I have always been a stuffed dog person. Never really was into stuffed bears much as a child and didn't ever really have a particular baby doll that I became real attached to either. When I was little, I had a dog named Chocolate. She got pretty threadbare, but I still have her. Then my grandmother (now deceased) bought me "Miserable Max." He's a sad looking doggie that she gave me when I was probably 7 or 8. The name on his tag said "Miserable Max" and something about "absorbing all your tears and miseries." My cousin got the same one.
Anyway, Max and I slept together from that day forward. I took him to college. When I moved out my senior year I was devastated because I thought I had lost him in the packing and moving. One month later, when I was working for the college giving tours, I showed my old room and there Max was - under the bed. I snuck back later and snatched him. I truly consider that a gift from God.
I continued to sleep with Max through law school. I gave Max up (for sleeping with anyway) when I got married. But when hubby is gone, Max comes back out. And Max visits when I'm sad or lonely or need to cry. Otherwise he lives on the top of my closet shelf where I can see him each day. My husband bought me a stuffed dog when we were dating. His name is Ruger (husband is a big hunter) but I never really attached to Ruger like Max. Perhaps because Ruger has clothes on with buttons that dig into you when you snuggle. But my daughter - she loves Ruger - and has adopted him. So that's kind of neat. I've just stuck to Max. It is totally amazing Max hasn't fallen apart -he has absorbed a ton of tears.
My preoccupation with dogs carried over into real life. When I was born, my parents were breeding Samoyeds. We had two. One was hit by a car when I was 4 and I don't remember her too well. Shasta was my childhood pet. Poor thing survived being dressed up and snuggled with. She had thick white fluffy fur and was so comfy to lie on. I'm not a real cat person but Spooky was our childhood pet. She was manx (no tail) and all black. I remember fighting with my kindergarten friend because she insisted cats had tails and I insisted otherwise.
When I was 10 and my parents divorced, my mom sent us away for 2 weeks to Grandmas while she moved. We (sister and I) returned home to find we had moved into an apt, mom's new boyfriend was living with us, and our childhood pets (had since before I was born), Shasta (dog) and Spooky (cat) had disappeared. When we asked, Mom said they had been dropped at the shelter. After all, apartments didn't allow pets. (never mind that she didn't ask my Dad if he would take them to the house he was renting). Mom said "Shasta is too old to be moving. She'll be peacefully put to sleep. Spooky might get adopted though."
When we moved into the house after the apartment, we were promised new pets. We went to the shelter to pick them out. I got a new dog named Sheeba and my sister got a cat named Sly (Sly later got run over and she got a cat named Trouble. Later she moved in with dad and got a dog named "Mickey Mouse" that came to live with us when she moved back in, and after her boyfriend died, a cat named Bear).
Sheeba was an awesome German Shephard/beagle mix. As a puppy she was tormented by being dressed up in baby clothes. Sheeba was my baby and the cat was my sister's. Sheeba slept in my room with me on my bed. I trained her. When I needed to escape, I went running with Sheeba. She and I took many late night walks. She kept me safe feeling in the dark. After I left for college and came home to visit, I would shut my door at night. Sheeba slept in my room or in my bed. I knew she'd wake me up if anyone tried to come in my room at night.
Obviously I could not take Sheeba with me to college. But I always enjoyed visiting her during breaks. I knew she was getting old and losing her sight and hearing. She snapped at people frequently there at the end. During college, I worked summer jobs to help pay for her food and vet bills. My plan was for her to come live with me as soon as I got a place. When I realized how old she was getting, I planed to go home Christmas after my first year of law school and assess her condition. If she was going downhill I planned to go with her while she was put to sleep. And to stay with her at the end.
After college graduation it occurred to me that Mom hadn't mentioned what she had done with my dog and my sister's dog while Mom was down here for 1 week during my graduation. I asked her on the phone. She said, "I took them to the shelter. Sheeba was getting old anyway. And Mickey Mouse (sister's dog) would probably be adopted. She's young after all" I told her "I hate you" and hung up on her.
I have a dog now named Tallie. I'm kind of scared to get too attached to her......but I have, and she sleeps with us too sometimes. She's a great guard dog and wonderful with my daughter. But nothing replaces Max. My husband is out of town tonight, and I'm kind of looking forward to some snuggle time with Max. I really wish he were smaller - I'd take him with me places. Guess that might seem kind of weird huh? Showing up in a doctor's office for blood work with a stuffed dog. Going in for my jaw surgery with a stuffed animal in tow. Kind of unusual for an adult!