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Belinda the Spokesrabbit

Belinda the Spokesrabbit

All Belinda's Blogs and Posts

Here you can see everything Belinda has been up to since we hired her. She's a busy girl.

She loves hearing from everyone, but isn't always able to respond directly.

She keeps asking for an assistant, but so far, her agent hasn't been able to pull that off.

Belinda's mailing address is: Belinda the Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select, PO Box 92664, Pittsburgh, PA 15218

Hello. It’s Belinda.

First of all I hope you stayed warm during the polar vortex.  I am so glad I get to work from home but I know most people are not this lucky.

Not that I got much work done this week. Because of a certain letter I received from HR. I’m supposed to be working on new product “initiatives” and all I can think about is how much trouble I’m in due to my big mouth.

It’s hard to focus with something like this hanging over your head. Trying to be professional and “think outside the box.”

But it’s like my brain is frozen. I’m afraid to make another mistake.

The business world has too many rules and regulations in my opinion. But that’s just my observation. Not anything to document on company stationery.

Well if there is anyone who knows about rules and policies and official stamps it’s my notary. The minute I read that HR letter I sent a copy to him. So he could take a look and give me a “game plan.”

I kept sending messages to the website for the company where he works and nobody wrote back to me. So I left a message on their Facebook page and I got a reply within two minutes.  Said my notary “went to the islands” until Tuesday.

Well he picked a good time to fly south but in the meantime I don’t know what to do. Not sure if I should just sign the letter and return it or just pretend I never saw it. Haven't heard a peep from HR either.

The other day I was working on a hay review and I wrote the word “The” and that’s as far as I got. Stared at the laptop screen for 15 minutes. Just sitting there staring at the word “the.”

But I don’t want to get into all of that. Let’s just say that on a scale of one to five, my productivity has been “sub-zero.” Just like the air hitting the house on Wednesday and Thursday.

Our window is on the cold side of the house. My roommate kept running her hands along the floor to check for drafts. She even hung a blanket in front of the window.

“Sorry it’s so gloomy bunnies. I’ll take this down in a few days.”

I don’t care about the dark and I think my boyfriend’s companion feels the same way. Which is legal to say because it has nothing to do with her health or behavior or hygiene. 

The lower light was fine with me. I pretended I was on vacation in a cave. Far away from deadlines and company letterhead and rules.

One good thing to come from this mess is that Josh from the warehouse sent me a care package. I guess he heard what happened and knew I would be a wreck.

So I’ve been eating the Valentine’s herbal medley and strawberry rose healthy snackers all week. He even sent me the special holiday set so I could chew the maypop heart.

The whole situation makes me fidgety. I wish my notary would check his messages, island or no island. I keep sending messages to the company website even though he isn't there.  This is serious. 

Things are really going to “heat up” when he gets back.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

I had a blog post done and ready to go but I can’t use it now.

It was a follow-up report about the products everyone suggested in the comment box. What the team said about cardboard houses and mini cookies and hay cubes and all the rest. Also an update on my “hay house” idea.

I’m sorry but I have to save that for next week. I need to run it past my advisers to make sure it's "professional." I do not want any words or phrases to get me into trouble.

Because I am in a very awkward situation as I write this, which is on Friday afternoon.

It all started about an hour ago. I was taking a half-nap when I heard my roommate talking.

I opened my eyes just in time to see her place a document beside my rug.

“Wake up Belinda. You need to read this before the end of the day.”

I thought it was one of Abigail’s novel chapters so I sat up immediately. The last one was a “cliff-hanger” and I couldn’t wait to see what was next.

But then I noticed the Small Pet Select logo at the top of the page. Abigail and I aren’t like that.  We keep things “friendly” and let me tell you if there is one word I would not use to describe the document by my sleeping rug it’s “friendly.”

Because it was letter from HR.

How do you like that. I’ve been written up.

According to the letter, some very innocent statements I made about my boyfriend’s companion were taken out of context and now I might have to go to court.

That’s not all. An incident that I documented for my own personal use, which I meant to keep “off the record,” is now part of my permanent employee file.  I wish I could just delete the whole thing from the server.

Because the story was mostly a "what if" sort of thing. There has not been a single “accident” on the stairs since that day and even my roommate forgot about it. Which is what matters in my opinion.

And speaking of my roommate. That is the worst part of this entire situation.

My roommate has been keeping a big secret from me and I guess “HR” thought I knew. Because it’s right here in the letter. My roommate is in my space every five minutes so I have no idea how she can keep secrets from me. Especially one this big.

Now here’s the tricky business. I just wrote about 400 words and I keep adding and deleting sentences because I do not want a second letter from HR about this week’s blog.

If you are looking for "dirt" on my boyfriend's companion or even the English you won't find it in my blogs from now on.  I am going to be professional. 

The thing is, I thought I already was "professional." I write about hay and rabbits and snackers. I'm a spokesrabbit. 

I feel like I dug a tunnel and I can’t get turned around.

And before I get a warning from the gas company, I did not dig an actual tunnel so there is no risk to the underground lines. I am just comparing how it feels to get a letter from HR about my writing to something that happened to me when I was living outside.

I have sent at least 12 emails to my notary in the past hour asking for advice. 

Everything will be fine.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

This is a little longer than usual but I need to document something that happened this week. I hope you will keep it “off the record.”

But first I want to thank everyone who used the comment box last week. It’s always a “pick-me-up” when I hear from my friends. Especially when you are behind my idea for a life-sized hay house.

Some of you left ideas for other products, from hay cubes to cardboard houses to swag. You really stepped up to the plate. Makes my job easier, if you know what I mean.

The product team is reviewing the list and I hope to have answers in time for next week’s blog. “Stay tuned.”    

So about the incident. It involves my boyfriend’s companion.

Some of you ask why I don’t give a lot of detail about the other rabbits in the house. Or show photos.

The main reason is this: They don’t have agents. So I have to worry about copyright and royalties. I have enough on my plate.

But in a few weeks, we will mark one year since my boyfriend died. I miss him a lot. I miss our routines and his good moods.

I used to push my nose through the pen and he’d “fix my face” for me. So relaxing. I can use my paws to wash up but it’s not the same.

Losing him was awful. But it’s been even harder for my boyfriend’s companion.

They did everything together, except for the times he escaped the pen to run laps with me around the bottom level. Which was almost every evening.

Best of all, his companion never seemed to care. She would just stare at us as we ran past the pen. Not angry, but like she was trying to remember how she knew us.

I’m not sure how to say this, but she is a bit of an “odd duck.” For one thing, she refuses to help me with grooming. I will smash my face through the bars and hold it there until I get a cramp. While she sits about a foot away, watching me. Which is rude.

And she wakes me up on work nights with her “chatter.” No matter how many times I ask her to hush I can hear her muttering nonsense like “let’s fold these towels” or “the pearl is in the river.”  

But when I have a bad day, she will sit and listen to me vent. Like when my product ideas get the “thumbs down.” Or when I hack into the system and a few hours later have "hacker's remorse." 

Now I wonder if telling her my secrets is going to backfire.

Because the other morning, my roommate was late to feed us our breakfast. I remembered that my boyfriend’s companion had some alfalfa stashed in the back corner of her pen.

So I’m not proud of this but I opened her pen.  All do you have to do is push it with your nose over and over again and eventually it moves away from the wall.

Like a flash my boyfriend’s companion ran off. Just ignore her, Belinda, I told myself. Focus on the hay.

But I kept seeing her out of the corner of my eye. A black blur racing around. Doing loops by the furnace, then a beeline under the steps into my office. Which no rabbit will tolerate.

Next thing you know I’m chasing my boyfriend’s companion all over the bottom level.  Unfortunately, I accidentally caught her with my teeth and pulled out a small patch of fur from her lower back. But not very much.

As I stood spitting out the fur, I heard my roommate’s footsteps moving across the kitchen.  I froze.

“Do you hear that?” said my boyfriend’s companion from behind the dryer. “Bats in the belfry.”

