In the corner of my living room sits a basket of overflowing dog toys. Amongst all the balls and pull toys, the mini footballs, and the torn and tattered remnants of animals that Grandma has re-patched and re-paired many times over, lays Bunny. Smelly, ripped, drool encrusted Bunny, the love of Moose’s life.
I have never experienced an animal who had an attachment to a toy before. Previously I had 2 massive Black Labs, who never had an attachment to anything. There goal with everything was “DEVOUR and do it quickly”. Toys didn’t last with them. Their mission in life was to destroy and disintegrate into pieces any object that was given to them as quickly as possible.
Moose arrived from Louisiana about 3 ½ years ago, when he was just a pup. I remember how excited we all were to go to the airport to pick up our new member of the family. The boys thought it was very cool to be going to the airport at 10:30 at night! Past their normal bedtime even! We’re livin’ on the edge boys! When he finally arrived, we saw a white ball of fluff scrunched in the back of a carrier, curled up in a blanket. When I peeked inside all I could see were two beautiful eyes, the color of Hershey bars, very nervously looking back at us. Clutched between his two front paws was Bunny. He slept in the carrier that night with Bunny tucked firmly under his chin.
Over the years he has gotten lots of chew toys and doggie stuffed animals. Some of them have lasted quite a few months before he has ripped and happily de-stuffed them. I can’t count the number of time I have returned home to find the living room covered in stuffed animal guts. He plays tug-o-war almost every night with one of us, one of his favorite things to do. He growls like he thinks he’s a big ole dog, not the whopping 12 pounds he really is. He’ll grab a dolphin, the mouse, or the thick rope toy, but he never, ever grabs Bunny for tug-o-war. I like to think that in his little doggie brain he’s protecting the one he loves and would never subject him to such harsh and destructive behavior. He’s his cuddle bunny after all, his security blanket. He lies with him under his chin, like a sweet bunny pillow. He will gnaw lovingly on his sticky bunny ears, and sometimes he whimpers while he carries him around in his mouth. You can clearly see that this is not just any ole toy.
I have the very first stuffed animal that my parents bought me before I was born. He is a bear with a plastic snout. I named him Roger (no idea where I got that name from). He used to be fluffy. I shaved him at some point. I don’t know why I did that either. 43 years later I still have him. John says he’s creepy and actual made me banish him to the closet, where he now sits alone on a shelf in the dark. Poor Roger.
I picked Bunny up last night and looked at his torn and tattered little body and wondered what Moose will do when bunny can no longer be stitched and sewn together. I actually got kinda sad for Moose. Could we ever find another bunny to replace this one?
Roger and I don’t think so.