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Bo and Ms. Beanz: Best Friends Forever

Bo and Ms. Beanz: Best Friends Forever

by Jane Kirkland, Rob Kirkland (Editor)

A heartwarming and fun true story, this early reader chapter book tells of the unusual bond formed when a fearful dog with a hard-knock past and a brave and adventurous cat are adopted into the same family. Love and patience brings out both the best and unexpected of this duo as they become best friends, doing everything together from sleeping to taking walks to


A heartwarming and fun true story, this early reader chapter book tells of the unusual bond formed when a fearful dog with a hard-knock past and a brave and adventurous cat are adopted into the same family. Love and patience brings out both the best and unexpected of this duo as they become best friends, doing everything together from sleeping to taking walks to canoeing with their owners. With beautiful color photos on every page, this book teaches children about friendship, adoption, change, and diversity. Also included throughout the book are questions to help the reader place themselves inside in the story, becoming instant discussion points and lesson plans for parents and teachers.

Product Details

Stillwater Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

Bo and Ms. Beanz

Best Friends Forever

By Jane Kirkland, Rob Kirkland

Stillwater Publishing

Copyright © 2011 Stillwater Publishing
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-9837671-4-5



This is Bo. He is adopted. We don't know much about his past, but he must have had a very hard life. After we adopted him, we noticed that he limps. So we took him to the vet.

The vet took x-rays. He saw pieces of bullets in Bo's leg and in his chest, too. He said Bo's leg didn't heal properly, so it is shorter than the others. That's why Bo limps.

Bo was shot long before we adopted him. We don't know who shot him or why. The doctor said Bo is not in pain.

The vet thinks that Bo was about three years old when we adopted him. No one knows for sure.

Bo was very afraid of us when we brought him home. He was afraid of every human. We knew we had to help Bo to get over his fear of people and we knew it might not be easy.

Why do you think Bo was so afraid?

During the first week at our house, Bo wouldn't look at us. He wouldn't eat, play, or come to us when we called.

Bo was sad and afraid. He didn't know that we would never be mean to an animal.

We knew that Bo didn't trust us. He didn't know us well enough to trust us. We didn't try to make him trust us. We didn't try to make him like us. In fact, we didn't try to make him do anything. We just let him have the time and space he needed until he felt safe.

We even tried to speak quietly in the house and were careful not to make any loud noises. We didn't want to frighten Bo.

Every day he became a little less afraid.

One day we took Bo to the dog park. He played with the other dogs and had a lot of fun. We could see he was happy. On that day, he smiled.

We think Bo is a beautiful dog. He has brown eyes. He has some pink on his nose. The bottoms of his paws are pink, too. One of his top front teeth is missing but you can't see it. He has beautiful golden fur with white on his face and his paws. His tail has a white tip just like a fox!

Bo's smile is my favorite part of him. Today Bo smiles more than any dog I ever met. He smiles all the time.

Have you ever seen a dog smile?

Do you have a dog? If you do, what's your favorite thing about your dog?

We live at a lake. We took Bo to the water. We discovered he likes to swim. When Bo swims, he smiles!

Bo has webbed feet. His webbed feet help him to be a very good swimmer. Webbed feet have skin between the toes. Ducks and geese have webbed feet, too. Animals with webbed feet are good swimmers.

Have you ever seen a dog swim?

Have you ever seen other animals swim? Which ones?

Bo loves to climb. His bad leg doesn't stop him from climbing. He likes to be up high. Maybe he feels safe when he is up high because he can see farther. Wherever we go, if there is something Bo can climb, he will.

Bo climbs onto big rocks and jumps onto stone walls. He climbs up hills and hops onto park benches. He climbs onto fallen tree trunks and he even likes to climb on the bleachers at the little league ball field. Bo is a very good climber. He is the King of the Hill!

We love Bo. It took almost a year for him to grow strong and brave, to trust us, and to like being with us all the time. He is a happy dog now. We are his friends and he is our friend.

Are you a good friend to any animals or people? What makes you their good friend? What makes them your good friend?


Bo's Friends

Bo likes dogs. He has many dog friends that live on our street.

Baily is a Yellow Labrador Retriever. She is the oldest dog in the group and she's twelve years old.