I panicked. Then I ran up the steps to the kitchen.

“Good morning, Belinda! I’m sorry breakfast is late.”

My roommate walked toward me. On her way to the bottom level. And I did what I had to do.

I positioned myself sideways across the top of the steps.

“Belinda. Move out of the way.”

I didn’t budge. I tried to act casual, like it was normal to goof around at the top of 13 steps.  

It didn’t work.  She squeezed past me.

I know I shouldn’t admit this.  And I’m not sure if I was technically at work yet when this happened. 

But as she stepped onto the second and third steps, I tried to push her feet. So she would stop walking.

“Belinda! Are you trying to trip me?”

I ran ahead of her, trying to think of a way to distract her. But by the time she got to the bottom step, I knew it was “game over.” 

She saw my boyfriend’s companion standing in the middle of the room. She saw the pen pushed in and the big opening.

My roommate didn’t say a word. She walked around the room searching the floor until she found the little clump of black fur.

She herded my boyfriend’s companion back into the pen and pushed the end against the wall. Then she poured pellets onto our plates in silence. She put a treat on our plates too. I ate it but it's hard to enjoy a snacker when your roommate isn’t talking.

Since then she has not said much. I’m hoping this will all blow over.

But if I “get a call from HR,” at least I have backup. I can pull this out of the drawer.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

I have a hay report due this afternoon and it’s a very big deal. I’ve really “cracked the code” this time.

It’s all about an idea I came up with for a new product. And by the way, if you have any ideas for products, please leave them in the comment box at the bottom of this blog. With this extra pressure at work,  I really need a comment box so I hope you’ll say hi.

Last year my suggestions were called “impractical” but it’s going to be different this time. Because I stumbled onto something while watching HGTV.

I can’t get into too much detail but it’s a hay house. Can you believe it?

Let’s say you knock down a wall to build a new office. One with more privacy. But instead of wood and bricks you use hay bales. Timothy, oat, orchard. Gourmet hay. Whatever you want.

It’s cheap, “eco-friendly,” and if your rabbit chews the wall, who cares. Bingo.

It seems obvious now but nobody else suggested it so here we are. I’m going to get so many pats on the back I may end up with a bald spot.

My only hurdle is getting my idea past the team and today’s my chance. I have to send my presentation to my agent in two hours. Two hours and I have nothing done and it’s because of the English.

It all started this morning. After breakfast I made my way upstairs to the living room and stood beside the sofa. I waited quietly until my roommate noticed me.

“Belinda! Is it alfalfa o’clock already?”

This is our new routine. Ever since I found that 25-pound bag of pellets on the living room chair, l like to take a “morning stroll” through the downstairs. Just to take a look around.

Well I figured out pretty quickly that if I stand in the middle of the room, looking lost, my roommate will give me a little pinch of alfalfa.

As I was enjoying my chew, my roommate walked upstairs to the bedroom level. A minute later she returned, carrying the English in her arms.

She walked right past me without a word. The English peered over the sleeve of her robe, looking down at me as he sailed by. Like he owned the place.

Then I heard the jingling of the fence as she closed it behind her in the kitchen. Followed by her footsteps on the steps leading to the bottom floor.

This has been going on for three days now and in my opinion, it’s a dirty trick. The English spends the morning and afternoon on the bottom level with my boyfriend’s companion. I keep forgetting about it because I’m so focused on the post-breakfast alfalfa.

I come upstairs for a five-minute break and once she closes that fence I’m trapped. Stuck on the kitchen level until dinner time.

My roommate hopes they will fall in love but all I hear through the vents is the sound of paper being torn to shreds. Which had better not be my office files or my books.

She brings my laptop to me but I can’t work under these conditions. Can hardly think straight, picturing the English “foraging” through my stash.

Anyway I now have one hour and twelve minutes to finish my hay house report.

“See you in the comments.”

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

I have been so lazy all week. I can barely write this blog. All I want to do is loaf.

And to be honest, I’ve spent a lot of time watching TV with my roommate. Usually we watch a few shows in the evening but this past week we’ve been “knocking off early” and relaxing with a movie or two.

I found out something interesting. We have a lot of channels on our TV.

When my roommate goes upstairs or into the kitchen I hit the buttons on the remote and it keeps switching to different programs. Sometimes it's just people talking but other times wild animals climbing trees or swimming. Or cooking contests. I had no idea all this was "out there."

But even with all the goofing off,  I have been working on my goals for 2019. I plan to “hit the ground running” on Monday morning. Which is a good way to land anytime you hit the ground, if you know what I mean.

I came up with a few resolutions. Trying to whittle it down but here’s the “rough draft.”

Goal: Suggest new products

I have a lot of ideas for healthy snackers, chew toys, hay blends and more.  Last year I was told my ideas were not “practical.” But this is a new year.

Do your rabbits and guinea pigs have any suggestions?  I’ll add them to the list.

Watch for the comment box (!) next week under my blog. You can leave product ideas, suggestions and other messages there.  Maybe just say hi.

Goal: Build a bigger home office

Saw this on “HGTV.” All you need is a budget and next thing you know somebody’s taking a hatchet to the wall.

I don't mind working under the steps. But if I had a bigger office I could have more privacy. Also I could use the closet space.

My roommate doesn’t like shows on HGTV. Says it’s not real life. But there is nothing fake about knocking down a wall and adding a few shelves. I’d like to get my work papers and books off the floor.

Goal: Buy a company plane

This is a goal for the company (Mr. Gordon) but it’s my idea. All we have to do is buy a plane and glue a big logo on it. Make it look like a hay box but in a tube.  

I could fly to visit my friends around the country. Drop off samples.

And if we sneak over the border to New Zealand that would be worth the layover, in my opinion. Cheaper than buying tickets.

Goal: My own bedroom

I don’t want to gossip but the English has been getting chummy with my boyfriend’s companion. There may be “wedding bells” in the future but that’s none of my business.

The thing is, he’ll probably move to the bottom level due to my boyfriend’s companion having certain “issues” with her bladder. I don’t want to write any more because of HIPAA laws. But I think you know where I’m going with this description of her problem and it’s not to the litter box.

I will probably get a note from HR about this. “TMI.” But my boyfriend’s companion can’t help if it her bladder needs an update like those living rooms on HGTV.

And if the English moves to the bottom floor, I’m out. I will not share a room with a burglar. Have to keep my stash under lock and key and  sleep with my eyes open. “No thank you.”

Goal: A home garden

My roommate needs a hobby and not in the house. With all the nonsense in 2018 with the romaine lettuce, I think it’s time for a backyard farm. No more recalls to worry about.

We have a flat space behind the house. My roommate should spend more time in the fresh air, in my opinion. Not cooped up indoors with all the fur. Not healthy. 

In fact the Vitamin D would be good for her. Helps fortify bones and memory and such.

It’s not hard to grow romaine lettuce or cilantro. Just need to weed every day. The more time you spend outside tending to the garden the better. 

All of which I learned on, you guessed it. HGTV.  A show about "outdoor living spaces" which my roommate needs to watch instead of so many movies.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

I hope you had a good Christmas. Everyone here at home woke up to a nice pile of “loot” waiting under the tree.  Even the English, who did not deserve anything after what he pulled.

Abigail sent me a gift, which was a nice surprise. Some willow branches from California, where she lives. Willow is a “leafy delight” in my opinion. Hard to find here in Pittsburgh.

willow wreath for Belinda Spokesrabbbit

I was in such a good mood that I shared it with the others. Still plenty in my stash though.

Part of the reason I was so cheery is that I solved my big problem with Abigail’s gift. Namely not having any money to buy her the computer gadget I saw online.

That’s because I had a bit of a “windfall.” Completely unexpected.

It all started a few days before Christmas, when my roommate left the house to go grocery shopping. I usually greet her at the door when she comes home just in case she needs help with the endive. You never know.

Anyway, the minute she walked into the house, she started waving an envelope through the air.

