April Follies

 

April is a busy month for one little puppy.  Jellybean celebrates her fourth birthday on April 1st.  My how those years have flown by!  She has grown from an energetic “wild child”, the moniker my neighbor gave her at 14 weeks, into my rambunctious, lovable, “fur-ever” companion.  This year she helped to celebrate the upcoming April 1st Easter holiday by participating in an “Easter Trunk Parade.”  Always one to dress for the occasion, Jellybean donned her pink Easter shirt, complete with bunny tail and curly hair bows.  She interacted with the children, letting them pet her soft fur, as they skipped from car trunk to car trunk gathering Easter sweets.  Jellybean will always be the little nugget of sugar that gifted me a new meaning to April 1st.  No longer just the painful memory of the anniversary of my husband’s passing, April 1st is now more about celebrating Jellybean’s special brand of puppy love.  She is my little April’s Fool!

 

 

 

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The Dog That Thought She Was A Cat

Cats are notorious for lounging on the window sill.  They can relax for hours as the bright sun warms their fur.  With their sharp vision, they observe daily life on the other side of the window.  Out there; people walk by, cars zoom past, squirrels frolic in the leaves and scamper up and down trees in search of the day’s bounty.  Let’s not forget the birds that perch on the edge of the tree limbs and tweet out their sweet melodies or the tiny spiders that busily weave webs that stretch across the window pane.  Cats are intrigued by it all and can lose themselves in the daily activities that surround them.  Wait a minute, hold up, back up the bus…..

High above her cushy bed, Jellybean perches on her window seat.  She basks in the sunshine, letting it warm her fur.  Her eyes scanning the world outside the window, Jellybean watches as people walk by, cars zoom past, squirrels frolic in the leaves and scamper up and down trees in search of the day’s bounty.  Let’s not forget the birds that perch on the edge of the tree limbs and tweet out their sweet melodies or the tiny spiders that busily weave webs that stretch across the window pane. Squirrels, people, and spiders, oh my!  But wait, something is wrong with this picture.  Although demonstrating cat-like behaviors, Jellybean by no means is a cat.  For those who are familiar with my blog, you know that Jellybean is a spunky, sweet, precocious little puppy.  She just happens to love spending her quiet time in the window, demonstrating cat-like behaviors.  She watches.  She stretches and arches her back.  She licks her paws and preens her white fur to satisfy the diva in her.  She watches some more.  She sleeps in the sun as the world passes by her window.  I’m not too concerned that she may be having an identity crisis, as the rest of her day is spent doing what dogs do;  chewing on bones, playing with squeaky toys, hiding her treats, and yes, chasing her tail.

Just how did this penchant for becoming a furry piece of window candy come to be?  Actually, I remember it quite well.  It was Thanksgiving Eve, 2014. I was prepping for Thanksgiving dinner for the usual eleven family members. Jellybean was only seven months old, a rambunctious, care free pup running around the house getting her naughty on.  While Thanksgiving dinner itself is not that involved; stuff a turkey, peel potatoes and make some gravy, for my family it is the infamous “second round” that requires the most effort.  After the noon-time meal has been devoured, football games enjoyed, board games played, and respective naps taken throughout the day, we indulge in an array of homemade goodness.  A spread of various salads, cheese & veggie trays, homemade dips, pickled eggs, baked mac & cheese or rich cream of crab soup, turkey sandwiches with all the fixings, pumpkin pie, cake, cookies, rich desserts, oh and don’t forget all the crunchy stuff like chips, pretzels, tortilla chips and salsa. It is a sight to behold and takes hours of prep work.  I love to cook, however, and nothing gives me more pleasure than having my family over for a day of pure homemade goodness!  Only this year, there was a caveat I had not experienced previously; namely my sweet, energetic, naughty little puppy.  She was into everything, which created one interruption after another.  Sequestering her in the kitchen worked for a while until a piece of onion fell to the floor and she made a beeline for it. At that point I needed a plan C.  It was at that moment I noticed snowflakes falling.  The large bay window in my kitchen allowed me the pleasure of enjoying nature during those times I would get my Betty Crocker on.

Hey, wait a minute! I think I have a plan C!  I folded one of Jellybean’s blankets and placed it on the deep window sill, then picked her up and settled her on the blanket.  She was immediately intrigued by the falling snow.  A squirrel ran down the side of the tree and across the yard.  Her eyes followed it until the bushy brown tail was no longer in sight….and the rest is history!  To this day, three years later, the window is Jellybean’s favorite chill spot.  She soaks up the sun and watches the world go by.  She has actually become quite the neighborhood spectacle.  Neighbors slow down as they drive by and peer out their car windows to see if she is in her spot of choice taking stock of the neighborhood.  People out for a walk with their dogs point and chuckle at her.  The mail carrier even takes the time to give Jellybean a wave.  I am so glad I discovered Jellybean’s appreciation for the world around her, even if it appears she has taken her cue from her feline friends.

Perhaps we all could learn a little something from Jellybean and take the time to slow down and appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, one squirrel at a time.

 

 

Personality Plus

“Dogs got PERSONALITY.  Personality goes a long way.” – Quentin Tarantino

“Better than all the gold in the world, better than diamonds, better than pearls, better than any material thing is the love of a dog and the joy that it brings.” – Laura Joworski

Personality?  You betcha!

