The story opens with a brand new litter of three long-haired, dapple dachshund pups, born in a modest cabin in the Ozarks owned by surrogate caretakers, Bill and Joy Munson, while the dog’s rightful owners are out of the country. Jitterbug, the runt of the litter, is mostly ignored by her two more physical, rambunctious siblings and she’s indifferent to her mother who she perceives as being cold. At odds with her surroundings, she cannot help fantasizing about a more glamorous life in the city where she dreams of making a name for herself.
Surrounded by a cast of eccentric characters, Jitterbug bides her time by making friends with Jetter, the family’s snarky but lovable feline who tomcats by night and lounges by day while watching out for the likes of Aunt Geneva and Uncle Ed, two noisy crows who make it their business to know it all. However, despite developing a real affection for the Munson’s, she can’t wait to leave for her real home in Chicago. Then one morning she is devastated to learn her canine family has been sent back to the city without her. Now sentenced to a life of mediocrity, Jitterbug sinks into a deep depression.
Concerned by their dog’s diminishing physical and emotional state, the Munson’s seek out a proper mate for Jitterbug by bringing Jasper into the fold. With his calm temperament, he immediately embraces his responsibility with the intent of sharing his passion for nature with his new partner. He introduces Jitterbug to numerous new woodland creatures including Dr. Steve, the wise old barred owl, the deer family, two hyper little squirrels and a one-eyed fox named Willis.
However, just as Jitterbug is about to resign herself to a simple life in the Ozarks, opportunity knocks when she is discovered performing along the sidelines during a lavish Christmas spectacle held annually in Branson. With an extravagant gift and an invitation to join the traveling show, she escapes her pet carrier at an opportune moment despite the Munson’s absolute refusal to place their beloved puppy in show business. Separated by a winter blast that produces record snowfall and massive power outages across the region, Jitterbug is swept out of town before the Munson’s can initiate a credible search.
Her impromptu adventure takes her across the country, introduces her to reality television and even lands her a starring role in a national ad campaign, but the constant demands of celebrity coupled with intermittent bouts of homesickness force Jitterbug to realize not every dream is worth pursuing when measured against the sacrifices necessary to achieve a goal. Forced to grow up without the loving support of her friends and family, she learns numerous lessons, including the grass is not always greener on the other side, and that it’s not okay to run from an uncomfortable situation. However, through sheer grit and determination, a new deal is eventually crafted between the Munson’s and Jitterbug’s new owner designed to make everyone happy and bring Jitterbug back home.
About the Author
Joy Metzer worked as a professional interior designer for more than twenty-five years, spearheading projects both nationally and abroad, while cultivating an audience for her writing through several book publications and a successful online blog under her former name, Joyce M. Stacks. Though no stranger to real life portrayals intended to enrich the lives of her readers, this is her first effort at writing a children’s chapter book loosely based upon the private life she shares with her husband. She attended both the University of Utah and Texas Christian University and currently resides in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to be near her family, as well as in Lead Hill with her husband, Bill.