Brandy is a Golden Retriever. She is the fastest runner in the group.

Coal is a Labradoodle. That is a Lab mixed with a Poodle. He is Bo's best buddy.

Zeus is a Cockapoo. That is a Cocker Spaniel mixed with a Poodle. He is the smallest in the group.

Sadie is a Poodle. She is the tallest in the group.

Spencer is a Cocker Spaniel. He is the youngest in the group and he is six months old.

Bo has other friends too, but these are the friends he plays with every day.

This is Bo's girlfriend Emma. She lives on our street, too. Bo and Emma play together every day!

Bo and Emma like to swim in the lake together. They like to roll down hills on their backs and play fight games. Mostly they just like to lie in the grass next to each other.

Sometimes Emma comes to our house for a sleep over.

Emma is a good friend to Bo and he is a good friend to Emma.

Why do you think they are good friends?

What things do good friends do for each other?

Bo loves, loves, loves, loves, loves, loves, LOVES snow.

He loves to run, roll, and even sleep in the snow. He and his friends like to play in the snow and they like to eat snow.

Sometimes Bo plays so long in the snow that he is covered in snowballs!

Do you like snow?

What do you like to do with your friends?

Bo also likes the cats that live on our street. We thought Bo would like to have a cat of his own. After Bo lived with us for one year, we drove him to the pet shelter to adopt a cat. The pet shelter is a place that animals live because they don't have a home or a family.

The people at the shelter let Bo go into the cat room to meet some cats.

I sat on the floor with Bo. One by one, the cats were released from their crates. They all stayed far away from Bo. Then one cat went right up to Bo and they touched noses. They were instant friends! We adopted that cat and named her Ms. Beanz.

Why do you think she liked Bo so much?

Why do you think she wanted to be his friend?


Ms. Beanz

This is Ms. Beanz. Sometimes we call her "Beanz". Most of the time we call her "Kitty". The vet thinks that Ms. Beanz was a year old when we adopted her.

We named her Ms. Beanz because she is the colors of coffee beans. What would you name her if you adopted her?

We don't know much about her past. We do know that she wasn't afraid of us at the shelter.

When we brought her home, she didn't hide under a bed or act afraid in any way. Ms. Beanz liked her new home, her new dog, and her new mom and dad right away.

Ms. Beanz is very friendly.

How can you tell if a cat is friendly?

How do you think we could tell she liked being with us?

Ms. Beanz has yellow-green eyes. She has a pink nose, just like Bo, but her nose has a little black spot on it.

One side of her face is tan and the other half is black. Two of her legs are tan and two are black. Her paws are white and the bottoms are pink just like Bo's.

Her tail has a kink in it. We think it might have been broken before we adopted her.

Ms. Beanz has the softest fur I have ever felt! That is my favorite part of her. I love to pet her while she sits on my lap and purrs.

Ms. Beanz has a very pleasant personality. She is curious and brave. She isn't shy. She likes to explore and play.

Do you have a cat? If you do, what do you like most about your cat?

Like Bo, Ms. Beanz likes to be near me. Wherever I go in the house, she follows me.

Sometimes, when I am working, Ms. Beanz will lie down right on my keyboard! She sits and watches my monitor so carefully it seems as if she is reading what's on the screen.

Ms. Beanz likes to sleep on my desk. Sometimes she sleeps too close to the phone. When it rings, it wakes her up and she runs away as fast as she can.

Do you have a pet that follows you around?

Like Bo, Ms. Beanz loves to climb. She likes to be up high. Wherever we go, if there is something she can climb, she will.

Ms. Beanz climbs onto big rocks and jumps onto stone walls. She hops onto park benches. She climbs onto fallen tree trunks and she even likes to balance on the fence in our front yard.

Ms. Beanz likes to be as high as she can be. She is the Queen of the Hill!

Have you ever seen a cat climb up high?

Ms. Beanz sleeps a lot. She dreams a lot, too. Sometimes she has bad dreams and she wakes up meowing very loud. When this happens, I call to her and she comes running to me. I pick her up and she stands on her hind legs and puts her front paws on my shoulder. I pet her and she calms down. Then she goes back to sleep — just like a baby.

