Jellybean’s Closet – The Book

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Jellybean and I have been enjoying the success of the three children’s picture books I have written since retiring from the public school system.  These books star none other than Jellybean, my own diva dog extraordinaire.  The trilogy highlights Jellybean’s playful and rambunctious personality through simple story lines suitable for the young crowd.  Thirty five years working with children, ages three to six, made it a rather predictable genre for me to choose.  Having a puppy with such a big personality made for some great story lines.   I guess you could say it was a match made in heaven.  Naughty Little Puppy, The Perfect Hiding Place, and Sloppy Kisses are simple, predictable and easy to read books that portray positive messages such as unconditional love, problem solving, and perseverance.

I thought the trilogy was it.  Three is a nice number.  The books bring opportunities for some Amazon sales and many author visits to local schools, libraries and community events.  Sharing my stories and seeing children react with laughter at Jellybean’s antics or by recognizing repetitive patterns in the stories that encourage audience participation, brings more joy than you can imagine.  Having the real life character right in the classroom as the stories are being read is a big deal to young children who are just beginning to understand the concepts of print, characters in the story, parts of a book, and the role that the author and illustrator play in creating the book.  I have truly been blessed to have this opportunity.  Like I said, I was happy with three stories, until one day I was standing in front of Jellybean’s closet and thought, “Oh, this is a story just waiting to happen.”

You’ve heard about Jellybean’s closet in previous blogs.  I should be embarrassed at the amount of doggy apparel that Jellybean’s perfectly organized closet is able to hold.  But I’m not.  I’m happy she is such a good sport when it comes to showcasing the latest canine fashion trends and that I am able to keep her in such adorable doggy attire.  You have to admit she wears it well, right down to the fashionable swimsuit she is modeling in the photo at the top of the blog.  This photo was snapped when Jellybean was taking a break from water play on the deck with her best bud.  I am fortunate that my very talented illustrator is on board as well.  As a matter of fact, I just finished texting lots of pics to her of Jellybean’s infamous closet and the outfits that will be highlighted in the new book appropriately titled, Jellybean’s Closet.  It is such an exciting time!  Over the next months, I will be anxiously awaiting to see Shana’s sketches  as she expertly uses her watercolor pencils to make her drawings come to life!  Children can expect to see Jellybean wearing outfits that are a perfect match for the weather during a week in the life of my precocious little pup.  Goodbye Jellybean’s trilogy! See you soon Jellybean’s quadrilogy, tetralogy, or would it be quartet?  Book number four, here we come!

 

Beverly Stiffler Smith

Children’s Author

Check out my books here! 

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Stop, Drop, and …..Stop!

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Have you ever been walking your dog, trotting along at a good pace, and all of a sudden your pup just stops and does a full body plant in the middle of the street or on the edge of someone’s yard?  This is a regular occurrence for us.  Jellybean and I take six to eight walks in a day.  Don’t worry, though, they are not excessive.  A normal walk consists of fifteen to twenty minutes for my short-legged furry friend, depending on time and weather.  I can count on Jellybean becoming one with the ground at least twice during any of those walks. It happens to me more often that I would like to admit and immediately my impassioned pleading begins.

“Come Jellybean.”  (Nothing)

“Let’s go, Jellybean.”  (Nada)

“Come, my sweet little puppy.”  (No eye contact)

“Let’s go Jellybean, time is a-wasting.”  (Disinterested glance)

“Hidy ho my friend, let’s go!”  (Flat to the ground)

“Well alrighty then.”  (A crooked dog smile)

I find this behavior very puzzling and I must admit, a bit embarrassing.  Obviously, I am not the one in charge here.  It’s all about Jellybean.  I won’t even begin to argue that one.  As a result, I have done a bit of research on this very topic. As it turns out, Jellybean is not the only pup with a penchant to end her walk on her own terms.  There are quite a few articles and blogs out there that address this very phenomenon.  There could actually be some valid science behind the “mid-walk flop,” a phrase coined by Allison Gray on a website titled petful.com.  After reading several articles and blogs, here are just some of the possible reasons for this behavior:  injury, illness, tiredness, laziness, stubbornness, and weather-related issues.

Hmm….interesting stuff.  I must admit, however, I am well-aware that Jellybean’s short snout does not tolerate breathing in extremely hot air, nor do I allow her to walk on scorching hot or freezing roads and sidewalks – they’ve got lawns and doggy boots for those situations!  I groom her thoroughly every day, so I am quite cognizant of any injury.  Even with having a good awareness of Jellybean’s overall health, the information I gleaned through these readings resonated enough that I certainly will pay more attention and not just assume she is playing the part of Diva Dog.

I also came across a great strategy to end simple stubbornness when walking.  Two leashes; the normal six or four foot length, and an additional leash or cord about twenty feet long are the only things needed.  Attach both to the collar.  Walk as usual, but when the stop, drop, and stop occurs, simply keep walking.  The twenty foot leash allows you to move ahead quite a bit.  It seems many pups do not like this, as suddenly their need for attention is not being fed.  I like that!  No more pleading and begging her to move.  I think I might try this!

Through all my readings, however, I have not found a solution for Jellybean planting her furry little body at the end of every driveway in the neighborhood that has an open garage door.  In these instances, I often text my friend and quip “I can’t get my turtle to move.”  As kindergarten teachers, we often read a story of the same name by Elizabeth Lee O’Donnell to our students.  It is the perfect descriptor of Jellybean’s statuesque position near the curb. In this dog-friendly community, it appears that an open garage door often results in the owner walking down the driveway with a small treat for the waiting dog.  Oh, Jellybean, my little sweet pea, didn’t the Vet just tell us again last week you are a bit chubby, not yet obese, but a bit chubby?  My, oh, my, what is this manipulated doggy mama to do?

 

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! 

 

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! 

My Little Chubba Wubba

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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

Check out my books here!