For a dog, Little Dude wasn't very little actually, only if you compared him to very big dogs, but in Little Dude's mind he was a very little guy that was always looking for a hug from anybody who would give him one, unless of course a fellow rubbed him the wrong way by walking by him really fast without saying "hi”, in which case Little Dude would charge, and maybe even bite.
Little Dude wasn’t perfect. Sometimes he was up all night, wondering from room to room all the time looking for his next comfortable spot. Then sometimes he would get lonely and want to be next to his humans, but he was too afraid to jump all the way up on to the bed, which he used to do, but having fell backward a couple of times he slowly gave up, so to snuggle with his humans Little Dude had to stand against the bed and scratch and poke his favorite humans over and over and over again until they would wake up.
And then Little Dude would be so happy and feel so warm because his humans would get out of bed, because he was too heavy to be picked up any other way, after all Little Dude was a stout fellow and not at all interested in physical fitness. But then Little Dude would get too hot, so he would wake them up again and find another spot on another bed and sleep for a couple more minutes, then it would occur to Little Dude that it would be much more comfortable to sleep with another favorite human. Little Dude could jump off the bed by himself so off he would go. Now Little Dude repeated this routine dozens of times every night. Nighttime was his favorite part of the day because everybody was home just like Little Dude liked it.
Little Dude was so happy that he never worried about the past, the future, or the present for that matter. If he was full and he was warm and he was with his humans well then he was a happy dude.
But Little Dude had a secret. He wasn’t always this happy. There was a time when he was lost all alone with no food, and no water, and no humans, or dogs, nobody. For many days and many nights Little Dude wondered from street to street, he rolled around in the mud to keep warm, and he ate some grass here and there, but mostly he just cried.
It was when he was crying one late afternoon that the oddest thing happened. “Pssssst. Over here,” he heard somebody say, but he couldn’t see anybody. He looked up and down, and to the left and to the right. “Psssst, over here,” he heard again, but he couldn’t see anything. Then he felt something on the top of his head. “I’m up here.”
“What?” said Little Dude.
Then the most unusual thing happened. A little tiny thing jumped from off the top of his head and onto the tip of his nose, and said “hi”. It was such a cute little guy with a big smile, but it didn’t look like an animal, or a human, or even like a mouse or a bug. It looked to Little Dude like a cartoon. He couldn’t believe it and thought that maybe all that grass he had been eating had gone to his head. But this cartoon was so cute with his big hat and his big smile, Little Dude couldn’t help but smile too.
The little character jumped off of Little Dude’s nose and onto a blade of grass.
“What’s your name?” it said.
Little Dude wasn’t used to talking too much so it felt a little strange, because usually he mostly just barked, but with this little guy, the words came easily.
“What’s your name?”
“I am The Great Brain Picker-Upper.”
“Huh? What are you?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“You’re not a human.”
“I don’t think you’re an animal? Where do you live? Where are you from? Are you from space?”
“I’m not sure where I’m from but I know why I’m here. I, The Great Brain Picker-Upper, am here to make people happy.”
“How do you do that?”
“That’s the problem. It’s not so easy though. How am I supposed to make people happy if nobody can see me? Like you didn’t see me. I’m just too small. I keep trying to talk to people, I’ve even tried to talk to other dogs. You’re the first one who would listen to me. Thank you.”
“Hey. I know what you could do,” said Little Dude. “You could help me find my family.”
And that’s how it all began, the unusual friendship of Little Dude and The Great Brain Picker-Upper. The Great Brain Picker-Upper helped little Dude find his way home, and along the way found his own cozy spot underneath Little Dude’s big right ear.
When Little Dude got home, his family was so happy to see him. The house sprung alive with laughter and giggling, and Little Dude was jumping on everybody snipping at their shirts, he wouldn’t stop, jumping and jumping and jumping just like he always did. Then he sprang higher than he ever sprang before and that is when The Great Brain Picker-Upper came flying out of Little Dude’s ear.
“AAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa,” The Great Brain Picker-Upper screamed, but nobody heard him.
Thankfully, Little Dude had gotten so used to The Great Brain Picker-Upper that he was able to find him right away between the cushions on the couch. Little Dude scooped The Great Brain Picker-Upper up with the underside of his tongue from where The Great Brain Picker-Upper was able to jump right back into his spot under Little Dude’s big fluffy ear.
That’s when Little Dude’s favorite human opened her eyes wide as they could ever be. “What’s that?” she said.
The Great Brain Picker-Upper climbed onto Little Dude’s head and smiled at her. “My name is the Great Brain Picker-Upper.”
And that is the first known story of The Great Brain Picker-Upper and Little Dude.