Maybe she dreams that we will take her back to the shelter. We will never take her back. We love her. We are her family now. This is her forever home.

We are her friends. Friends stick together.

Do you have friends that stick by you?

We bought a pet stroller for Ms. Beanz so she could come with us when we take Bo for walks. I decorated the stroller and put her name on it.

At first, Ms. Beanz didn't like the stroller. We zipped it up so she couldn't escape. Each time she rode in it, she liked it a little bit more. By the end of one week, she liked it a lot.

Today she loves her stroller and doesn't even want it zipped up around her! She feels safe in her stroller. When people see us, they smile and laugh because they've never seen a cat in a stroller before. It's fun to make people smile and laugh.

We love Ms. Beanz. She makes us smile. She makes us feel happy. We have fun with her. We are so happy that we could give her a forever home and be her friends.


Bo & Ms. Beanz

Whatever Bo does, Ms. Beanz wants to do.

Bo walks on a leash. He taught Ms. Beanz how to walk on a leash, too. At first, Ms. Beanz didn't like her harness or her leash. She didn't know that she should stand up and walk in it, but Bo pulled her gently and she stood up. It was amazing to watch him teach her, even though they couldn't talk.

Now Ms. Beanz rides in her stroller wearing her harness and her leash. That way, she can get out when she wants. She stretches her legs, arches her back, and then walks on the leash. When she wants to, she jumps back in the stroller.

Have you ever taught a friend how to do something? Has a friend ever taught you? What was it?

Sometimes Bo and Ms. Beanz get into mischief. On their first Christmas together, I was decorating the tree when our phone rang. I went to the kitchen to answer the call.

When I came back, Ms. Beanz and Bo were playing with the decorations. It looked like they were helping to decorate!

Bo and Ms. Beanz follow me around the house. If I am working in my office, they are in my office, too. If I am watching TV, so are they. When we go to bed at night, they lay on our bed. If I'm decorating the tree, well, they are there, too.

Have you ever gotten into mischief with your friends? What happened?

Bo and Ms. Beanz come with us when we shop or travel or go on vacation. They even come with us when we paddle around the lake in our canoe.

Can you believe that a cat likes to be in a canoe? I couldn't believe it either, but Ms. Beanz loves it!

People smile and laugh when they see Bo and Ms. Beanz in our canoe. That makes us smile and laugh!

Bo and Ms. Beanz like to experience new things together. They trust one another. Ms. Beanz has never scratched or hissed at Bo. Bo has never chased Ms. Beanz or barked at her. They rely on each other. They watch out for each other.

Do you have friends or family that you rely on? Do you like to share new experiences with them?

Bo and Ms. Beanz are so different. One is big and the other is small. They don't like the same food. Bo likes to swim and Ms. Beans does not. One is a dog and one is a cat.

Even though they are different, Bo and Ms. Beanz do have a lot in common. They both like to take walks, to climb, to ride in the canoe and the car. They like to hang out with their family, explore new places, and meet new people. They like to sleep together. They are both gentle and happy animals.

To be friends you must have trust and respect for yourself and for your friend. It's good to have things in common with friends, but it's also good to be different. Friends enjoy being together, learning together, and growing together, no matter how old they are. Friends help each other. Bo and Ms. Beanz are best friends.

Who are your best friends? Why do you like them?

I am so happy that we adopted Bo and Ms. Beanz. They have both become Certified Therapy Pets. Now they can visit schools, libraries, hospitals, and other public places that have Therapy Pet programs.

Therapy Pets help to make people feel happy and relaxed. They make new friends wherever they go.

There are many dogs and cats just like Bo and Ms. Beanz that need friends, families, and forever homes. I hope they find them.


Excerpted from Bo and Ms. Beanz by Jane Kirkland, Rob Kirkland. Copyright © 2011 Stillwater Publishing. Excerpted by permission of Stillwater Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Jane Kirkland is the author of more than 50 books, including the award-winning Take a Walk® series. She is also a naturalist, a photographer, and a motivational speaker who visits schools, conducts workshops, and presents at conferences. She has appeared on Animal Planet TV, NPR, and PBS, and in such magazines as Family Circle, Green Teacher, Parenting, Parents, and Redbook. She lives in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

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