Jellybean rocking the selfies.
It didn’t take long for Jellybean to be the talk of the neighborhood. “What a cute puppy!” “Look at those eyes!” “She’s so friendly!” “Is she always so rambunctious?” “Doesn’t she live in the corner townhouse?” It seems that everyone knows of her. When out walking, she races up and down the street, pulling as hard as she can on one of her colorful leashes. Even though she has mastered the basics of sit, stay and down, walking gently on a leash is not her forte. She tenses those short legs of hers, leans forward and off she goes. I, on the other hand, can be seen holding on for dear life as she darts in and out of grassy yards. Not one to go unnoticed, Jellybean, is determined to greet everyone in her path. Children riding on bikes and scooters stop and play with her. The maintenance men at our complex were trained to stop, get out of the golf cart and give her a pat and belly rub. Upon sighting puppy friends, she lies in wait, tail wagging, so they approach and greet HER. Cars driving down the street slow down so she can acknowledge them with a frenzied pawing motion, and in return they give us a smile and a wave. If we are inside, she suns herself in the kitchen window, not unlike a cat. The neighbors know to look over to see if she is there, stretched out on her blanket or watching in wonder as birds and squirrels frolic in the front yard. Our recent move did not cramp her style at all. She simply took up where she left off. The new neighbors just love her. She has personality plus and is not afraid to show it!
One of the first character traits I noticed about Jellybean is that she loves to carry things, especially when we are out walking. She proudly prances around the neighborhood, tail held high, with her latest treasure clenched tightly between her teeth. There is not a stick, pinecone, golf ball or water bottle that goes unnoticed. Upon spying the treasure of the moment, Jellybean stops in mid-step, her tail goes up and her head tilts side to side as she determines whether the object is worthy of her time. She then cautiously approaches, sniffing and nudging. If the object does meet the standards set by many puppies before her, there is an immediate frenzy as she pounces and lays claim to her bounty. After spending a few minutes playing and rolling in the grass with her latest conquest, she is ready to carry it home and add it to her collection. How many puppies do you know that have collected so many sticks that the pet parent has dedicated a crock to hold the ever growing collection that is proudly brought into the house. And wait for it…it then becomes her personal Christmas tree, decorated with colorful beads, doggie bones, and the menagerie of objects gathered from neighborhood walks. If no objects can be found on the walk, Jellybean then turns to me to see what is available. The umbrella tucked under my arm, just in case of rain…it’s been done. My mitten…grabbed right off my hand. Her bag-o-poop…you guessed it. She simply loves to carry things. Treasure clenched tightly between her teeth, she prances proudly, eyes forward and tail up as she heads home to add the latest and greatest to her ever growing collection. Have I mentioned how much I love my little carrying dog?
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.
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.