“Belinda look! You got mail!”

Now I get mail at my PO box all the time but my roommate calls it “junk mail.” Throws it in the recycling bin. Which is rude because I like to chew certain items like magazine covers and catalogs. If it’s my mail I should have a chance to rummage through the stack.

Well somehow she knew this was not junk mail. It was a card and the envelope was a little lumpy, like there was something extra inside.

After she put the groceries away, my roommate sat on the floor so I could watch her open the envelope at eye level.

“There’s no return address, Belinda. I wonder who sent it!”

She pulled out the card. The front had a drawing of Santa Claus. It was old-timey, if you know what I mean. He was sitting in a big chair by a fireplace. There was snow outside the window.

She opened the card and a gift card fell to the floor. From Amazon. We stared at each other.

Then we read the message inside. It said “Merry Christmas” and it was signed, “A Friend.”

I didn’t know what to do. I have never had anything like this happen to me in my entire life.

“Belinda, isn’t this exciting? Someone sent you some ‘Amazon money.’”

Here’s the weird part. The amount of money on the card was exactly what I needed to buy Abigail’s gift. I bought her a fancy computer keyboard. Easier for typing. It even lights up.

My roommate took care of the shipping and “what not.” Abigail says she loves it.

If my “mystery Santa” is reading this, thank you for the Amazon card. It came just in time.

The entire year has been one surprise after the next, if you think about it. My surprise party. Not being fired for hiring Abigail. Traveling to the airport to meet the Las Vegas rabbits. The company giving me my own mug and Belinda’s Blend herbal mix. Getting a comment box on my blog. Dale Carnegie and the notary.

Tuesday is the new year and I say “bring it on.” I’m looking forward to 2019.

As I learned this year, you never know what’s around the corner.

On the one hand that makes me jumpy. But it also makes me want to take a peek.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

On the bottom floor – “Hayville” – we liked Christmas a lot.

But the English, on the bedroom level, did NOT.

Christmas means waiting and the English can’t wait.

He wanted gifts now. Christmas Day was too late.

In Hayville we don’t mind a little suspense.

But not him. We could hear his complaints through the vents.

“Christmas is too far away. I can’t wait!

It’s not fair to a rabbit. Too late, late, LATE!

I want gourmet hay! I want treats and toys!”

Day and night it continued, the noise, noise, NOISE.

It all started when my roommate decorated the tree.

And stacked a pile of wrapped gifts underneath for me,

for my boyfriend’s companion and the English too.

Then she said, “Stay away from here, Belinda-Lou.”

She told the others as well. “This is your only warning.

No touching these presents until Christmas morning.”

The English nodded but he crossed his toes.

“Things happen,” he thought. “We’ll have to see how it goes.”

A few nights later, I was flopped in the pen

and my boyfriend’s companion was roaming loose when

we heard a sound upstairs, a soft metal clinking

from the part of the house where the tree stood, blinking.

The English! We thought it was safe to assume

he was moving the fence that was blocking that room.

We knew what that meant. We know how he cheats.

He’d steal all our toys and our treats, treats, TREATS!

Then suddenly, like climbing out of a deep canyon,

One by one, up the steps hopped my boyfriend’s companion.

When she saw the ripped wrapping, it didn’t take long

Before she was telling him off with a song:

“You’re a mean one, English Spot.

You think that’s yours – it’s not!

You’re as sneaky as a spider.

You’re the fly that I have caught.

English Spot!

You’re the kind of romaine that should never be bought.

You make me queasy, English Spot.

I’m dizzy, weak and hot.

You’re a tasteless stub of straw.

You’re a splinter in my paw.

English Spot!

The three words that describe you best are Breaks. The. Law.”

 

There were no more verses. My roommate’s big feet

were crossing the ceiling. Now my night was complete.

I thought I’d hear scolding. “Rude behavior! Rude bunny!”

But instead I heard laughing like the whole thing was funny.

“HA HA HA!” laughed my roommate. “Did you unwrap a toy?”

Seems the boxes were empty. Wrapped for show. A slick ploy.

“I wasn’t born yesterday. I know you’re impatient.

The gifts are in storage with Belinda’s agent.”

So today, down in Hayville, we’re relaxed as we rhyme.

Christmas will come and it will be right on time.

 

Happy holidays!

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

I guess it’s all over the internet. How I “crashed the tractor” last week.

I messed up the holiday advent calendar. Had the wrong day for my special.

How do you like that.

So I didn’t hit my numbers and my scheme fell apart. Meaning my secret plan to get money so I can buy Abigail a gift.

And that’s a real shame because I found the perfect present. A computer gizmo.

Even my roommate liked it. She was sweeping under the steps, which I did not ask her to do, when she noticed the Amazon page on my screen.

“Is this what you’re getting Abigail for Christmas? She’ll love it.”

She leaned closer to get a better look.

 “Wow. That’s pretty expensive, Belinda.”

If only she would stay out of my office.

Also, I don’t care about the money. Abigail will be happy and that’s what Christmas is all about.

Anyway, back to my big mistake.

The holiday advent calendar comes around only once a year so it’s a big deal. The way it works is, every day from Dec. 1 to 24, there is a new surprise behind the date block. Just click on the number to see a special toy or treat.

Sometimes it’s a bundle that you can buy just that day. “Use it or lose it.”

Well, just like last year, the company let me come up with a “Belinda’s Bundle.” They said I could pick what to include and that meant working overtime.  

Researching what rabbits like. Running “analytics.” Taste-testing hay and treats. Not to brag but there’s a lot that goes into it.

My recommendation was to start with a box of alfalfa and a bag of holiday snackers. Cranberry apple.

For the humans, I added a snowman ornament and stocking.

The company threw in a Belinda Bunniccino Mug, some stickers and a signed glossy photo. Plus a magnet.

Now as far as I’m concerned a bundle like that should “fly off the shelves.” I expected record-breaking sales, if you want to know the truth.

Did I tell Josh to rent a second warehouse like I did last year?  No. Not my job.

I planned to promote it as usual. But after I read some of my new book, “Think and Grow Rich,” it hit me like a hay ball.

That Belinda’s Bundle was my golden ticket. To getting cash for Abigail’s gift.

Because according to the book, all I had to do was come up with a good scheme and bingo. The money would roll in.

I looked up the reports from last year and before long I had a plan.

I would simply make a bet with my agent to double last year’s sales for my advent calendar special. If I hit my numbers for my day, Day 16, she would have to give me the money I needed. 

If I didn’t hit my numbers, we would just forget the whole thing.

In the meantime, all I had to do is use some ideas out of “Think and Grow Rich” to hype the Belinda’s Bundle a bit. Then sit back and watch it sell out.

Here’s the part of the story where everything falls off the back of the truck.

The Belinda’s Bundle went live on Day 9.

Last Sunday. 

But I was gearing up for Day 16. Which is today.

"Day 16" was in my mind all along but that’s not what the spreadsheet says. Spokesrabbits mess up dates but spreadsheets don’t.

So I didn’t have time to promote the bundle or use my scheme. 

Instead, last Sunday I was on Facebook begging everyone to buy the Belinda’s Bundle.

I even asked the tech team to make my post go viral which shows how desperate I was. Asking them for help after what they did to my blog.

I wanted to dig a hole and crawl inside. Still do.

Thank you to everyone for all the nice messages. When you make the biggest mistake of your career, you really need your friends around. That’s one thing I learned this week.

Enough of all that. "Back to business."

I hope you will look at today’s special on the holiday advent calendar. It’s something fancy for New Year’s Eve. Which I probably won’t be celebrating.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

Have you seen the goodies in the holiday advent calendar? Every day a new toy or treat. Gifts for humans too.

I shouldn’t look but I do.

All I can say is if I had money, I would send an email to Josh and the subject line would be this: “Two words.”

And when he opened the email he’d see “Holiday Healthy Snackers.”

That’s it. He’d know to start packing boxes and when the van was full, send it my way. We’d settle the tab later.

