It's A Wonderful Kingdom

Chapter Eleven

As the glow from his angel wings cleared, Wolfgang looked at Stanley with a face full of concern. This was going to be tough. 

Stanley looked around to see where he had been taken this time. He was back in the Welcome Room. It looked familiar but not as clean, plush and fragrant as usual. The desk was unusually empty with a neat paw-written note that said, ‘back later x’.  

“Where is he? Where’s my BFF Paddy? Is he in Scout Tower?” he asked enthusiastically. Wolfgang nodded towards the café and Stan scampered in. 

He looked on their normal table and stood on a chair for a better view. At the uncharacteristically quiet bar was a tzu that looked like Paddy, just thinner, with deep sad eyes and slumped shoulders. He would order a milkshake and ask the bartender. 

As he waited for his shake he looked again at the sad chap and got a shock. It was Paddy, but not the cheery chap he knew and loved. 

“Paddy?” he ventured, still not totally sure. 

“What?” said a gruff bark. 

“It’s me…Stan…your best friend...for...forever…” 

He looked Stanley up and down. 

“I don’t know you, never seen you before in me life. Plus, I don’t have friends. Well, not anymore.” 

Stanley noticed something else about his bestie’s appearance. 

“Paddy, why are you not in your scout uniform?” 

He rolled his eyes and sighed as he answered.  

“Why would I be? I gave that caper up long ago, thankless task. Pointless too.” 

“No, no, you rescued loads of tzus-less-fortunate and brought them to safety…” 

“Maybe a few, but not enough to make it worth all that peering through telescopes and climbing up ropes.” 

“No, no Paddy you’re Chief Scout, everyone loves you and looks up to you and you’re my hero….” 

“Look ‘snowflake fluffy chops’, I don’t know who you are or where you dropped in from but I just like to be left alone here with my thoughts, thank you very much. I haven’t been up that rope since my action girl Phoebe and I tried to rescue every fur from that puppy farm and we lost two. The girl of my dreams has never been to Tzu Kingdom since so I’m just not interested, and I only come here every day just so I can be here to apologise for ruining her life if she happens by and once that’s done then I’m never coming back either.” 

Stanley staggered and grabbed on to the bar rail. 

“But Paddy, what about Queen Coffee and King Bailey? Our friends? They’re the chosen ones remember?” 

“Pfft, what? Ha de har har! OK, I can believe that of Coffee but that Bailey? ‘Chosen-to-stay-in-his-office-whilst-poor-Coffee-runs-herself-ragged-one’ more like.” 

“Coffee is Chief Scout, she helps out in the Comforter Wing because Franc is still traumatised from the rescue that went wrong because of that teddy bear, she tries to keep the Welcomer Room going, she’s constantly trying to get furs to organise events they don’t want to go to any more and then she’s got to run around being ruler because King Bailey is ill…or so it’s rumoured. We barely see fluff nor fur of him since that rescue… Santa Paws crashed here a couple of years ago and he didn’t even come out then, he left Coffee to it and then refused an invitation to take the Queen on holiday to see the ice palace and - my dog - she needs a break. The Kingdom is crumbling away and it’s never going to be rebuilt...” 

Stan couldn’t take any more, he ran and ran back to the Edelweiss patch with Wolfgang flying behind him, his wings flapping faster and faster as he gathered pace. 

He flung himself on the floor but there was no Edelweiss. Wolfgang flopped to his knees next to him and held him tight. 

“Where’s your flower patch, it’s where you’re buried and we tend it in your honour and now it’s gone,” he sobbed. 

“I didn’t make it back either Stan, not in a world where you were not,” he explained, to more tears. 

“Oh Wolfgang, what about Vera? My elephant friend? If Santa Bailey never happened then Shay never invited us to Santa Paws Land and maybe we never found her.” 

Wolfgang held him again, “I’m sorry, you never were there and you, Paddy and Maisie never went on a flight with Santa Paws and Binky. Vera got taken by the bad men.” 

“’Believe in the Kingdom’ King Bailey used to say when everything was good. ‘It’s bigger than all of us’ he said and I did believe, I do believe…I…I…” 

“Stan, Stan, to believe in the Kingdom it means you have to believe in yourself first and you did, and you should. Every dog’s life touches so many others that you must never doubt the part you play in the world. The day you discovered Tzu Kingdom, followed Coffee’s instructions and then took Paddy’s paw and jumped through your fairy door with a burp, well, it started a chain reaction and you touched lives and events unfolded. In your own ways, each and every one of you is a chosen one and it is as it is, as it was and as it always will be.” 

