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My Favorite Childhood Toy

By Lindsay Ferrier of Suburban Turmoil

I don’t remember how I got him, or why, but somewhere around the time that I was seven or eight, LeMutt came into my life.

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.


  • Julia Says:

    i love this post

    i still have rutherford the monkey

    i don't remember how i got him - i think he was a birthday gift when i was in fifth grade

    he's the most well-travelled monkey in the world - he has been all over the US, korea, germany, ecuador, brazil, australia, you name it...


  • Erin Says:

    When my "Sleepy Bear" my childhood bear was nowhere to be found, my dad and I went searching through boxes in the attic. We found him and I took him downstairs to show my fiancee at the time, now my husband. I was so unhappy when I realized I didn't know where he was!

  • Rachel M Says:

    that's a cute story!

  • Kathy Says:

    How sad! I had a little bear who was basically just a piece of foam covered with yellow terrycloth with eyes painted on with brown paint - his name was Barry. I had more "sophisticated" bears and toys - but Barry was my favorite!

  • anonlurkermom Says:

    my kids had a real live therapy dog. she died unexpectedly two weeks ago at age 7. still a lot of grief and sadness around here. but she was great. she slept with dd #2 on her pillow like a stuffed animal. maybe we will be ready for a new family member soon.

  • Jeanne Says:

    Oh no, so sorry for your loss and can understand what a tough time this must be for the kids. We'll have a special pet blog post coming up later this week. Hope it brings back some good memories ... and maybe even inspires you to bring in that new member of the family!

  • Emily Says:

    Le Mutt will show up unexpectedly someday. I hope you find him soon! Francesca Hoerline's stuff is great. I don't know what I'd do without my Fifi!

  • Sarah Says:

    Lindsay, when I saw your post I just had to comment. I also had a LeMutt - I named him Muttly. He was my favorite stuffed animal from as early as I can remember. I took him on every vacation growing up and he definitely acquired that well-loved look (gray fur, one arm fell off and my mom sewed it on upside down...) When I was 10, I snuck him along in the car on a family vacation in Chicago. (The car was full and my mom said no, but I tucked him under a seat and brought him anyway.) The next day, our car was stolen, and him along with it. I kept hoping the police would recover our car and find him, but when they did it had been stripped and there was no sign of him. I was crushed - it was really like tragedy to me as a child. It's still sad thinking back on it as an adult! Like a loss of innocence. Anyway, I emphathize with your loss. :)

  • April Says:

    I have lemutt still. My brother bought him for me for Xmas as an adult . I had him one year before my first child was born. He's had quite a few washes and his fur is not as silky anymore,, but he's well worn and loved.
    Have a look at my website as I've used him for my business card.

  • Flower Says:

    I can relate. I took lemutt everywhere til i wad 15. My grandma sold our house after my mom died when i was 19 and he was in a box in the garage. On my 32nd birthday i got a box for from my sister in seattle. In it was lemutt. Not new either. She paid more for a raggedy one. I cried not only for her thoughtfulness but for whatever kid loved and lost him.

  • Carol Johnson-Brodie Says:

    In 1982 we purchased Le Mutt for our 1 year old son, Shawn. He loved him from the first time he saw him. Shawn named him Gaa Goo. Why we do not know. He was his favorite toy. He talked for LeMutt. I have done many surgeries on Gaa Goo's neck as Shawn sat next to me waiting patiently. He traveled and slept with Gaa Go. He did not want to share him with anyone but his sister, Dawn and brother, Rodney. All of our family loved Ga Goo. When he turned about 9 yrs old he put him on my bed and ask me to take care of Gaa Goo. He said it was best for me to keep him in my bedroom. I put him up in my closet. He came out sometimes and joined the family. All of our family knew about Gaa Goo and still talk about him. When we got our first grandchild, Cheyenne, my husband told me she was not to play with Gaa Goo. He was afraid he would get torn up. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, you could see how much he had been loved. That was 20 years ago. Gaa Goo remained in my closet until 5 weeks ago. Shawn died from a brain hemorrhage on April 29, 2017, he was 36 years old. He has a 11 year old son. We live in another state than they do. Five weeks ago we went to see him. I took Gaa Goo and gave him to our grandson. I hugged and kissed him during the 11 hour trip. I love that little dog as if he was a real dog. I cried as I gave him to our son's wife. We did not see our grandson's reaction to Gaa Goo. I hope he is loved as much as all of the family and Shawn did. I have missed him everyday since he has been gone. I know it was the right thing to do, Shawn would want him to have him. He is much more than a stuffed toy to us.

  • Bibi Says:

    Flower- maybe it’s Blanco. My great aunt gave me one when I was one in 1984 ... she bought him in California and brought to me in Peru. I immigrated to the US in 1997. I have a picture with blanco on my very first plane ride to the US. I took him everywhere, to my cousins house in Edmonds, WA in 1999 when I was 15... I left him at their house on accident. I called my aunt and she looked for him but told me my uncle had taken some toys to the goodwill and had donated him on accident. Maybe somehow he made his way down to Seattle...to your sister...to that box that made it to you. If it’s him, I hope he is well and giving you joy like he gave me all those years.

  • Tara Says:

    I am 44 and still have mine. I got him when I was 3. I'm still emotionally attached to that silly dog.

  • Mickey Says:

    I still have Le Mutt and I almost lost him once in a trip to New Jersey but the hotel was kind enough to send him back to me. He is with me now. I’m 46, and he was a gift when I was in s coma so many years ago. He is special to me.

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