The problem is I don’t have money and that’s why I spent the week “foraging” for lost dollar bills and loose change.

With everything else going on at work I don’t have time for this. Snooping along the baseboards while my roommate is watching her shows.

But I need money for Abigail’s Christmas gift. There’s only about two weeks left to get some cash, buy something special and ship it to her.

I started to panic a few days ago, if you want to know the truth. So I was tearing up the couch, trying to feel behind the cushions for coins. That’s when my roommate walked into the room.

“Belinda! What are you doing?”

I jumped to the floor and stood by the bookcase.

While my roommate pushed the couch cushions back in place, I tried to act casual. like I was looking for a new book to read.

That’s when I saw it.

“Think and Grow Rich.”

A how-to book by a man from the olden days. Napoleon Hill.

When the coast was clear, I pulled it off the shelf.

I spent the rest of the afternoon under the steps working. Whenever I had a break, I took a peek at “Think and Grow Rich.”

Mostly I read the table of contents.

As much as I am a Dale Carnegie fan, I have to admit Napoleon Hill hit a “home run” with this book. In fact, by the end of the day I had a completely new plan for getting money.

And it has nothing to do with looking for dimes behind the water heater.

Instead, it's a little "scheme" that involves the holiday advent calendar. Be sure to click on it next Sunday.

I can’t say anything else about it without “blowing my cover.”

But if you think I’m planning a repeat of the mess from last year, let’s just say I learned my lesson.

And so did my roommate. She keeps her credit card upstairs now.

And I don’t promise record-breaking sales or tell Josh to rent a second warehouse when I have a “big idea.” 

As far as I’m concerned, the whole thing was a big misunderstanding. I was just doing my job. While my roommate says I was committing a felony.

There's only one person who can settle this and that's Napoleon Hill.

And if he were around to "weigh in," I think his money would be on me.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

Abigail is blocked from this blog. I hate to keep a secret from her but I don’t know what else to do.

And I don’t have time to “cook up” a better solution because the holiday rush has started. It’s been nonstop since Black Friday.

From now until New Year’s Eve everyone at work is making lists and checking them twice. Because there is a lot to do to get extra-special goodies out the door. I don’t know how the others keep track of their projects but I use spreadsheets. 

And speaking of one-of-a-kind goodies, have you seen the holiday advent calendar? 

Every day there’s a new surprise, including one I put together. I'm not allowed to talk about it and "not talking about it" is a project all by itself, if you know what I mean.

Check out the holiday advent calendar here.

So with all the rushing around and new products to remember, I’m suddenly in a bit of a situation.

It all goes back to being promoted to manager.

The thing is, I’ve been in this job for seven months. Abigail is such a good novelist and employee I don’t have to really “manage” her. We have video conference calls but mostly we discuss food.

If we ever lose our jobs, we might open a hay restaurant together. But for now that’s just talk.  

Anyway, I thought the learning curve for my promotion was over. I haven’t even looked at my Dale Carnegie leadership book for weeks.

I should have known I would make a mistake sooner or later. I did and it’s a “doozy.”

It all started on Wednesday morning. I was walking through the downstairs, trying to think up names for treats that rhyme with “jingle bells.” As I passed my roommate, she heard me and looked up from her laptop.

“Belinda, I’ve been meaning to ask you something.”

Then she said it.

“What are you getting Abigail for Christmas?”

I froze. And by that I mean I stopped in my tracks with one paw on the kitchen floor, the other three on the dining room carpet.

I don’t know how long I stood like that but I remember what I was thinking. That you can hang ornaments all over your tree, top to bottom, and it’s fine. You add one more bulb or candy cane and the whole thing crashes to the floor.  

Buying a gift for Abigail never occurred to me, to tell you the truth. I’m so worried about “hitting my numbers” for the month that all I think about it selling hay and holiday snackers. Which is selfish.

I’m a manager now and I have to “step up.” And of course I want to give Abigail a gift to show how much I appreciate her hard work.

The wrinkle is budget. When I look at the bottom line, turns out I don’t have one. Meaning I have zero “cash on hand.”

And by the way, none of this is my fault. I have not seen one paycheck since I started this job. I’m sorry but it’s been 14 months and something is hinky.

Anyway, I should have thought of this months ago.

Now I need to come up with a plan to get some money.  With everything else going on, I just don’t know how I will find the time.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

You probably expect me to write about what the tech team did to me last week. Or should I say, what they did to my very first Ask Belinda blog.

But I’ve moved on. I don’t have any extra “bandwidth” for the tech team and their nonsense right now.

That’s because it’s Black Friday weekend. Which is the start of our busy season, according to my agent.

As far as I’m concerned, every day of the week is “busy.” Especially with all the software I’m trying to learn. But I know what she means. From now until Christmas it’s a whirlwind.

Speaking of Black Friday weekend, did you see the special deals on bundles? Hay, healthy snackers, herbs, mobiles, balls, fidget sticks, meadow loops. You name it, you’ll find it in a bundle.

One of them was my idea but I’m not allowed to say which. It has mini-cookies in it.

Check them out here.

The big sale started at midnight "on the dot" and my agent needed my help. So she invited me over for Thanksgiving, just like last year. Working the holiday is part of the job and I don’t mind.

But it turns out my roommate minds. She doesn’t know this, but I heard her on the phone last week, talking about my boyfriend. About how this was our first holiday without him.

“I just want the four of us together on Thanksgiving. I could make his favorite salad for everyone. To show we don’t forget him.”

Now I don’t know what she was talking about because my boyfriend did not have a favorite salad. He was easygoing about everything, and that includes food.

If I didn’t care for something, spinach for example, my boyfriend would eat it. And he would let me have all the cilantro. That’s just the way he was. Generous.

On Thanksgiving, my roommate dropped me off at my agent’s house on her way to wherever she went to dinner. She was quiet so I acted casual, like it was just a regular day.

I ended up having my holiday salad and herbs and snackers with Justice and Bill, the rabbits who moved from Las Vegas to the guest room at my agent’s house. But as usual I ate in the storage area outside their room. I said Happy Thanksgiving to them through the doorway but they didn’t answer.

I let it go. I have to be professional.

As I ate I couldn’t help worrying about my roommate. Wondering if she was sitting in a room by herself missing me, my boyfriend's companion and the English.

After dinner I napped until just before midnight. My agent wanted us ready to greet the “early birds” when the Black Friday deals went live. And we were.

It was a long night and I kept nodding off. But I have to admit, it was exciting too. We sold a lot of bundles, including the one I’m not supposed to mention.

When my agent finally gave me a lift back to my house I was ready to “hit the sleeping rug” and that’s exactly what I did. Walked in the front door and made a beeline to the bottom floor.

That’s when I found it. A plate the size of a steering wheel, right next to my sleeping spot. And on that plate, the tallest heap of greens I have ever seen. Collard, endive, dandelion, red leaf lettuce. Parsley. Cilantro.

And on the side, two pear blueberry healthy snackers.

I finished a third of the salad and stretched out to digest and relax. That’s when my roommate walked downstairs.

"There's my big white bunny." 

I was too tired to even open my eyes but I relaxed my ears to say hello. 

She smoothed the fur on my nose and cheeks a little, which always feels good when I’m stretched on my rug.  

“I’m so glad you're home, Belinda. And I'm so thankful that you are my roommate.”

The funny thing is, I was thinking the exact same thing. 

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

First things first. There’s a comment box at the bottom so I hope you will say hi.

And without any further to-do … welcome to my first “Ask Belinda” blog.

I hope you like it but keep in mind this isn’t the real one. This is a first draft.

You might be wondering why I’m showing a draft instead of the final version and there are two reasons.

The first is my agent. She usually takes a quick look at my blogs before she emails them out to everyone. Fixes the spelling and that sort of thing.

Well on Monday, out of the blue, she told me she wanted three extra days to proofread this blog. Like I can just pull three days out of a hat.

