Monday, 30 July 2012

Puppies and Postcards

Did you have a special toy when you were small?  Perhaps a teddy or a doll that would go everywhere with you or a particular blanket that was so loved and washed, it was almost threadbare in places?  Well, my little boy, Edward, had a cuddly Dalmatian called Puppy. 
Puppy first came to live with us when Edward was about 10 months old and in the following 5 years or so, the two were inseparable.  Looking through the photos, Puppy is in so many – on the slide, on the beach even sneaked on the mini rollercoaster at Legoland!  So you can imagine the upset (for Edward and me!) when on Friday last week, the unthinkable happened...Puppy got lost.
We were shopping in Aldi, Atherstone and it was very busy.  Edward has his own shopping list (you know the one – Toys, Sweets, Lemonade) and was ticking off the items as they went into the trolley.  Puppy was helping of course.  We queued to pay at the till and packed our shopping at the back of the shop (like you do in Aldi!) and piled back into the car to get home for some lunch.
The afternoon was spent in the garden and it was only after bath time that we realised that Puppy was missing.  The sudden awful realisation on Edward’s face was heart-rendering.  He knew himself that he had left Puppy behind somewhere and was immediately inconsolable.  As any concerned parent, I quickly jumped back in the car to make it back to the supermarket before it closed, fully expecting to collect Puppy and return home, no harm done!
But despite a search of the shop and the car park, there was no sign of puppy. No-one had handed him in L.  I drove home with a horrible sick feeling in my stomach, knowing I was going to have to break bad news.
Edward took it surprisingly well really.  Like me, I think he was still certain that Puppy would be found, safe and well.  He went to bed without his friend and you could tell he was missing his best buddy.  The next day and another search at the shop still didn’t give us any good news and I decided to start posting about our loss wherever I could to try and locate the missing toy.  I left this photo on my Facebook timeline and the Aldi Facebook page and was overwhelmed with the response.  So many messages of support from friends and complete strangers who could all understand our plight.
Edward was still asking about finding Puppy (about once every hour!) and every now and then you’d hear him sigh “Oh Puppy”.  I realised that, as more time passed, the likelihood of finding him grew smaller.  I needed a plan!
I told Edward that Puppy had probably gone on an adventure and perhaps, if he was lucky, he might get a postcard from him.  I asked my sister-in-law to send one from Puppy in Paris and another kind lady on Facebook offered to send one from her home town too.  All of a sudden, I was getting offers of postcards from all over – Puppy was really going on a pretend adventure!
I was deliberating how exactly I was going to explain to Edward how Puppy was managing to get around.  He’d already questioned the concept - ”Puppy can’t walk, how can he go on an adventure?”
Then my wonderful Facebook friend, Meg provided me with the answer.  Below is a slightly abridged version of a fantastic story she wrote for Edward.  It serves to reassure him about the wellbeing of his cuddly friend but also is the perfect explanation for the postcards! 
Please have a read, and if you’d like to join in the fun and send Edward a postcard from somewhere far-flung or closer to home, please let me know.  I’m planning on putting all the postcards and Meg’s story into a scrapbook for Edward to take to school in September but more importantly to keep as a memory to Puppy.
And if your little one has a special cuddly toy or blanket, look after it and have a disaster recovery plan in place in case they are lost. Oh and be prepared to feel the loss just as much as your child – I feel like we’ve lost a member of the family!
Edward and I are waiting impatiently for the first postcard from puppy to pop through the letterbox.

