a perfectly legal, albeit very loud firework just as we walked out the door.  I turned to look at Jellybean, as her ears drooped low.  Her tail was tight against her bottom and its silky white hair spread out on the ground.  She began panting and looked at me with those dark, soulful eyes for help.  Slinking close to the ground she turned and headed for the door.  I opened it and she quickly scaled the brick step.  I reached down to undo the clasp on her harness and she was gone in a flash.  Up the stairs and under the bed, the darkness once again providing the safe haven she needed at that moment.  Well, we almost made it through the night before the bang, kaboom, sizzle, skedaddle!  At 3:30 AM I hear her scratching and pawing at the side of my bed.  Finally, hours later, the anxiety had eased and she was ready to snuggle by my side for a good night’s sleep.  The morning arrived quickly and she was raring to go, carefree and rambunctious as always.  That is until the next bang, kaboom, sizzle, and skedaddle!

 

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

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