“I need to see the advice you’re giving, Belinda. I want to make sure it conforms to policy.”

The thing is I’m not writing about policy. I’m answering questions my friends left for me the last time I had a comment box.

But as Dale Carnegie says, you have to “meet them halfway.” My agent wanted to see the final version and she will. I’ll send it to her next week.

In the meantime I’m going to publish this on the blog page and email it to everyone.

How did I get the password? Let's just say rabbits are good at covering their tracks and agents are not.

The other reason I’m doing this is I’m a wreck. I keep redoing my answers.

When I started this column a few weeks ago, I was having the time of my life. Felt like I was writing a letter to a friend.

But then my notary told me I needed to include a statement from a lawyer. Which was a curve ball.

Then my agent started nagging me about policy. Everyday asking me, “How’s that draft coming? Ready for me to run it past HR?”

I can’t do my best work with all this pressure. Can’t sleep either—tossing and turning through my half-naps. Worrying that I bit off more than I can chew.

So that’s why this is just a first draft and everyone should be happy.

Ask Belinda

“The opinions below are from Belinda the Spokesrabbit.” Which should be obvious but not to lawyers.

“What was your Halloween costume?”

 Dr. Fluffy McFluffikins, PhD, thank you for asking this fun question.

Last year I dressed up as a Lionhead and I was thinking about a repeat for 2018. But the truth is we skipped the whole costume and candy “brouhaha” this year because my roommate didn’t feel well. She spent most of the week napping on the bedroom level.

When we heard the trick-or-treaters laughing with the neighbors, my roommate turned off every light in the house and pulled down the window blinds. I sat in the dining room in the pitch black and ate a few pumpkin healthy snackers.

Not sure if my roommate was eating candy in the dark upstairs but if so, I wouldn’t say boo.

“Do you enjoy traveling? What does your roommate do to make sure you're comfortable when on the road or in the air?”

Hi Cindy DeRosier and Cassandra Cat. Thanks for using the comment box.

Well this is a tricky one. I don’t remember the trip from New Zealand so I can’t say anything about the flight. Not even sure if I still have “air miles.”

Mostly I ride with my roommate in her car and the whole thing is a blur.

First I board the car carrier inside the house. It’s big enough to turn around inside and there’s a folded towel on the floor so my feet don’t slide around. Which is nice.

Then my roommate picks up the carrier and I ride the “cable car” out the door, over the front yard to the driveway.  She tucks the carrier sideways in the back so I stay put.

After that I have no idea where we are until she takes me out again. It can be a 10-minute drive to my agent’s house or three hours west to Midwest BunFest. I just watch the trees and big trucks out the window until I nod off.

My goal for 2019 is a company tour bus but that’s hush-hush for now.

“How can I encourage my rabbits(s) to eat more hay?”

A big thank you to Barbara Bueche, Coco, Chloe, Valerie Harper, Angela Dancy and Floppy for asking about this.

Hay is my favorite topic. I could write a book about all the different ways to serve it. But my answer to your question is only six pages long so here goes.

First you need to remember the popular rhyme:

For every time of day,

There’s a perfect kind of hay.

You might choose to start with something traditional for “first hay,” for example, which is served in the morning. Second-cut timothy is perfectly acceptable in my opinion.

But what if your rabbit seems insulted? Remember that “presentation” matters. If your rabbit prefers to pull dried grasses from a hay manager, and you serve it in a heap on the floor, then you are going to get the side-eye when you

TECH TEAM ERROR #01211: BLOG WORD LIMIT EXCEEDED

Hello. It’s Belinda.

I’m still in a mood because of Daylight Saving Time. So I’m just going to blurt it out.

I might need an attorney.

There are two reasons and the first has to do with my new “Ask Belinda” column. I’ve been working on it non-stop ever since I got the comment box back a few weeks ago. I’m up to 24 pages.

Here's how it works: My friends left questions for me and I’m going to answer them in one of my Sunday blogs. Maybe next week if I get done in time. “Stay tuned.”

Seems like the simplest assignment on earth but I should have known better.

Because there is something nobody thought about. And that is “liability.”

My notary brought it up. Says it has to do with giving opinions on the internet.

Turns out I need a lawyer to write something like “the views expressed in this column are Belinda’s.” Which is ridiculous because it’s my blog.

So that’s my first legal problem. The second one is just as silly.

On Tuesday morning I bit a hole into a 25-pound bag of pellets. Near the bottom of the bag.

It just happened to be on the living room chair and pellets spilled all over the cushion. Which was handy.

I decided to take my mid-morning break right there at the bag. As I sat there enjoying my snack I thought it was funny how things just work out sometimes.

Because ever since my roommate moved the clock back an hour I’m hungry day and night. Can’t get used to this schedule.

I try to work but I’m distracted. Wondering what’s in the basket where my roommate keeps the healthy snackers. Napping by the refrigerator so I’m “ready to rumble” when she opens the door.

So to find an unattended bag of pellets as I’m walking to the  digging box made my morning.

And that lasted about five minutes. Because I was three chews in when I heard  my roommate walking down the steps from the bedroom level.

“Belinda, what are you doing up there?”

I stopped moving my mouth.

“Did you make this mess?”

I turned my head toward the bag and pretended to read the label.

“You are not allowed to steal food! Now get down so I can clean this up.”

I jumped to the floor and a little river of pellets poured over the side off the cushion. My roommate started yelling at the pellets so I “made haste” to the bottom floor.

I kept to myself the rest of the day. But to tell you the truth, I couldn’t stop thinking about what she said. Accusing me of living room pellet theft. 

The thing is, Josh from the warehouse sends those boxes to "Belinda." I don't know what my roommate's trying to pull.

So I need to ask the attorney about that too. Property law. 

If you know a “rabbit-savvy” lawyer, please forward their contact information to me.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

My roommate is feeling better. I knew she was on the mend when she started teasing me about Virtual Midwest BunFest.

Have you heard of it? When the organizers at Ohio House Rabbit Rescuecancelled the “3D” event in Columbus, they moved the whole thing online. It runs until Saturday, November 10.

Small Pet Select is one of the sponsors so I’m on spokesrabbit duty. The problem is I wasn’t sure how to “attend” a virtual event. My agent didn’t send me a login or password.

And I really didn’t have time to do the research. That’s because I’ve been gearing up for Daylight Saving Time.

This time we set the clocks “back.” My roommate says we get an extra hour.

Now I’ve made it pretty clear how I feel about all of this “moving time around” nonsense. I’m not a fan.

But I decided I won’t let it get to me. Just move my naps an hour ahead every day. Bingo.

Get myself worn out so the time change isn’t a shock.

Well in the middle of all that my roommate saw me trying to hack into the Virtual BunFest page. Mostly I was just staring at the screen and hitting refresh every two minutes.

She came back downstairs an hour later and I was still looking at it and fretting.

“It’s probably like the Matrix, Belinda. Maybe you’re actually already inside the event.”

I just ignored her. I was getting sleepy anyhow.

She was pulling towels out of the dryer and tennis balls. Banging the door.

“Hey I know—maybe the tech team will convert you to pixels! Then you’ll be a virtual Belinda and you can do whatever you want.”

Nothing but horseradish while I’m trying to work.  

And when I’m nodding off it’s worse. It’s the wrong time to think about the tech team watching every move I make. Don’t need their “hocus pocus.” Turning me into pixels.

If only my agent would send me the password or the code to Virtual BunFest. Maybe it’s inside the screen, dripping from top to bottom. Green blinking numbers and letters.    

I’m perfectly capable of finding my way. I wonder if Josh from the warehouse is there. Working at the booth but real Josh not pixel-Josh.

He’ll sneak healthy snackers to me like last year. Pear blueberry and strawberry rose.

“B’linda. Do you want the red snacker or the blue snacker?”

To tell you the truth I want both.

“You take the pear blueberry, you wake up on your sleeping rug and b’lieve whatever you want to b’lieve.

