Sounds like an episode of Scooby Doo doesn't it? We have all been there....
You are getting close to completing the jigsaw puzzle, and it is looking increasingly unlikely that that crucial piece is actually going to show up.
Yep, it's GONE (AAAHHHHH).
Cue frantic, panicked search under the tables and chairs, in your lap, even questioning what the pet has consumed today (yuck, let's not go there).
How can one little nugget of shaped cardboard evoke so much emotion?
These days a genuinely missing piece from a new, sealed puzzle is a very, very rare occurrence as manufacturing and quality control processes are so high tech now. It is much more likely that the missing piece is in fact lurking nearby. I know that possibly makes it feel worse, but it is true.
So what do I do when I have a puzzle piece missing?
1. Firstly, calm down! Easier said then done I know, but it is really difficult to think rationally when you are upset. Go for a walk if you can, sit in another room, make yourself a cup of tea and breathe.
2. Try the obvious places again (now that you have calmed down). This is most likely everywhere with a 2 metre radius of your work area.
Under chairs and tables, underneath your puzzle or puzzle board/mat, the corners and edges of the puzzle box, under rugs and along skirting boards.
I have been known to spend ages looking for a missing piece only to find it 'camouflaged' on top of the actual puzzle - just gently run your palm across the completed puzzle surface and see if the piece is there.
3. Could a pet have got a hold of a dropped puzzle piece, check their bedding for clues. I don't recommend going too much further to retrieve your puzzle piece if it seems that your beloved fluff ball has in fact eaten it, (it's OK fluffy... we don't want the piece THAT much).