THE MYSTERY OF CHERI CANARY®

“Attention, Pug,” Kara said to her best buddy Ella Bella Mae. “It’s time for the vets.”
Pug climbed off her pillow perch and scampered across the floor to where Kara waited with the leash. Pug’s harness was a bright pink with Seahorses stamped on it. A present from Grand Papa. Pug loved going to the vets. Everyone there loved her and would “oooh” and “ahhh” saying “what a cute little Pug.” And the best part was she would get a treat at the end of the visit.
The waiting room was crowded. Pug’s friend, Louie, a small terrier was the first to say hello. Some yapping from Louie and snorting from Pug was their equivalent of a “high five.”
“Hello Cheri,” Kara said to the yellow canary sitting in the cage on top of the receptionist’s counter. “I hope you are having a wonderful summer.” Cheri Canary whistled back.
Kara eyed up the waiting area. She knew it would be at least twenty minutes before Pug was called to see Doctor Katzenbach. She made herself comfortable next to the lady with the French bulldog puppy.

“I’m Kara and this is Pug,” Kara introduced herself.
“This is Louise and I’m Lori,” she answered. “But we call her Weazey. It’s her first time here. That is why she is hiding so far under the bench.”
“I guess she’s a little shy,” Kara said reaching to pet Weazey’s cute little ears. They were black as ink. ”Her ears are so soft. Just like velvet.”
Phones were ringing, pets and owners were coming and going and the staff called the next patient. All the while, Joe Weasel was making his way unnoticed into Cheri’s cage. Joe Weasel was furry and very flexible. It was easy for him to squirm into small places. Joe Weasel was another office pet. Everyone knew Joe Weasel needed to be watched so as not to harm Cheri Canary. But this day, at this time, there was such distraction that no one saw Joe enter the cage. Nor did they hear Cheri as she chirped and chirped fighting the advances of Joe Weasel.
Once Pug finished her visit with Doctor Katzenbach, Kara noticed Cheri was missing and Joe was in the cage.
“Oh no,” Kara cried out. “Look! A bed of feathers in the cage. Joe Weasel has some in the corners of his mouth.”
Standing next to Kara, Pug tilted her head to the left and then to the right with her big bulging eyes staring up at Kara. It was the look of worry.
“Good grief,” Doctor Katzenbach said. “Joe, did you eat the Canary?” Joe slithered his thin body and big head through the bars of the cage. Going out the same way he got in.
“Oh Doctor,” Kara said. “This is sad. What should we do”?

Doctor Katzenbach looked around his very full waiting room. “There is nothing we can do, Kara. I need to get back to work. I am sorry you had to see this.”
The staff was devastated. They could not believe Joe Weasel got passed them. He had always tormented Cheri Canary. He would sit up on his hind legs peering in the cage and the staff would shoo him away. But this time, it was different. He had gotten in and now the only thing left were Cheri’s yellow feathers spread and splattered all along the bottom of the big brass cage.
“Weazey,” Doctor Katzenbach called. “Hi Lori. Let’s see the new pup.”
Lori stood up from the brown bench and stooped to pick up Weazey. Kara and Pug watched as Lori scooped the little bundle of velvet-like fur into her arms.

 “Look, Pug” Kara said. “It’s a few more of Cheri Canary’s feathers.”  Kara reached down to pick them up. Pug sniffed the black and white checked floor.  Kara picked up the feathers from the trail leading under the bench where Weazey had been.
“PUG!” Kara exclaimed. “Cheri! Come here, little Cheri.”
Kara cupped little Cheri Canary in her hands. Everyone was so excited that little Cheri was not harmed.
“It just goes to show,” Kara told Pug. “Sometimes you might have to ruffle a few feathers for your freedom.”

THE MYSTERY OF SIDNEY SEAHORSE®

The bright sun placed radiant reflections along the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. With each crash of the wave to the shore, the water shimmered. The waves looked like very sparkly gem stones, Kara thought. “Not just diamonds,” she said aloud to her best buddy Ella the Pug.

Kara and Pug traveled from Brooklyn, New York to her grand papa’s home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It was a summer ritual. Kara continued placing sea shells into her bag.

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“Two whole weeks of this wonderful beach,” Kara told Pug. “I might have to try surfing.”

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Pug’s ears flew back, and she tipped her head one way and then the other.

“Pug, why the look of worry?” Kara asked. “It will be spectacular as I ride the waves”

Kids running down the beach brought Kara from her daydream of catching a wave to shore.

“Look, Pug,” Kara said, pointing her finger toward the sky. “Kites! We need to fly one.”

Following the kites, Kara and Pug ran up the beach. Soon, they came to the oasis of kites.

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“Wow, Pug,” said Kara in amazement. “Have you ever seen so many kites? Look, there’s one that looks like a seal.  And there’s one of a starfish. And look at that one, Pug. A seahorse!”

Kara was about as excited as she had ever been.

“How much does it cost for the seahorse kite?” she inquired of the owner.

“Twelve dollars,” he replied.
Pug looked at Kara with that worried look again.
“Oh well,” She said scooping Pug up off the sand into her arms. “Not today, Pug.”

On the boardwalk, there were many souvenir shops. Pug followed close to Kara, every once again trying to break rank and chase a sea gull. “There it is,” Kara said walking into one of the shops. “We don’t have enough money for the kite, but I can buy this pin.”
Kara held the object in her hand. She ran her finger along the ridges of the wood carved pin and traced the small gem stones inlays. She loved the way it sparkled so much like the gems the sun made over the ocean.
“That will be five dollars,” the clerk said.
Kara placed the pin on her shirt and took a glance in the mirror. “Perfect,” she said.

“Pug, this is Sidney Seahorse and this is Pug.”
In approval, Pug’s ears stood tall as they could. The three of them continued their tour of the boardwalk until they reached Grand Papa’s house. It was blue with white shutters and a little white picket fence. It sat just off the boards, away from much of the crowds. Kara sat on the bench, under the umbrella and poured a glass of lemonade Grand had made earlier.
“I just love my new pin…” her voice stopped. The pin was gone!

“Oh, no. Oh, no,” she sobbed. “Pug we must track our steps to find Sidney.”

Pug lead the way up the boards sniffing and stopping. They searched everywhere Kara had been. Exhausted from the walk and saddened they did not find Sidney Seahorse, Kara and Pug returned to Grand Papa’s. Kara’s head hung low as she opened the gate to where Grand Papa sat under the umbrella.
“You have quite a collection of shells here,” Grand Papa said. “And this seahorse…”
Kara looked up and saw the shimmering Sidney Seahorse dangling from her Grand Papa’s fingers. She ran and placed her arms around his neck.
“I love you Grand,” she said and then kissed him on the cheek. “I thought we lost Sidney. Grand, this is Sidney Seahorse and this is Grand.”
“So you like Seahorses,” Grand asked. “They are magnificent. They are the only creature on earth in which the male carries and gives birth to the babies.”
Kara placed Pug on a chair next to where she was sitting listening very closely to her Grand Papa.  Grand Papa reached over and pinned Sidney Seahorse to Kara’s shirt.

Sidney Seahorse shimmered as the gem stones reflected light of the rays from the afternoon sun.
“It looks like a rainbow, Pug,” Kara said.
“You see,” Grand Papa said. “Even though something is different it still has beauty.”