“You take the strawberry rose, you stay in Wonderland and find out how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: All I'm offering is a snacker.”

J. is behaving oddly. That’s all I want to say for now until I can run it past my agent. “Confidentially.”

Speaking of, my agent is here at Virtual BunFest too but it looks like the warehouse. Full of hay and meadow balls.

“Belinda I’m glad you’re finally here.” She’s wearing rectangle sunglasses even though we’re indoors.

“We have to ship out these toys and I mean yesterday.”

She reaches down inside a large bin and pulls out an armful of meadow balls.   

I can’t find the right shipping box but she tosses them to me, two and three at a time. I can’t catch them but she’s not paying attention. Throwing five and six at a time.   

I've always wanted to work at the warehouse but not under these conditions. I like a slower pace.

And so my agent threw a meadow ball to me in slow motion and all the balls in the air slowed and then they stopped and waited.

And I thought whoa.

They dropped straight to the ground and it sounded like metal.

My roommate slammed the dryer door.

I opened my eyes. The room was dark.

That was two days ago.

And I’m still not sure if I should claim my shift at Virtual BunFest on my time sheet.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

My roommate has been “pushing my buttons” lately. But that’s no excuse for what I did.

It all started on Tuesday morning. I woke to the sound of the refrigerator door opening and closing.

I got myself together. Then I ran upstairs to the kitchen and stood at the fence. My roommate was standing at the counter with her back to me.

She fiddled with the coffee maker for a minute or two. Then something odd happened.

While the coffee was brewing she stared at it.  Just stood there watching it with her hands in her pockets. Not saying anything.

Now this might sound rude, but I was ready to start my day. I had a tight schedule and watching my roommate watching coffee brew was not in the plan.

So although I know it annoys her when I push into the fence, it was my only option. I put my nose through the bars and I “walked it forward” two steps. Made a bit of a polite jingle. Like a doorbell, in my opinion.

She didn’t even turn her head.

So I did it again. Used my shoulder instead of my nose to put a little more “sauce” into this one. Made a big racket.

“Belinda. Stop that.”

Still watching the pot.

“Just hang on a minute. I’ll get your breakfast.”

And I have to admit, she did. It took her double the usual time to carry my pellets and morning hay down to me, but she served it by my sleeping rug, where I like it. And after a while, she returned to the bottom floor with a pear blueberry healthy snacker. So far so good.

I was looking forward to my usual morning routine. Most days, I work on spokesrabbit assignments in my office under the steps. When I need a break to “clear my head,” I run upstairs and spend some time in the digging box. If I’m lucky I get some work done on the dining room carpet.

My roommate spends most days sitting at the dining room table looking at things on the computer. So if I want to sneak in some carpet time, I have to wait until she goes upstairs to “powder her nose.”

Well on Tuesday I didn’t get a chance to do anything on the dining room level. Because my roommate pulled a fast one.

While I was still enjoying my snacker, she told me to “have a good day at work.”

That was a strange thing to say. It usually means she’s leaving the house, not shuffling around the bottom floor in pajamas and a robe.

Then she walked back upstairs to the kitchen and closed the fence behind her. A few minutes later I heard water pipe noises from the upstairs bathroom. Then I heard her voice through the vents, talking to the English.

She was on the bedroom level.

And she stayed up there all morning while I tried to concentrate on my work. Hard when I couldn’t get any breaks.

I took a half-nap around noon and when I woke up I saw that lunch had been served while I was sleeping. Some salad, timothy and orchard medley. No roommate in sight.

That evening we watched “Mork and Mindy” after dinner, except my roommate fell asleep during the first episode. I put myself to bed while she was still snoring on the couch.

I have just described the entire week. Me stuck on the bottom floor all day while my roommate goofs off with the English. No way to get to my exercise spots on the first floor. Night-time relaxation ruined by my roommate nodding off and all the “horns.”

Every day I got more upset and today I took a stand. When she pulled the gate closed after breakfast I ran into it full-tilt. It folded outward, just like I wanted.

“Belinda! Stop that.”

She pulled it closed. When she turned to leave the kitchen I thought not so fast.

I threw myself into the fence again. It made a big scaping noise.

“Belinda! I have to go back upstairs. Can’t you see how sick I am?”

I looked up at her and just like that I felt terrible. Her face looked like air was missing. Even her robe looked wilted.

I didn’t know what to say so I turned around and walked back downstairs to my office. I’ve been pretending to work for the past few hours but I keep switching from one tab to the next.

I keep thinking about how Abigail’s roommate, “Dad,” takes such excellent care of her. He’s patient and he lets her have space to run and all her favorite foods.

My roommate is good to me too. And this week was my chance to take care of her for a change.

A lot of humans get sick this time of year. I know that from all the TV commercials.

But instead of realizing my roommate had a “bug,” all I worried about was myself.

I might have a job that I happen to love.

But I need to remember I have important duties at home too.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

Sometimes work does not feel like “work” and this is one of those weeks.

It’s all because of the comment box. I wake up in a good mood every day. Things are just better when you can check messages from your friends and write back.

My agent says I can have it every six weeks or so. Not for every blog.

Otherwise I’ll be “on the computer all night long” according to her which is hogwash.

Anyway I spent the week working on my answers for the Ask Belinda blog, which is the second wrinkle. If I want a comment box, I have to write the blog post as a question and answer column. Just for that day.

Not sure how I can let two weeks pass without reporting what’s going on at work. Customers need to know about special product bundles and hay news.

But we made a deal. “So be it.”

And to tell you the truth, my friends left some excellent questions for me to tackle.

For example, Cindy D. and Cassandra C. asked if I like traveling. “What does your roommate do to make sure you're comfortable when on the road (or in the air?)?”

And Dr. Fluffy M., PhD, wrote to me too. “What will be your Halloween costume this year?"

I froze in my tracks at that one. Because I have not even thought about Halloween. That’s how behind I am with everything that’s been going on. Last year I dressed up as a Lionhead.

So those are just a few examples. I’ve been working on the answers and having the time of my life.

Not sure how long the Ask Belinda blog is supposed to be but I’m up to 11 pages. It’s just a rough draft.

And I’m not working “all night long,” no matter what you might hear on the rumor mill.

Just because the laptop screen is lit up, that doesn’t mean I’m working at 2 a.m. I might have bumped it on the way to the litter box. Not my fault.

Or maybe I’m watching a video and hit a tab by mistake and the page switches to the comments. Once I’m there I might as well check for new messages. “Work smarter not harder.”

The tech team is monitoring me but my agent doesn’t need to know what I do in the evenings. For one thing, I like to watch videos of that man painting trees. “Bob Ross.” Helps me to fall asleep.

Tree videos have nothing to do with the comment box and I hope the tech team knows that. I covered the web cam with a piece of spinach so they can’t look at me.

This whole thing is complicated and my friend Isabel O. "nailed it” in my opinion.

She left a comment that said, “What do you like to do for fun when you're not working?”

I tried to write an answer and my mind went blank. Because this week has not felt like work at all.

It just feels like fun.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

It’s been a rough week. I don’t even know how to write about my big victory with everything else going on. Don’t want to “make it about me.”

Because as you may already know, Midwest BunFest was cancelled.

My roommate told me Wednesday night after dinner.

I just stared at her and she didn’t say anything. I guess it went on for too long because her eyes got shiny.

“I’m sorry Belinda. I know you were looking forward to seeing your friends.”

She explained why the organizers decided to cancel and I agree with them. Better safe than sorry.

But it put me in a low mood for the rest of the night. My roommate tried to cheer me up but I could tell she was upset too.

She turned off all the lights and turned on the TV. We watched “I Love Lucy” until we both nodded off.

I woke up on my sleeping rug on the bottom floor and I do not remember how I got there. Which means she carried me downstairs and tucked me in.

Some good news came the next day. My agent told me there might be some sort of online Midwest BunFest. I don’t have details so “stay tuned.”

