This is one of my very, very favorite holiday stories! It stars our homebred Corgi, Felicity, and happened when she was about eight years old. Felicity was such an easy girl to raise. She was from my first litter, and I absolutely loved her. She enjoyed a wonderful show career, and finished her Championship with ease. She was a bit of a homebody, and unlike all of my other Corgis, really didn’t enjoy going new places all that much. I had no difficulty taking her anywhere, but truth be told, she just enjoyed staying home.
She was never a naughty puppy, really. She followed the leading of our adult dogs, and really never got into too much trouble that I remember. That’s absolutely why this story is so funny, and so very special!
Lindsay was eight years old and in second grade. Felicity was six months old when Lindsay was born, so the two of them sort of grew up together, and I’ve always cherished memories of baby Lindsay with puppy Felicity!
Well on this particular year, Lindsay had been saving all of her allowance and earning extra spending money to buy me a very, very special Christmas gift….an entire pound of Jelly Bellies!! Her daddy took her to the candy store, which was on the square in an old brownstone retail store. It was one of those wonderful old candy stores that have every kind of candy you can imagine! The smells were just wonderful, and I always became six years old any time I walked through its doors….transported back in time to a wonderful place!
So Lindsay custom blended just the perfect, special mix of gourmet jelly beans….just for me for Christmas! She carefully put her treasure into a shoe box, and wrapped it up and slapped on the biggest and prettiest bow she could find. She hid her box under the tree, and dropped little eight year old hints day after day….so excited to see my face when I opened her gift!
Christmas morning arrived with all of its usual fanfare! We opened our gifts at the crack of dawn, and what excitement was in the air!! We had all gotten very special things for each other, and Lindsay was over the moon because we had gotten her a Play Station! She couldn’t wait for us to set it up so that she could start playing race games with her parents on Christmas morning.
I was just delighted with the Jelly Bellies, and Lindsay knew my favorites, so the blend was like Goldilocks and the Three Bears….just right!! I tucked the bag back into the shoebox and placed it back under the tree so that we could set up her Play Station and help her figure out how to play. We left our living room and headed back to our den with an all important task at hand!
We plugged in this and that to our VCR, and worked out all of the bugs until we had a working Play Station! We had sound and we had a picture, so we settled down to play CTR Crash Team Racing….a really fun car racing game with fun characters. Time ticked by but we didn’t care because it was Christmas morning and we were having fun.
At some point, however, we decided to take a breakfast break, and that’s when we found it…..and Felicity. She had been very Ninja-like, and she had snuck under the Christmas tree and sniffed out the Jelly Bellies in the shoe box. She had chewed a corner of the box, and the plastic bag containing the precious contents, and she managed to eat all but three of the jelly beans. An entire pound….minus three jelly bellies now was rolling around Felicity’s tummy. She seemed very pleased with herself, and I had to admit that she had been very, very sneaky and it had paid off in Jelly Bellies.
Meanwhile, Lindsay was just absolutely devastated! She cried and she cried and then she cried some more. She told me how hard she had worked and how long she had saved to buy me all of the Jelly Bellies. She was so hurt that Felicity had spoiled her big surprise, and she was mad that Felicity had been such a pig and eaten them all.
All the while, I was wondering if a twenty-five pound dog could overdose and die from too many Jelly Bellies! This was in the mid 90’s, we lived out in the country, and there were no emergency vets that I could call. All we could do was watch and wait, and pray that Felicity would be fine. I tried to focus on other things and not worry, but it was difficult, because I just didn’t know what I should be looking for if she were to have some sort of sugar overdose, and I didn’t even know if it was possible for a dog to overdose on sugar!
As the day turned into night, Felicity became increasingly uncomfortable. She laid on the floor of my office, heaving with every breath, and an uncomfortable “my tummy is too full” moan as she exhaled. Her little belly was stretched as tight as could be, and I honestly think I could have bounced a quarter off of it with ease. Bless her heart….she was absolutely miserable.
Eventually, just a few hours later, up came all of the Jelly Bellies….all over my light gray carpeted office floor. It was bound to happen, but I actually felt better after she threw them up….and I know for a fact that Felicity felt better! So while I tended to Felicity, Michael ran off to get the cleaning supplies to clean up the carpet before it could stain. I hadn’t remembered seeing so many red Jelly Bellies in the mix, but the syrupy mess that came out of Felicity was decidedly pinkish red. That would make a nasty stain on the carpet, so we wanted to get to work on it right away!
At the end of the day, Felicity was just fine….no worse for the wear. Lindsay forgave her, and we replaced the Jelly Bellies for Lindsay which helped her hurt feelings, the carpet had a very slight pinkish spot at the scene of the crime in my office, and we all realized that Felicity didn’t quite wear the halo we had thought she did. For goodness sakes, she was a dog afterall, and she only did what a dog will do when they have opportunity….and there are Jelly Bellies to be had.
It provided a wonderful object lesson on greed for our eight year old Lindsay, and I have to say, that we’ve referred to that Christmas over and over as the years have gone by. We all laugh and laugh as we re-tell the story, and it’s always bound to come up for discussion sometime or another over the holidays. Someone will say, “Do you remember the time that Felicity ate all of those Jelly Bellies?” And that’s all it takes, and before long, we’re laughing and remembering and cherishing a very special dog and a very special Christmas.
THE REST OF THE STORY: When I was confirming the facts of this story with our 26 year old Lindsay, she finally came clean with the rest of the story!! She mentioned that she “might” have been using Jelly Bellies as training treats with the dogs while her dad and I set up her Play Station. She mentioned that the dogs “might” have been really excited about this new kind of training treat, and maybe, just maybe, that could possibly be why Felicity sniffed out the Jelly Bellies in her shoebox! The truth finally comes out after 18 years!!!
Hmmm…..it makes me re-think who the naughty one really was….