Stan sobbed uncontrollably in to his paws. “I want to discover Tzu Kingdom again, I want to discover my magical place and all my friends....” 

Through his fur he saw the angel glow again and he dreaded to think where he would be now, it just couldn’t get any worse. 

“Stan! There you are pal, I’ve been looking everywhere for you, I am exhausted, we’ve all been so worried. We saw what happened and I ran down, I’ve been looking for you since. Everything will be fine now we know you’re safe. Coffee and Bailey told Mac, Phoebe and me to keep on looking until we found you and Maisie and Beth went up Scout Tower to look through the telescopes with Winny and Bonz. What? Why you staring at me? What? Have I dropped gravy on me uniform shirt again…or jam?” 

“Paddy, oh Paddy!” he squealed jumping up and hugging his pal. 

Chapter Twelve

The Edelweiss patch had returned, Paddy was in his paws and he was all muddy again. His bad dream was over. Stanley sat on the bench and told his best friend everything that had happened since he ran away. 

Paddy laughed and checked his pal’s head for bruises. “You must have had a boing on the bonce when you fell over by the barn,” he laughed, “let’s get you checked over in the Comforter Wing. Franc and Centime are on shift oh, with Otto too!” 

Stanley smiled at the mention of Franc on duty. 

“Maybe,” he replied, “but it seemed so real when King Wolfgang, Angel King Wolfgang I mean, hugged me. His fur was soft and warm just like when he lived with us and his wings were, well, sparkly and magnificent.” 

Paddy nodded. If that’s what his best friend believed, he would go with it. But he explained to his friend, maybe they should just keep it to themselves, a special secret to share and Stanley agreed. Maybe it was just a dream and something that he needed to figure out. Paddy had agreed though, there was certainly truth in what Wolfgang had said about believing in yourself. 

“I wonder what Tzu Kingdom would be like if you hadn’t discovered it Pads,” Stanley mused. 

“There’d be many more doughnuts to eat Stan!” They laughed, just like they had earlier when Paddy did his big breakfast burp. 

The boys stood up and held each other tight. Paddy poked him in the ribs and made him giggle. 

“Come on, me muddy fluffy chops bestie, let me show you what’s happened whilst you’ve been hanging around in the clouds…” 

Chapter Thirteen

“Look who I found…” Paddy announced, proudly, as he led Stanley through the patio doors to the Royal Chamber. 

“Oh thank dog,” exhaled Coffee as she collapsed in to her beanbag and started sniffing, “I have been worried sick, I haven’t stopped wringing my paws.” 

“Stanley, Stanley, where have you been?” King Bailey cried as he saw his little friend come in to the room. He went to hug him, but saw him covered in mud, thought better of it, and held out his paw to shake. 

“He’s alright now KB, QC. He got a little overwhelmed when he saw the barn and he thought everything was ruined and it was all his fault. He even thought we wouldn’t love him or want him in Tzu Kingdom any more…” 

“Why...why would he even think that let alone say it?” Queen Coffee gasped, blowing her nose with her embroidered handkerchief, tearfully taking a sip of water and dropping her hanky in to a small laundry bin as she paced around the office. She checked Stanley over herself and rubbed a sore spot on his head, telling him just to be alert in case he felt at all dizzy or started to hallucinate. 

Paddy chuckled in to a cushion, thinking of Stanley’s angel dream. 

Bailey had something to tell him but he had to get him tidied up for the evening.  

“Well, I think there’s something you need to see but first a shower, I think! Stanley, why don’t you use my bathroom here and make yourself handsome for tonight. I’ll ask Mac to bring your suit down and I think we should be able to get your lovely new coat and boots clean before you go home,” he winked at his wife. 

Paddy raised his eyebrows. Wow, Stanley must be highly thought of if Bailey was going to let him use his own royal bathroom and shampoos but, he supposed, he could see he had been through a terrible ordeal and, as always, the King knew just what to do. 

Chapter Fourteen

Stanley smelt divine and felt amazing in his suit. Coffee had tied one of her patterned scarves around his eyes and they had walked him through to the Party Room. 

As he got closer, smiling from ear to ear, he could smell soap suds but didn’t know if it was his fur as it hit the corridor air or something else. Maybe it was just his coat being washed. 

“He’s here, he’s back!” Phoebe shouted as he arrived and she whipped off his blindfold. 