The other rough part of this week was I had to call off work Monday and Tuesday. It was just too hot.

I don’t mind shedding but enough is enough, if you know what I mean. It’s October.

And even though I was “off the clock” for those two days I couldn’t help myself. I kept practicing my speech for the Friday team meeting. Changing words and moving the order of my points back and forth.  

I planned to start using my Dale Carnegie negotiation skills at the meeting. Except for that step about “knowing when to walk away.” Not wired like that.

I wasn’t going to back down until they said yes to the comment box.

Well you will never guess what happened.

Before I even had a chance to make my case my agent said, “Oh by the way Belinda. We decided to let you have comments at the bottom of your blog.”

How do you like that.

The only rules are, after today, I have to set it up as an “Ask Belinda” blog post. Questions and answers. Fine with me.

So if you have a question for me, post it below and I’ll try to answer it in my first “Ask Belinda” blog.

Also I can have the comments every six weeks or so. Not every blog post. Which makes me think my agent has been reading that Carnegie book because it tells you to “give and take.”

Last of all, I am not allowed to “spend 18 hours in a row answering comments.” I can check the site a few times a day. No more refreshing the screen every four minutes.

She said the tech team would be monitoring me.

Now that almost made me walk away right there. Because I’m a rabbit and the last thing on earth I want is for every move I make to be watched. Think about it.

On the other hand I won.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

Turns out I’ve been doing things all wrong. I mean for getting the comment box back on my blog.

My way of getting what I want is to just do it. Like when I went behind everyone’s back and hired Abigail. I thought I’d be in big trouble for that one but look where we are six months later. Everyone’s happy.

Thought that would work for the comments too so I hacked into the blog systemand set it up. After 82 of my friends wrote messages to me and vice versa I thought “the duck has come home.”

Seemed obvious the blog comments are, as the marketing books say, a value add.

But a few days later I tried to log in and my password didn’t work. Because my agent had the tech team change it. And then she gave me a big lecture about following company policy.

Well here’s what I found out about “policy.” They make it up as they go.

Dale Carnegie talks about it in his leadership book. He says everything in business is negotiable. That’s why he’s famous. Knew how to “wheel and deal.”

If you learn his system you can get your way even if your agent says no.

Sounds like a lot less hassle than getting a second job to pay for my own blog and Wi-Fi.  But I might only get one shot so I have to be "on my game."

I decided to practice the whole thing on my roommate. Try to negotiate terms re: my digging station in the corner of the dining room.

I followed Dale Carnegie’s steps in order.

Step 1: “Know what you want.”

This part is easy. I want to pull up the carpet in the corner of the dining room.

Step 2: “Know what the other side wants.”

My roommate wants me to use the digging box she set up for me. And sometimes I do.

But usually I have a "craving" to tug on the carpet and yank out the padding. You just can't do that in a cardboard box. No matter how roomy and thick.

 

Step 3: “Anticipate objections.”

I already know what they are.

Every time I get my paws into a good rhythm she starts yelling that I'm "destroying the house." 

Not sure what that has to do with fluffing up the carpet but there you go. A lot of overreacting in my opinion.

Step 4: “Be willing to give and take.”

Carnegie says you have to be ready to meet them half way.

No problem. For example, I’m willing to wait until she’s upstairs before I start digging. In return, she can agree to stay up there for 30 minutes.

Give me time to get under the corner and down to the floorboards.

Step 5: “Know when to walk away.”

This is where I crash the tractor.

Carnegie says if you can’t work things out you need to stop nagging. Just go do something else.

Well to me there’s a word for that. "Quitter."

Surprises me that someone like him would just give up when negotiations get a  little hot. "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the steel mill." If you know what I mean.    

Anyway I am going to keep digging in the dining room. And I am going to wheel and deal for a comment box. I am not a quitter.

Dale Carnegie knows a lot but not about rabbits.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

I decided to take a break from the job hunt this week. Get caught up on my “beauty sleep.”

I woke up Monday morning feeling extra peppy and I thought won’t the team be surprised. Meaning about my good mood and not dozing at work.

But I’m the one who was in for a big surprise. Because on Monday they announced a new product called the Belinda Bunniccino Mug.

Can you believe it?

They cooked this whole thing up behind my back. Turns out a Bunniccino is some sort of concoction made with “two alfalfa shots and blueberry whip.”

Never heard of it but I'd like to try it. Especially since my mug is on the mug, as my roommate has said at least five times now.

All I know is I hope my mug is a big seller so I can save face, if you know what I mean.

So that was Monday. Which also happened to be my adoptaversary.

Five years ago, my roommate showed up at the shelter, packed me into a carrier and brought me home. “No questions asked.” She didn’t even seem to care that I was from New Zealand, which is on my adoption papers.  Never mentions it which is good, because my memory about my homeland is fuzzy.

And not only about that subject. Because with all the brain fog last week and the Belinda mug excitement I forgot all about my adoptaversary until halfway through the day.

Usually we plan a little party. Nothing fancy, just extra treats and relaxing together. But last year, my adoptaversary hit a few weeks after I started this job. And Josh “went overboard.” Sent three boxes of hay and toys and treats from the warehouse.

And I hate to admit this but I was expecting something this year too.

Well Monday came and went with no delivery. Tuesday I wrote about it on social media and my roommate said that was rude in a way. “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, Belinda.”

Well I don’t want to see inside Josh’s mouth and besides, I don’t know how she comes up with these ideas. I just wanted some snackers.

By the end of Wednesday I gave up. I thought if I can’t even remember my adoptaversary, how can Josh? He has enough on his plate.

But then came the second surprise.

Late Thursday afternoon I was reading my Dale Carnegie book when I heard my roommate yell “Belinda! There’s a package here for you!”

When I saw it I couldn’t believe my eyes.

It wasn’t just a normal package from the warehouse. Josh took the time to decorate it with stickers and sign it with a “J” on the outside and inside the lid. Which is above and beyond in my opinion.

My roommate opened it for me and I looked inside. Flower power mini-cookies. Pear blueberry healthy snackers. A meadow ball. Some oat fidget sticks. He even threw in a few “sneak preview” stickers.

And at the bottom, inside its own box, one Belinda Bunniccino mug.

What a week.

I’m well-rested, I have a bag of mini-cookies in my stash and my mug is on a mug.

The company always comes through for me. I should know by now that I need to be patient.

Well I’ve been patient about wanting a comment box at the bottom of my blog.

So who knows. Maybe there’s a third surprise coming from the team.

And maybe it will be “you know what.”

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

Last week I said I’m going to start my own blog. So I can have all the comments I want.

I just need to get some money together for the Wi-Fi and a used laptop.
Well I’m not sure if I can pull off the first step. Meaning a “side hustle.”

Because to tell you the truth I’m getting worn out just looking for a second job. Spending hours and hours on websites trying to find a position that fits my skills, etc.

Number one, it has to be “work from home.” Which narrows the list. And I can’t lift more than two pounds so that’s another issue.

Most important, it can’t be 9 to 5 because that’s reserved for my spokesrabbit job. Daytime is when I’m at my best.

But my evenings and nights are my own so why not use those hours to “make hay,” if you know what I mean.

Well I’m finding something out about making hay. There’s a time to work and a time to sleep and it’s all jumbled together right now. Which means I’m falling asleep when I’m supposed to be alert and vice versa.

Hard to concentrate with all the “brain fog.”

Like the other day. I was reading some reports my agent sent to me when I realized something was odd about the paper. It was thicker than normal and it smelled like hay.

I pushed it out from under the steps into the light and what do you know. The texture was different too. Rough.

Next thing you know I took a bite in the bottom left corner where nobody would notice and that was the end of reading reports. Because the paper was made out of oat hay and it was delicious.

I couldn’t believe it.  What an invention.

“Hay paper” would be the biggest seller ever. Something for humans and rabbits alike. No waste.

The more I chewed the more I wondered how my agent kept it a secret from me. Nobody mentioned anything on our team calls.

