Canine comfort

I written before about my fear of dogs (particularly the Big Black variety) and it's a real fear... but I realised today that I've never told you about my dog Fred.

Fred came into my life on my fifth birthday as a gift from one of my brothers. At the time I was only a little bit bigger than Fred, but I wasn't afraid of him. I couldn't be afraid... Fred looked like this:


In truth, even as a child I was never really one for stuffed toys or dolls. I would much rather have read a book than played with a toy or doll (although I am still jealous of my friend Vicky who had the most amazingly wonderful doll house I've ever seen in my life). With Fred, it was different. I loved him. I still don't really know why - being so long and kind of flat he wasn't cuddly like a teddy bear. He wasn't cute. I always thought his expression was rather sad, actually, and there were times when I made up tragic stories to account for why he looked so sad and serious. Nevertheless, I just loved him. I didn't carry him around... in fact I'm not sure he ever left my bedroom except for the time I made a train out of cardboard boxes and took him for a ride around the dining room... but I slept with him for years. He heard all my secrets, all my joys, all my sorrows. He was soaked with my tears more times than I care to count. When I was angry and frustrated I threw him across the room and told him I hated him, but he always forgave me. He's that kind of dog.

When I grew too old to sleep with a stuffed toy he was demoted to the end of my bed. He kept my feet warm in winter and kept guard in my bedroom when I wasn't there. My other toys were put away, thrown out, given away or forgotten, but not Fred.

Today he lives on a shelf in the wardrobe in my spare room. He is filthy and has a couple of holes that leak stuffing if he's handled too roughly. I'm afraid to wash him in case it finishes him off. I don't bring him out of the wardrobe. I don't think about him at all, really. Today I mentioned him to someone and it prompted me to drag him out and have a look at him - and I remembered what a comfort he was to me when I was a child.

So thank you, Fred. You're a smelly, mangy old thing but you got me through some hard times and I don't think I could have done it without you.



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4 comments:

Long dark hair, blue eyes said...

What a nice post. Good old Fred.

Crazy Sister said...

I'm pretty sure that everybody in the whole world has one favourite comfort object. We need our 'Freds'! Mine is an old doll with a vicious haircut (hey, I was 5). I joke that she's kind of short to be my 22 year old daughter...

Hippomanic Jen said...

What would we do without "Freds" in our lives? Mine is an old pink teddy that is pretty close to falling apart and DID come everywhere with me. I think my parents were very worried she might get lost, but she never did.

Dee from Downunder said...

good old Fred.. my older girl has her Woof, I hope she can keep him as long as you, he's been through the wringer too.

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