By Lindsay Ferrier of Suburban Turmoil
He was a stuffed dog with floppy arms and legs, yellow eyes, and the kind of fur that almost immediately took on a deliciously well-loved quality. I had never been all that attached to any one doll or animal before, so my affection for LeMutt took everyone by surprise. After all, there was nothing very special about him.
What can I say? He just felt right.
For the next four years, LeMutt accompanied me on car trips and vacations. He slept beside me in bed each night. During those years, everything was changing- my mom remarried, we moved from the town where I had lived my whole life, and I began seeing less and less of my father. I was changing, too, undergoing the slow metamorphosis from child into budding adult. But through it all, LeMutt was a reassuring constant, a soft, fuzzy presence that never failed to soothe me. He didn’t need anything from me. He didn’t make demands. He just was. And that was just what I needed.
At some point, like all girls, I grew too old for stuffed animals and LeMutt was put away with my other childhood toys. Years later, I sorted through my childhood memorabilia. I eagerly looked for LeMutt, but he was gone. I sifted through the toys again. All the dolls were there, along with bags and bags of plush toys, most of which I reluctantly threw away.
But no LeMutt.
It seems a little silly now, but I’ve never forgotten that loss. What on earth happened to LeMutt? Why didn’t he survive when so many of my toys with far less significance did? Was he my own personal Mary Poppins, sent with the understanding that he would only be around until I didn’t need him anymore? I wonder.
Because I wouldn’t mind having him around now, just to take out on occasion, when no one else is looking, to bury my face in his fur and smell that old familiar LeMutt smell, and to feel the familiar peace that only a favorite stuffed animal can bring.