Well, right in the middle of all this I hear “Belinda!”

My roommate. Making a big racket when she knows I’m trying to work.

“Belinda!”

I kept eating the hay paper. Maybe she would go back upstairs.

“Wake up! You’re eating your reports!”

My head jerked so I could see where she was. Then I looked down.

My papers were a big mess. Scattered around and ripped. I spit out  a few scraps.

The whole thing had been a dream.

And if that weren't bad enough, the next day I was walking up to the kitchen and I fell asleep on the stairs. My roommate found me a few hours later.

She didn’t say anything but I know she told my agent.  As long as I get my work done it's nobody business.

For example, I’m writing this blog at 2 a.m. and who cares. 

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

I hope you had a good week.
As for me, I’ve really been “putting my nose to the grindstone.” If you want to know the truth.
And I don’t mean just the regular work. Meetings and hay tastings and all that.

No, I’m cooking up something new. A “side hustle.”

That's right. I'm taking a second job. I need the money. 

This all came from that company policy re: comments on my blog. As in I’m not allowed to have them and that’s a big problem for me.
Because I follow what Dale Carnegie says in his book. “The end justifies the means.” 
I may have crossed a line when I hacked into the blog and added a comment box. But more than 80 of my friends used it to leave messages on my work anniversary. And I got to write back.

So it was worth it.

Well the tech team changed the password behind my back. I tried for three hours to hack in again and I said forget it. I have better things to do with my evenings.

Which brings me to why I suddenly need money. 

I’m going to start my own blog.

How about that.
Not sure what I'm going to call it. Maybe "Belinda Says Hi" or something along those lines. I have to ask my notary about the laws.

Also it will have a comment box at the top and at the bottom. In fact the whole blog might be one big page of comments and that would be fine with me. 
Anyway, that’s what kept me so busy all week. Researching how to do it. 
Some companies I found say they can have your blog up and running in a few hours. Come on. I wasn't born yesterday.
There’s a lot of “scams” on the internet so I have to use my street smarts. Dig around in the fine print.

Another glitch is I have not received any paychecks yet.  Not sure what the delay is. All I know is I need some cash to pay the blog company and get hooked up to Wi-Fi.
Plus I can’t use my Small Pet Select computer for a personal blog so I’ll be looking for a used laptop. Any brand will do. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
There’s a lot to learn but a year ago I learned how to be a spokesrabbit so I’ll be fine. The trick is finding work I can schedule around my day job. 
I searched for “overnight part-time jobs” on the internet and there were 59,030. Which is plenty.

The funny thing is my agent said I don’t have time to answer comments on my blog. Says I have enough work already.
And now the whole team thinks I can’t manage my time.
Won’t they be surprised when they find out I’m pulling "double shifts."

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

This week has been one of the best so far. The new “Belinda’s Blend” flower and herb mix is selling like crazy.

Sometimes I catch myself staring into space. Like I’m in a dream. Never thought they’d name a product after me, even though I have a big day coming up next Sunday.

That’s because September 2 is my one-year anniversary as spokesrabbit.  I sent my first blog out on Labor Day weekend. “America’s first working rabbit.”

How did I get the job? One day, out of nowhere, my roommate told me I had been hired by Small Pet Select. She knew my agent and I guess they got to talking. One thing led to another.

I was already a big fan of the hay and herbal mixes so I assumed it meant taste-testing. She said the hours were flexible and I could work from home.

I had no idea what I was getting into. My agent says the company had no idea either. Meaning what “they” were in for.  She thinks it’s funny but I just ignore her.

Because the truth is, I try to behave myself at work. Follow the rules. Even though I’ve put my foot down a few times, I don’t get everything I want.

For example, my own email address. To send messages to customers and vice-versa.

When my friends want to tell me something, they have to email the customer service team. And the team turns around and sends it to me.

That’s fine but not very efficient. I want to write back, but I don’t want to bother Jessica, Grace, Brooke, Carrie and Shelia in customer service. They have plenty of work to do answering questions, putting together the Top 15 Cuties and all the rest.

But every time I ask for my own email account that’s what my agent says. That I need to focus on my work instead of emailing people all day. Tells me I have enough to “keep me hopping.”

“Besides, you can write to your friends on Facebook.”

She’s right about that but I have a confession to make. And it’s embarrassing.

Once I’m on Facebook I lose track of time.  It’s like Daylight Savings Time but worse because it’s my own doing.

I start by checking the Small Pet Select page for messages to me. I try to write back to everyone within a few minutes and that’s where I get into trouble. Because of the time zones.

And once I’m there I have to see what Dusty Bunneh is up to. Then I check out Lennon the BunnyAlice's Adventures In BunderlandWally and Molly and Ludwik Guinea Pig. Just in case something’s happening. You never know.

I’m supposed to quit work around 5 p.m. but I sneak some Facebook time “after hours.”

Well this past week with the launch of Belinda’s Blend I was a wreck. Worrying about sales.

I wanted to post about it every day on Facebook but I didn’t want to be pushy. So I kept checking in to see if anyone posted a review. I figured it was part of my job, keeping on top of things. Shows initiative.

Unfortunately, I have no privacy in this house. The other day my roommate was on the bottom floor fiddling with the laundry and she noticed me working under the steps.

“Belinda, are you refreshing the same page over and over?”

I ignored her. She didn’t say anything else but I could feel her watching me. Made it hard to work.

The next evening, she butted in again. We were in the living room watching “Vega$” reruns and I couldn’t focus.

Usually when Dan Tanna is on the screen chasing crooks I don’t think about anything else. But I kept looking at the clock on the VCR. Thinking about west coast customers getting off work and checking social media.  

So right in the middle of a casino bust I walked out of the room. I was all the way through the kitchen when my roommate started up.

“Belinda!”

I pretended I didn’t hear.

“I hope you’re not checking Facebook!”

By this point I was halfway down the steps. She didn’t follow me. I could hear the TV through the ceiling.

Well, it’s a good thing I checked Facebook because someone in California posted a comment.

But the next thing I knew it was hours later and my roommate was coming down with our bedtime healthy snackers.

I tried to hide my laptop but she saw the blue glow. She didn’t say anything but I could tell she wanted to.

My roommate doesn’t have to worry about me. I can stop thinking about Facebook.

But I can’t stop thinking about Belinda’s Blend.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

Hello. It’s Belinda.

This is a “quick and dirty” blog because I’m doing it at the last minute.

Had one finished but I had to throw it out because I just got out of a meeting and I have big news.

They’re naming the new herb and flower mix after me.

“Belinda's Blend.”

Can you believe it?

I can’t. I can’t even sit still.

I actually did a binky and my roommate yelled “Your elbow!” which normally would bother me but not today.

And the bag has the prettiest label ever:

 

 

I love it.

Not because I’m on it but “the whole package.” The colors and flowers. I even like the font.

But what really matters is what’s on the inside.

And this mix has all of my favorites:

  • Chamomille
  • Clover Blossom
  • Rose Petals and Buds
  • Dandelion Leaves
  • Lavender
  • Hibiscus
  • Elder Flower

I tried it for the first time at my Hay Moon party and I was hooked. Josh sent me a sample for the party but it was still “top secret.” Shipped it in a plain brown bag.

My agent said it would hit the website on Labor Day weekend and I said I can’t wait that long. I put the sample bag in my stash and tried to forget it was there.

That’s why I worked on a marketing plan and the 25 names. To speed things up.

And when they didn’t go for “Floral Flakes” or “Garden Crumbles” or “Mélange de Fleurs Biologiques,” I thought fine. There is no way to please any of them.

I talked about it all week on Facebook and my friends agreed with me. That it made no sense. Who knows what rabbits like more than a spokesrabbit?

My friend Rita from Michigan even said they should call it “Belinda Blend” which is spooky, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, with all my fussing they decided to launch it early.

“Belinda's Blend.”

I hope you like it as much as I do.

Sincerely,

Belinda,

Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select

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