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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Search Engine (10/06/11)

TITLE: Searching for Chuckles
By Debbie Roome


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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This article has been read 725 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Tracy Nunes 10/21/11
Well, I love this to start with because I wanted to name my puppy "Pickle" but my husband and kids objected! This is a sweet story. I liked it.
C D Swanson 10/21/11
Sweet sentimental and nicely done. I enjoyed it. God Bless~
Linda Goergen10/22/11
Oh this was such a tender and touching story – how could a story about a sweet child and two sweet puppies not touch my heart to begin with and then throw in the wonderful message about God as opposed to Google and it had me for sure! LOL I could easily see this developed into a charming children’s story, it would make a great children’s book! Great job!
Mona Purvis10/22/11
Now here's a Google story! Sweet, on topic, lovely story and believable. Good read.

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/26/11
This is an awesome story and quite clever. The beginning pulled on my heart. The ending was a tad predictable but still quite satisfying.
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/11/12
Awww, cute story. I love the descriptions of the scruffy dog.