What Readers are Saying About “It’s Hard to be Good”

Ellie Floating They Love Me

“… a blast for my little ones.”

 – Art Woods, Librarian


“This book should be in every kindergarten classroom as well as in family libraries…”

5 out of 5 Stars

– Carla Johnson-Hicks, Educator


“This book made me laugh … super cute.”

 – Katarina Ortmann, Reviewer


“What an adorable children’s book … a great addition to any home or school library.”  

5 out of 5 Stars

– Mary Brown, MJB Reviews


“What a sweet story!”

– Paula March, Reviewer


“Very cute story and entertaining character!”

5 out of 5 Stars

– Rebecca Apple, Educator


“… a lesson I want my children to have modeled and learn!”

Richelle Zirkle, Reviewer


“I love the wonderful lessons …”

Kim Teamer, Reviewer






Lessons We Can Learn from Our Pets

Picture of the story behind It's Hard to be Good

Lessons Learned from Ellie the Wienerdog

Kids and canines have a lot in common, especially when it comes to being good. Just ask my little dachshund, Ellie.

One day after running errands I came home and knew something was wrong the minute I walked in the door. It was the smell. Then I noticed that there was no wagging tail to greet me. The house was silent and very, very stinky. I followed my nose into the kitchen and my mouth dropped open. I gasped at both the sight and the stench of what lay before me. The entire contents of our trash compactor were strewn everywhere. Shreds of paper, meat wrappers, potato chip bags, cans, rotting produce and flies, lots of flies. My mind reeled. How on earth could a wienerdog have done all this damage? My temper rose as I snapped a quick picture for proof of the crime and started looking for the guilty party.

I called and called but no there was no response. I searched the house and yard but found nothing. Anger changed to worry. Minutes passed and worry turned to panic. Where could she be? Is she okay? Then something caught my eye in the far corner of the backyard. There, hiding behind a tree, was a very guilty Ellie, shivering and trying to make herself as small as possible. Her sorry brown eyes peaked up at me from under her worried brows. It was a look that said, “I’m so sorry Mommy.” My heart melted and relief flooded over us both. I scooped her up in my arms and she smothered me with kisses that said over and over again, “Mommy, I’m so sorry.”

What were the lessons we each learned that day?


  • No matter how bad you think the mistake your child (or dog) has made, it’s always fixable and forgivable. I forgave Ellie for making such a mess.


  • We should always try to be good but when we do make a mistake we need to say we are sorry. Ellie said she was very sorry.


  • Our choices, both good and bad, affect not only ourselves but all those who love us. Ellie’s bad choice upset me. My choice to forgive her made us both very happy.


  • Every person (and dog) has different trigger points that tempt or upset them. Help others be good and feel good when you can. Smelling all the things in the trash tempted Ellie to make a bad choice. I now try not to tempt her by leaving really good/bad smelling stuff in the trash for any length of time.

Just like kids, Ellie faces choices everyday that can be good or bad. They may not always be good. As parents (or dog owners) we have choices on how we react and deal with those choices and help them make good choices in the future. At the end of each day the most important thing is that all our choices are made with love and respect.

PS: I now have a note on the door to remind myself to lock the trash compactor before I leave the house.

K.J. Hales is the author of the children’s book series, Life’s Little Lessons by Ellie the Wienerdog. The first book in the series, It’s Hard to be Good,” is now available online at www.elliethewienerdog.com.

Welcome to My Story

Human Footprint beside paw print in sand

How a little wiener dog named Ellie came into my life, saved me and inspired me to write her silly little stories that will make a difference in this world.

Thank you for visiting my author page.  Sorry it is a little sparse on content right now, I will be getting it up to speed very soon.

I really look forward to sharing all the backstories of how I was inspired by a little wiener dog to become an author, establish a publishing company and introduce Ellie the Wienerdog to the world.

My hope is that all people, young and old, will be entertained and inspired, not only by the amazing books, but also in how they came to be.