As Anjanette and her friends hurried along towards the sound of the voices, she thought she could see the silhouettes of four men in the distance, and as they got closer, she couldn't help thinking they looked vaguely familiar. But she wasn't sure why she thought that until Tammy gave a loud squeal. "Oh my gosh! It's A Wave Tossed In the Ocean!!!"
Anjanette's eyes grew wide. It really was them... There was Les and Jimmy and Charles and Felix, walking along and calling for someone named Venus while Jimmy held the leash of another dog, a big but friendly-looking one who stopped at Tammy's voice and wagged his tail. Charles looked quite flattered to be recognized, and Les smiled at Tammy, but Felix looked faintly flustered and blushed, and Jimmy said, "Yeah, we are, but now's not the time, all right? If we get a lot of fans following us now, we'll lose Venus."
Anjanette noticed how concerned he looked. "Who's Venus?"
"My dog." Jimmy patted the other dog, who was now looking very anxious, Anjanette could tell since she had two dogs and worked with animals all the time. "Well, one of them - say hello, Mars." Mars barked and wagged his tail.
"Venus and Mars - that's great!" Ferdinand remarked as he and Becky let Mars sniff their hands and, after an approving lick for each of them, patted him on the head. "Like the Paul McCartney song. My cat's name is Orion."
Tammy had meanwhile turned to Charles and was telling him all in a rush her favourite songs from their album, and Charles was standing taller and looking very proud of this, and Felix turned to Anjanette and lifted his shoulders as if to say they were supposed to be in a hurry, but these things sometimes happened.
"We thought we heard you searching for a dog," Anjanette ventured. "What happened to Venus?"
Jimmy shook his head. "She jumped out of our van when she saw a squirrel. She normally doesn't act like that, but she's been so excited on tour, wanting to explore everything. She loves new places. I guess she thought the squirrels here are different from ours!"
Anjanette smiled. She had been right, she thought - Jimmy really did love animals.
"She usually comes right back when Jimmy calls her, though," Les added. "She doesn't know her way around here... I'm kind of worried about her."
The other band members looked concerned. "We'll find her," Charles said, turning his attention back to the group. He clasped Jimmy's shoulder. "All right?"
Jimmy nodded, smiling for his friend.
"We could help," Anjanette heard herself offering. "Blitz can track her down. German Shepherds have one of the best noses in the canine world." She patted Blitz, who barked as if to agree with her. Misty turned towards Blitz and wagged her tail as if offering support. Marshmallow, Becky's small white terrier, was sniffing at some bushes but turned his head to Blitz as if acknowledging his abilities too.
"Yeah, that's right!" Jimmy agreed, looking impressed. "You know a lot about dogs, huh?"
Anjanette nodded, blushing. "I do volunteer at Tammy's parents' pet shelter." She indicated her friend.
"Oh, that's right," Tammy added, a little breathlessly. "We haven't introduced ourselves... I'm Tammy, that's my best friend Anjanette, that's my other best friend Ferdinand...."
"And I'm her other best friend and his girlfriend, Becky." Becky put her arm around Ferdinand as she smiled winningly at the band, especially Felix. "And this is Marshmallow. We all know you, of course."
"We love your music," Ferdinand added admiringly.
Charles grinned. "Let's talk favourite songs sometime."
"But first, Venus," Les added, with a tone implying he had known Charles to get distracted by fan encounters before.
Jimmy pulled out a squeaky squirrel toy that looked very old and chewed-up. "This has to have Venus's scent on it. She loves this old thing. Never thought she's get into so much trouble with a real squirrel..." His voice trailed and he looked away.
"We don't know she's in trouble yet," Felix reminded him.
"Blitz will find him," promised Anjanette.
"That's right," Les agreed. Turning to Anjanette and her friends, he added, "Thanks for helping him."
Jimmy held out Venus's toy to Blitz. Mars, Misty, and Marshmallow were all sniffing each other off to the side, Mars seeming to realize that Blitz was busy and now wasn't the time to try and get acquainted with him.
Blitz sniffed the toy cautiously. For a moment, he stood still, as if he were thinking. Then, with a tug on his leash, he took a few steps, turning back to Anjanette and the others as if to say, "Come with me!"
Anjanette and Jimmy exchanged glances. "He's got something!" Jimmy was clearly trying not to sound too relieved. "Smart dog."
Anjanette couldn't help smiling proudly at this. "Come on!"