“TA DA!” yelled Maisie, atop a table in the middle of the room. “Welcome to the Christmas Eve Eve laundry!!!!” 

She jumped off the table and ran to Stan, “hello my gorgeous boyfriend, let me show you around.” 

Maisie explained what had occurred whilst Stan was running away.  

The scouts saw what happened just after and ran down to the barn, they called Bailey and Coffee and they went to assess the situation with Mac, Kiki and Lola. They picked up the teddy bears, squeezed and prodded them and realised that if they moved quickly they could have them washed, hung out to dry, brushed and as good as new by the time 'Team Christmas' arrived. It was the same with the blankets and cushions. 

The treats were ruined, but Mac had a plan for that. He ran to Tzu Bakery and spoke to Jiro, Acting Head Baker, who called in his top team to bake trays of wholesome treats. By tonight, they would be gift boxed with ribbons and ready to go. 

Together, as a team, they wheeled out the incident board and hatched a plan. 

The bears and blankets needed to be moved down to the main building and piled up outside the Party Room where the laundry would be based. Kiki and Lola called for help and a shih-tzu-chain was formed. They picked up a bear at a time and passed it along hundreds of pairs of paws through the Kingdom grounds and back in to the building. A relay of wheelbarrows moved the heavy blankets in the same direction. 

Back at the laundry dozens of buckets had been filled with soapy water, tarpaulin had been laid across the floor and clothes lines had been fixed from one side of the hall to the other. 

They divided in to four teams and they would rotate, taking an allocation of gifts to wash, dry, hang and brush. 

Alice & Pom Pom, Brickie & Hiro, Sammy & Percy and Louis & Colin would lead a team each with Phoebe and Maisie in overall charge. 

The dry blankets were being folded and the dry bears would be redressed with neat bows and ribbons from Coffee’s haberdashery cupboard. Everything was loaded into the boxes Santa Paws Land Palace Manager Embry had sent through a few days ago, now with the contents listed neatly on the outside. 

In the gift wrap department, paws were a flurry! Beth had drafted in her friends Bella and Millie to tie bows and brush teddy bear fur. 

Scout Winny had joined Bentz in the café and they were ferrying in drinks and refreshments to order.  

It was amazing to watch.  The last lot were just going in wash buckets now. 

Paddy hugged his pal. 

“We’re a team here in Tzu Kingdom Stan, never forget that! Believe in the Kingdom right?” 

“...and believe in yourself too Paddy,” he smiled.

Chapter Fifteen

That evening, King Bailey straightened his new tie that his wife had left on his desk. It was extremely smart – silver and mulberry stripes that coordinated beautifully with his anchor grey suit. He buttoned his waistcoat and admired himself in the mirror. Waistcoats had become very popular this year after the Football World Cup and he felt rather dashing and distinguished, as well as terribly trendy despite his advancing years. 

“Well, will I pass?” woofed a voice and he turned to see Queen Coffee - elegant in a long dress with batwing sleeves, mulberry to match his tie, with a silver crocheted shawl around her shoulders. 


“Silly Bailey,” she giggled as she approached him, feeling assured that she had her look just right. She straightened his tie up to her liking and unfastened his bottom waistcoat button. 

“Always leave the lowest one undone Bailey, there…King Handsome!” she smiled. 

Paw in paw, they walked to their patio doors for the imminent arrival of Santa Paws and to where a magical spectacle greeted them. 

In addition to the white lights that lit up the orchard and twinkled in the night sky, hundreds of tzus with colourful flashlights stood in line to light his path and welcome him to Tzu Kingdom. They eagerly anticipated his arrival and looked to the stars but, up in Scout Tower, Winny had the best view on the special ops telescope and, as soon as he was seen Mac, leaning out of the Scout Tower window with a megaphone, would alert them. 

Scout Tower was illuminated too and it was Stanley who saw both scouts jumping up and down. He laughed and prodded Maisie as Mac hollered to them. 


The shih tzus shuffled in to an orderly line and shone their torches on the ground to make a rainbow path. Santa Paws’ sleigh came in to view as a little red dot in the night sky, after a few seconds they could see the six dogs pulling the sleigh and finally it swept to a halt in front of them. They all cheered and waved but something was not quite as expected. It wasn’t Binky the elf sat next to him, but Pixie, his despatch manager. 

“Where could Binky be?” Maisie asked Stan, with a furrowed brow. 

Copyright © Karen Chilvers & Gill Eastgate - 2018 First Edition  

The authors assert the moral right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the authors of this work. All Rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior consent of the authors, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.