If this were a game of Clue, I knew who the victim was, where it died, and what killed it.

The Roomba was dead. In the den. With a shag carpet.

But the question was, who done it?

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When I arrived home that day at 12:41pm, the familiar whooshing of the Roomba, set to vacuum at 12:30pm each day, was suspiciously silent. I scoured the house but couldn’t find it anywhere.

I turned to the dog.

“Monty, do you know where the Roomba is?” I questioned him.  “Is it lost?  Was it kidnapped?  Did something else nefarious take place in this house while I was gone?”

But the dog was mum.

I retraced my Roomba’s steps and then, just as I was about to leave the den, I spotted it. In the corner. Silent and unRoomba-ing. Upon closer inspection I could see what happened. It had choked to death on a clump of shag carpeting.

I was bereft. It was only six months old. It had died at such an early age. And it was definitely an untimely death. We knew the Roomba couldn’t handle the shag carpeting: We had caught it in distress one time before, and from that day on, we decided to keep the den door closed when the Roomba was working.

But somehow, mysteriously, today, the door had been left open, and the unsuspecting Rooma had fallen prey to the lure of the shag.

Before I could figure out who killed the Roomba, I first wanted to make sure the Roomba was, in fact dead.  The shag carpeting had the Roomba firmly in its clutches so I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut it out of the tangled mess. Then I turned the Roomba over. Its bristles were knotted up in shag. The roller was completely encased in shag. The filter was full of shag. It was clear the Roomba was dead and it had drowned in shag carpeting. But I took it to triage anyway and worked on it, feverishly removing all the tangles of shag carpeting from its rollers and coils. I grabbed a set of charging paddles. “Clear!” I yelled, and then shocked the Roomba. But it didn’t respond. It was dead on arrival.

Wiping away my tears, I dumped the Roomba in the trash and started to look for clues. The door to the den had been closed when I left the house, of that I was certain. So, who opened it? And more importantly, who had it out for the Roomba?

I walked into the kitchen. Vacuum cleaner mysteries always made me hungry. But as I opened the fridge, I noticed the dog sleeping across the kitchen floor. Slowly a thought entered my head. Could it be the dog? Could the dog have killed the Roomba? The dog hated the Roomba. The dog hated vacuum cleaners in general, but especially a vacuum cleaner that chased it around the house, trying to suck all the shedding dog hair directly off the dog’s body. Yes, the dog was not a fan.

I went to the den and closed the door. Then I got down on all fours and pushed against the door with my face, like a dog. The door resisted at first, but then popped open. I shook my head. I knew what I had to do.

“Monty!” I yelled across the house.

The dog appeared quickly at my side, tail wagging and full of joy, clearly trying to throw off all suspicion that a Golden Retriever could be a stone cold killer.

“Monty, the Roomba is dead. And I suspect that you had something to do with it. Do you have anything to say in your defense?”

The dog looked at the rug. The rug winked at the dog.

“Don’t worry,” it said silently. “I’ve got you covered.”