Everyone, say hi to Puppy!
My son has been attached to two stuffed animals in his life on this planet, and those animals have traveled quite a bit. The Curious George doll that the little guy received as a gift from his great-grandparents got him off his pacifier at ten months of age, but it also became a semi-permanent appendage. George helped him with transitions, sure, but we were always afraid that George would end up on the subway tracks someplace. We looked into a surrogate George in case something happened, but at the time, a surrogate was a $45 collector's item. Oops.
George has been to Canada, New York, California, Pennsylvania, the Midwest, and is now residing with us here in New Orleans. His head has been dragged through the mud in the streets of Philly, where I had to wash him off in a hotel sink with shampoo and dry him out as best I could with a dinky hair dryer so that he could ease the little guy to sleep. He's taken baths in laundromat washing machines and finally had his satin edge pulled off from all the fraying of the threads that held it on.
And then we moved back to New Orleans around Mardi Gras time. Saw some parades, caught some stuff. One of the things we caught was a stuffed animal dog, a nondescript brown one with no bells and whistles, no flashy colors. The little guy loved it and dubbed it Puppy. Puppy became my son's new familiar. Yep, a new semi-permanent appendage.
A little over a week ago, we lost Puppy. No, there is no replacement out there that I could see, and I have searched the internet high and low. I searched Whole Foods high and low. Dan and I went through all the usual little guy haunts: no dice. We turned our house upside down. No Puppy. No surrogate Puppy, either. We had to tell the little guy he ran away.
Last night, I went out to walk the dog after a harrowing week. Friday was especially nuts for a number of reasons. More little guy behavior troubles. People expressing to me how fed up they were with living here. The end of orientation for my camp counselor's gig (yeah, I'm doing it again...I need to have my head examined, I know). I encountered another dog walker by the fountain who told me after nearly twenty years here, he's giving up the ghost in New Orleans. More good news. Yeesh. I turned back toward home and saw a familiar face in the back window of a car parked nearby. Oh. My. God. It is...
I gingerly walked back to the guy chilling in the car. "Uhhh, excuse me, sir..."
Turned out he'd recovered Puppy from the lost and found at one of our usual haunts. The chillin' dude gave me Puppy, and I came home bursting with a good story.
"Dan! You're not gonna believe this!..."
Now if only Puppy could talk...