Take care and don’t forget to read the story below
Meg’s Story for Edward
Once upon a time there was a little boy named Edward.  Edward was 5 years old and since he was a tiny baby, he’d had a little dog named Puppy.  Edward and Puppy loved each other very much and always went everywhere together.
One day when Edward and Puppy were shopping with Mummy and were waiting to pay, Puppy began looking into a bag belonging to someone behind them in the queue.
Puppy became curious and nosey, very nosey.
He stretched and stretched to peep into the bag which had a very yummy smell but “OH, OH, OHHHHHH DEAR ME!”. His legs began to wobble and shake and before he could stop himself, he lost his balance and tumbled into the shopping bag.
It was very dark in the bag and Puppy felt a little bit scared but he soon smelled what had made him tumble into the bag in the first place and started scratching around to see what is was. “OH MY”, it was the biggest, juiciest bone he had ever seen.  Puppy could not believe his eyes and decided he would try it to see if it tasted as good as it looked and smelled.
“Sniff, sniff, lick, lick”, Puppy soon forgot where he was.  He wasn’t scared anymore and wasn’t concerned when a loaf of bread, a tin of beans and a big box of washing powder came clattering down into the bag too.  He just kept on licking and crunching on the delicious bone.  When the bag started to wobble and swing about, Puppy still wasn’t bothered.  He was far too busy.
After a little while, the bag was still again and Puppy could hear voices. It got lighter in the bag and a big hand kept coming into the bag and lifting things out until there was only Puppy and the scrumptious bone left.  
 “I have a lovely bone for you from the butchers, Pippa” a voice said as the hand came back into the bag.  Puppy held his breath as the hand pulled him out of the bag instead of the bone.  He suddenly realised he wasn’t in the right place. He had forgotten all about shopping with Edward and Mummy when he started eating the bone but now he remembered and became a little afraid again.
“Now what is this, how on earth did this little pup get here.  I wonder.  I will have to see if I can find who he belongs to”.  The lady went straight back to the shop with Puppy but Edward and Mummy had gone home a long time ago.
The lady knew someone special would be missing Puppy, but she wasn’t going to leave him scared and alone in the shop.  She snuggled him back into her bag and took him home for a nice drink and a cuddle.  She told him not to be afraid and that he could stay with her and her little dog, Pippa.
The next day the lady was very busy putting lots of clothes into a suitcase.
Puppy tried to be very big and grown up but he couldn’t help but think of his good friend Edward.  He knew he would be upset and missing his best friend and wanted to find a way to let him know that he was safe and not to worry too much.
Puppy was snuggled with his new doggy friend, Pippa when the lady came and scooped them both up and put them into a huge comfy shoulder bag.  “Well now Puppy and Pippa, we are off on a very big adventure.  I have lots of places around the world to visit and people to meet”.
Puppy thought this sounded very exciting but was still worried about Edward.  “I hope there is some way I can let Edward know where I am” he said to Pippa. “Maybe you could send him a postcard from wherever we are, if you know the address” she suggested. 
Puppy jumped up and down with excitement, “I do, I do know the address. Oh Pippa that is such a good idea, how clever you are, that is exactly what I am going to do”.   Puppy felt much happier and snuggled down with Pippa to have some rest before their adventures began.


  1. What a lovely story your friend wrote a lovely idea, only live in west sussex but am willing to send a postcard to Edward from Puppy my email is

  2. A parcel arrived from Puppy in Paris this morning. Edward was very pleased with the French biscuits, Eiffel Tower Notepad and letter. He seemed pretty convinced and it definitely but a smile on his face - very excited bless him!

  3. Edward received a letter postcard from Puppy this morning telling him all about his adventures in Bonnie Scotland. It was lovely to see my little boy tearing open the envelope as soon as he saw the pawprint on the back. Smiles all round :-)

  4. More post for Edward this morning from Puppy. A postcard of California (postmarked Australia!) and Meg's lovely story all printed and bound. We've read it multiple times today and although you can see it makes him a little sad, he wants to hear it again :-)

  5. More postcards and letters waiting for us when we got back from holiday. Puppy has been making some lovely friends in Wigan, Salem Oregon and Colchester. And the great news is that Doggy (puppy's brother) has been getting more and more attention from Edward. He could have a new friend yet!

  6. Two postcards this morning - one from St Ives (Cornwall) and another from Lanzarote. I've been really touched by the kindness to so many people. I'm going to put all the postcards/letters into a book for Edward to keep as a memory of his special friend. Thank you everyone!

  7. only just got round to reading this, happy to have helpt, brought a tier to my eye again reading this story Xx

  8. Aww, this idea is awesome!! I'd be more than happy to help too, my email is & i'll send one from London. ;-) xx

  9. Would love to send Edward a postcard from Robin Hood Country, my email is xx

  10. Oh, can I send him on too please?? My email address is

  11. Hello - I am going to france next week and would be happy to send a postcard while I'm there - my e-mail address is xx