Soft hands pat my cheeks, pull my hair, press my face. “Chuckles hasn’t come home, Mommy.”
I remember through the early morning fog that our puppy disappeared the day before. “Oh honey, I’m so sorry.” We’d only had Chuckles for three days when he went missing. I suspect he’s been stolen.
“Mommy, Mommy!” Tyler’s voice is insistent. “Get up. We can ask Google where Chuckles has gone.”
I sit up, brushing away threads of sleep. “Sweetie, Google won’t know where a lost dog is?”
“But you always tell Daddy that Google knows everything.”
A flicker of concern surfaces. “Only God knows everything, Tyler.” I must be more careful what I say in front of him.
“Get up, Mommy. Let’s ask God and Google.”
Sighing, I push back the covers. “Give me ten minutes and then we’ll do that.”
I pray with Tyler before booting up my laptop. “Google knows lots of stuff but it doesn’t know everything. I’m going to ask it to give me a list of all the animal shelters and vets in our area. Then we’ll send them an email and ask them if Chuckles has been brought in.” I show Tyler the list and he watches as I copy and paste a message to all the addresses. I add in a photo of the adorable, long-haired, Pomeranian puppy.
Three days later we have a pile of responses but no one’s seen Chuckles. I’m relieved that Tyler hadn’t had a chance to become too attached to him, but I’m still sad that he’s gone. I pray that wherever the dog is, he’s safe and loved.
“Let’s ask Google once more, Mommy.”
Tyler thinks reading emails is part of Google. I open my laptop and click on my inbox. Several messages appear but only one is about dogs. I read it out to Tyler. “This is from the The Dog Box Shelter across town,” I tell him. “They say they haven’t seen Chuckles but have some other dogs that need homes. The lady sent us a picture of them.”
“Let me see, Mommy.”
Tyler climbs on my knee and we look at the photos together. They’re all puppies – a Jack Russell cross, a skinny poodle and a mongrel. Tyler stabs his finger on the screen. “That one! I like that one!”
He’s pointing at the mongrel. It’s small, covered in corkscrews of grey fur and has a fountain for a tail. “Are you sure, honey?”
He turns to me, a serious look in his eyes. “We prayed, right, Mommy. And we asked Google. God didn’t send Chuckles back so maybe He found him a new home.”
“I’m sure He did, Tyler.” I’m wondering where my son is heading with this.
“Maybe that all happened so we could give this dog a home. He’s a bit ugly so maybe other families wouldn’t want him ...”
“But do you really like him? Or do you just feel sorry for him?”
Tyler pulls himself upright. “He’s a boy’s dog, Mommy. I think maybe Chuckles was too pretty for me.”
I nod, surprised. “So shall we call the shelter and see if he’s still available?”
My son smiles and throws his arms around me. A few hours later we arrive home with a wriggling puppy that looks like a toilet brush crossed with a rug. Tyler names him Pickle.
I can hardly believe it when a stranger knocks on the door that evening, Chuckles under his arm. “I heard through the grapevine that you’re missing a puppy,” he said. “This one appeared in my garden a few days ago and I’ve been trying to find his owner.”
Tyler is spinning in circles with excitement when the man leaves. “Guess what, Mommy? Guess what?”
“What?” I say, distracted at the thought of two puppies in my house.
“Google knows a lot but not as much as God. God brought Chuckles home for you – cos you’re a lady – and now Pickle has a friend to play with when I start school next year.”
He runs off, both puppies following and I sink down at my desk. I’m not sure that I want two dogs, but the way Tyler put it ... I raise my eyes heavenward and smile. “Thank you for bringing Chuckles home, Lord. And thank you for the faith of a child.”
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