Joy?  Oh my gosh yes!

Dig a little deeper into the word joy and up come the synonyms:  amusement, cheer, delight, frolic, hilarity and liveliness.  All apply to my little Jellybean and I am always looking for a photo op to share with friends and family that captures her playfulness and expressions.  As I sit here and peruse through the hundreds of pictures I have taken of Jellybean over the last three years, I have chosen some of my favorites to share with you.  I think you will agree that this puppy has personality and then some!

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My Little Snow Bunny
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The Drunken Sailor
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Bad Hair Day
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What do you mean it’s time to get up?  It’s only 5 A.M.
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Cutie Patootie
The Grinch
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Where’s my dinner?
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Whatcha talkin bout Willis?

 

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I didn’t mean to open a new box of tissues and shred them all over the floor.  It was an accident.

 

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Sleeping Beauty

Jellybean’s Closet

Jellybean’s Closet

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I loved the idea of having a puppy that I could dress up with colorful bows, cute little outfits, sweaters, and the like.  I must admit, Jellybean has been most accommodating in indulging my wishes.  In the same manner that “you may be a redneck if…”, I fit the bill for you may be the crazy dog lady if… your dog’s outfits take up more room in the hall closet than yours.  It’s true, a mere 34 sweaters, sweatshirts, coats, and various holiday costumes are hung neatly on cute little pink hangers.  Oh, and don’t forget the doggy pajamas   Ever the good sport, please indulge me as I share photos of Jellybean modeling some of “her” favorite attire:  Bark in the Park at the York Revolution, bedtime, first bow, waiting for Santa Paws, Halloween costumes – Little Miss Ladybug and Minnie Mouse, walking in the rain, Elf on the Shelf, Santa’s little helper.

 

She is such a fun and spirited puppy, so eager to please.  She just melts my heart.

Naughty Little Puppy

Who needs a 130 sheet cross-cut shredder when you have a spunky little puppy that can take care of all your shredding needs?  This white and black model shreds paper of all types; copy paper, newspaper, wrapping paper, tissue paper, tissues (both clean and otherwise), magazines, cardboard, and yes, even the paper label around plastic water bottles.  Leave a tissue behind on the couch?  Leave the newspaper on the chair while you refill your tea?  Walk away from your Ladies Home Journal magazine?  Forget to put your water bottle in the recycling bin?  Never fear, Jellybean the shredder is here!  Moving faster than the community shred truck, Jellybean hones in on the treasure of the moment. Using her front paws to keep the object secure, Jellybean, begins pulling and tearing at her prize.  Pull, tear, spit!  Pull, tear, spit! Pull, tear, spit!  She continues until the object has been obliterated and strewn all over the floor.  Satisfied that her work has been completed to the best of her ability, Jellybean stands proudly amid the mess.

Not only is this rambunctious puppy a shredder, she is also a taker.  She takes things that do not belong to her; shoes, socks, gloves to name a few items.  Her tendency to stake claim on my personal items developed very early in life.  It amused me so much that it actually became the inspiration for my first children’s picture book, titled – are you ready?  Naughty Little Puppy.  It’s not a very original title, but quite a true representation of Jellybean, my precocious, yet lovable, albeit naughty little fur ball.  The repetitive text and short, structured sentences, make it the perfect book for the 3-5 year old crowd.  I should mention that my illustrator, Shana Morrow, did an incredible job of capturing Jellybean’s personality through her artistic rendering of Jellybean.  You can see me for a signed copy or purchase a copy at Amazon.com .

Unconditional Love

When Charles M. Schulz said “Happiness is a warm puppy,” he was talking directly to me.  I look back in wonder at how much joy this rambunctious and precocious little puppy has brought into my life.  Upon waking in the morning, Jellybean stretches and peers out from under a mound of tousled black and white fur.  Then, giving a good shake, she pounces on me and covers my face with licks and puppy kisses.  Tail wagging, she runs circles around the pillows to show she is excited to begin her day.  As we head downstairs an invisible tether connects us and ensures Jellybean is never more than a step behind her Momma.   A morning walk, breakfast of kibble and chicken, her daily grooming ritual, always concluding with a colorful bow, and Jellybean is off and running.  Her days are filled with walks about the neighborhood, bones, toys, and rendezvous with puppy friends, visitations to fulfill her therapy dog obligations, naps, and a plethora of tricks, which are often rewarded with tasty treats.  As if on cue, at 8:30 PM, Jellybean is ready to settle down and snuggle on the couch.  The unconditional love emanating from those big dark eyes during these quiet times never fails to warm my soul and remind me how grateful I am she came into my life.

And then there was Jellybean

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Love comes in many forms.  It most recently came to me via a wet nose and sloppy puppy kisses.  The first time I held this fuzzy little puppy she was so tiny and sweet, like a little nugget of sugar, and so the name Jellybean came to be.  She nuzzled her tiny little head under my chin as if to say “I love you!  Please take me home with you!”   I held her on my lap for the ride home. She snuggled into the soft pink blanket, so trusting and loving.  She napped for a while, but every so often looked up and peered into my eyes. It was if she could see right through to my heart.  With big, dark, soulful eyes and a heart so full of love, it was a match made in Heaven.  But don’t let that cute face fool  you, as she is the inspiration for my new picture book Naughty Little Puppy.