Is there anything more heart wrenching than a child's tears for a lost friend? Our home went on emergency alert tonight. Fluffy was missing. This was first brought to my attention this afternoon. A quick search of the usual spots turned up nothing and with hours to bed I convinced the boy that she would turn up in time to tuck him in. Then bedtime arrived and no playful puppy. Once again we hit all the usual spots and then took to shaking out blankets and moving pillows. Finally we emptied out toy boxes and checked the bottom of closets. Nothing. Then the light bulb went off. We went with dad to the store as a break from lessons today. We didn't get out of the car while he ran in to fill water bottles but The Fluffinator did come along for the ride. We felt sure that she was sitting in the car waiting to be brought inside. The hope that had him flying out to the car turned to abject despair when once again the search turned up no pup.
Fluffy has been top dog for almost a year now but really is only the latest of best stuffed buds and while the others have been promoted to the bedroom security team, they are all within reach and sight at all times in their various posts on the toy boxes and shelves around the room. I pointed out that any one (or even all) of them would be happy to fill in for the night. I was met with the quivering chin and huge tear drops of a seven year old who has almost grown past the need for bedtime buddies but still needs to cling to that last bastion of security. His head nodded yes, my idea was a good one, but the shudders of suppressed despair spoke volumes, inspiring dad to immediately drop what he was doing to join the search party. Our boy needed his bud.
We gathered in the living room to brain storm the places we hadn't looked yet. Obviously we hadn't looked everywhere because we hadn't found her. Unless she had run off (Yes, Toy Story was running through my head), she had to be here. Another search of all possible places the boy had been during the afternoon, turned up nothing. Then just as we were beginning the conciliatory phrases that would brace our son for a night spent cuddling a penguin instead of a pooch, I saw it.
A patch of shaggy brown fur poking from behind the couch. (Hadn't I already looked there a hundred times?)
Further investigation identified the patch of scraggly fur as a leg and attached to the leg were other legs and a body and head of matching matted beige and brown fur. Fluffy had slipped between the couch arm and the wall at some point during the day. She was wedged in pretty tight. With Toy Story still fresh in my mind, I could just see her straining to stick her scraggly paw toward the light in a desperate attempt to get our attention. I could hear her whimper softly,
"Please don't abandon me, you are so close and I really need to snuggle with my boy. I have had a really rough day!"
Crisis averted indeed!
A pup rescued from the oblivion of out of sight out of mind and a boy peacefully sleeping with pup in full cuddle mode. After this scare, he probably won't be giving her up anytime soon. I can't really complain though. I have boxes of stuffed animals in storage dating back to my own childhood. Standing guard over the lot of them, much like he guarded my bed each night for the many years, until overwhelming need for repairs made him retire, is Shaggy, my stuffed sheep dog puppy.
|Ninja Side Kick|