When I flew to California with my 18th month old daughter, I was more worried about losing her little stuffed dog, Harry, than the kid. Maizie would scream her lungs out if I left her sight for more than 30 seconds, but that drool and tear stained nubbly dog looked ready to be put down. Anyone picking him up, would have dropped him in the nearest trash can. No one told me the most important rule of parenting, 'ALWAYS get a back up of your child's favorite toy'.
On the way to the checkout, something fuzzy and canine shaped caught my eye. Tucked back on a shelf, was one small fuzzy dog, with a pointed nose and eyes that looked into your soul. I took the dog, and stuffed the bibs back on the shelf.
Something about those black beady eyes caught me again, four months later as I finally packed our suitcase to fly to China to meet our daughter. Space was limited, but I stuffed that dog into my bag. On the day Maizie joined our family, he was the first thing that I handed her. Harry has been her constant companion ever since.
He has also been a source of concern. What happens if he gets lost? Suppose my sister's dog chews him to pieces? I used his tag to look for stores where I cold buy another, but months went by with no luck. My husband finally found the holy grail of stuffed animals on Ebay, more than double what I paid. It didn't matter. We would have paid more.
Maizie is now five, and the back up dog, still sits in the bag he was mailed in. Harry is showing his age, but for my daughter, he is priceless.