We have lost pups before. We have lost them to Rainbow Bridge. We have lost them when doors were left open and they scampered off into the wild. But we have never lost a pup like we lost one this week.
We lost him in cyberspace.
It breaks our tiny Yorkie hearts whenever we lose a friend. Earlier this week we got a notice that our good friend Lily was leaving the Brigade. We immediately ran to her place and begged her not to leave. Our surprised little friend said she had no intention of leaving. It was another Lily. We had another Lily in the Brigade? Oh well. I'm sure we will miss her. A lot. (Who knew?)
But on Thursday Hattie Mae, having spent a week playing a befuddled Professor Henry Huggens to her little sister Jackie's Eliza Dolittle, decided to come to the playground where she found Smoochy's place was gone. She barked "Smoochy, Smoochy," over and over but there was no answer, no silly black dog running towards her with his tail wagging giving her slobbering kisses. She came around our place and told us that Smoochy was missing. I went over to his place and there was nothing there but a blank spot. I agreed with her this was mysterious, and, although we didn't let each other know, we were quite worried. This was not a good sign. Pocket put on her Pocket Dog Private Dog hat and told us she was on the case. This wasn't a good sign either.
Hattie put out a public notice that Smoochy was missing and offered an award of a photo shoot with her for any information. We then fanned out in the woods looking for any sign of him. We were joined by the "real" Lily, Benjamin, Brody, Sydney and her pack, and other friends. But there was no sign of the Smoocher.
We decided to go back to our Mom's houses where we could use our computers to get some information. I looked up his Mom's information on the Buddy System and we began to bombard the Foret home with e-mails, phone calls, texts, and instant messages. Sydney's Mom, who lives three hours away from Smoochy offered to drive down to her house to check on her.
Pocket Dog Private Dog had other ideas: "When I found out the Smooster was missing I knew this case was right up my alley. Missing dogs, that's my MO. I sniffed all around but there wasn't a scent. He disappeared like class at Kim Kardashian's wedding. I tracked down Legs Foley during a futile seach by the water hole. I told her I needed her fancy typewriter skills. I had her set up a Google alert for Smooch's town of Nelsonville Wisconson. This way if his Mom's name or his name turned up in the news I'd be on top of it like an unneutered dog on a Westminster champion poodle. I didn't find out anything about Smoochy or his Mom but I did find out the following: This weekend in Nelsonville they are going to have their first annual brick festival. Image that. After thousands of years of bricks it took the good people of Nelsonville to give them a festival. Everyone is invited to bring their own brick. In the Northeast that is known as a street fight. There is 13.88 acres of a field for sale there so if you're Miley Cyrus and looking to build a mansion there you go. And they are closing the post office there so good luck if you are expecting any mail from Smoochy because he can't walk across town line to mail a letter."
That night the Brigade grounds were searched again, more texts, more phone calls, all went to message on the first ring. That night I took Mommy's Batphone with me to bed. I checked every five minutes for updates as the power slipped away, Finally, at 1:30 AM, we got the news that Lily had found Smoochy. Those darn Ning Flying Monkees who work for the Ning weasels had chased him right out of cyberspace and off the Brigade.
To make things more complicated Smoochy's Mommy got a human virus and Smoochy did, as we all would have done, stayed with her. He did not realize his home at the Brigade had been lost and there was a frantic search going on for him. His Mommy's cell phone was not working, the satellite dish that calls come through was overwhelmed with the excitement about the brick festival.
Smoochy's Mom finally felt well enough to check her fruitberry. And it was loaded with messages from our Moms. She realized what had happened and contacted her friends by human means to tell us that the Smoocher and her were safe. Smoochy went to the Brigade but the gate was locked and no matter how much he barked no one would let him in. All poor Smoochy could think was that his friends had locked him out.
Then in the distance I heard barking. I realized it was Smoochy. I ran over to the wall and he told me he couldn't get in. He told me that he had got ruby slippers from Hattie Mae. But they didn't fit. If he clicked Ruby slippers together he could get home. I went to Hattie and told her I needed her Ruby Slipper collection. At first she told me back off lollipop but when I told her it was for Smoochy she dug through her pile and found a pair that fit Smoochy. I threw them over the wall. Smoochy put them on, clicked his heels three times, and he was home.
Oh Smoochy we love you so much. And you scared us more than you know. But you are homes, you are safe, and you are our Pup of the Week.