Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Friday, 27 December 2013

Celebrating "PUPPY"


For the past 19 years Riley has had a constant companion in a floppy, once-stuffed dog named “puppy”. A gift from his Auntie Trudy for R’s first Christmas which became “THAT Special Toy”.

In the early years puppy went pretty much everywhere with Riley. 


On special occasions puppy even got to snack with Riley. 





Camping and other family vacations would not be complete without puppy.



As Riley got older and went off to school puppy got used to staying at home. Riley would place him gently on the stairs, snuggle his face into his body and breathe in puppy’s scent before heading out the door.

After 10+ years of hard loving, puppy started to break down. It was the Christmas of 2006. I was now a seasoned autism mom. I knew exactly what made Riley tick. Yup yup yup. I knew. All I had to do was replace “THAT Special Toy”.

Look how excited Riley is!!!



For the next 7 years (less 1 day) puppy took up residence (for the most part) on Riley’s shoulder.



At the beginning of November 2013, I discovered what turned out to be stuffing in Riley’s bedroom. After some investigation I realized Riley had tried to ‘destuff’ the replacement puppy. A surgeon Riley will never be. Did Riley sense the demise of puppy??? 




Puppy’s tattered and dilapidated body had become a tangled mess. Riley would shake, twist and untwist its threadbare body to no avail. Then on Christmas Eve day of this year (2013), G discovered the remnants of puppy in our bathroom garbage. *GASP* 

I am almost certain Riley tried to detangle puppy with his trusty scissors. 
A little snip here led to another snip there……  


The next morning......
It was as if Riley was trying to piece puppy together.  :(  


R:    You can fix it???
Me:  Ummm. No. I’m sorry. I can’t fix puppy.
R:    *Picking at the pieces*   You can’t fix puppy. (in his sad voice)
Me:  No. I can’t. It’s too wrecked. 
R:    It’s too wrecked. I wrecked it.
Me.  Yes. You cut puppy into too many pieces. I’m sorry Riley.

As the day passed, Riley would pass by the pieces, pick them up, smell them and sadly walk away. Why did I not just throw them away??? Well as you know I am a seasoned autism mom and one of the top 10 rules of autism is never, EVER throw anything away unless you have stored it for at least 10 years. EVER!!!  

We finally decided that Riley would give the replacement puppy a try. I would put my grade 8 sewing skills to the test and try and patch up new puppy.

VOILA!!!

Part of me thought perhaps this would have been a good time to naturally transition away from puppy. Yet another part of me had a hard time letting go. Puppy had brought so much comfort and security to Riley. Whether it was in his backpack under the seat in front of him on a plane or in a hotel room waiting for him to return from a day's outing; puppy was the one constant that gave Riley a sense of calm and order. Had we not had new puppy waiting in the wings, the choice would have been simpler. Not easier. Simpler. We would have no choice but to move on.

Was I doing the right thing?? Maybe at 19 Riley should not have a “puppy” or “blankie”. Any doubts I had were put to rest when we were at my sister’s for Christmas dinner this year. There on the arm of the couch was a well worn part of a quilt. It was my niece’s. It was her “blankie”. She is 20. J2 still has his “blankie” on his bed. He will be 21 in less than 2 weeks. For now Riley seems to have taken to new puppy…only time will tell.

Did you or does your child(ren) have something they are/were attached to??  How did you/they let go? 
   

17 comments:

  1. I'm nearly forty, hold two advanced degrees, am happily married, have three great kids -- and Snuffy (the stuffed bear my grandparents have me as a little kid) still sleeps next to Hubby and my bed.

    If your 19 yo wants puppy and puppy makes him happy, let it be!!

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    1. You are absolutely right Jacee! Thank you!! R seems to be happy with "new" puppy. :D

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  2. omg this is the sweetest story i've ever heard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Both kids had specials. i miss that Tommy doesn't have something like that to hold on to. To feel comfort.. i guess. I keep everything of course. Brianna keeps her February Bear on her nightstand. :)
    Big Tom's blankie?? That you can SEE THROUGH?? Is in my closet. He's 41 lol

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    1. "Specials"...what a great word!! I used to have a "softy-dolly" and can picture it in my mind to this day! I keep everything too. You're surprised...I know. ;)

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  3. Oh i forgot to add.. why not put old puppy pieces into new puppy.. for the scent.

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    1. :O What a great idea!!! Now you tell me...I just finished sewing up "new puppy" today! GAH!!!! Hmmm.....*thinking...thinking...thinking*

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    2. That was my thought as well.

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  4. My youngest sister still has her "Woobie" and she's newly married and a newly-minted middle school teacher. I have a silly blue bunny that my Hub gave me when we were early in our relationship. My daughter has adopted it, but every now and then he is still a source of comfort. I think everyone in my family has a special blanket - not necessarily a kid "blankie," but one that is just ours that we use for whatever - keeping warm, when we're sick, when we feel down, whatever. My daughter has her own special buds and blankets - everybody has them for a reason. If he loves it, he loves it - no worries!

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    1. Thanks Lisa!! It's reassuring to know that we all take comfort in a little something...whatever it may be. :D

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  5. My DS inherited my old stuffie that I had kept for over 30 years - and "bear" (who was actually a groundhog -- we think) went everywhere with MonkeyBoy. When it was time to start school, he had to stay home, but was placed in the front window to await his human's return. Bear has been mended many times and finally was blind, mute and lost his sense of smell. LOL So he now has a place of honour at the top shelf of his bed bookshelf, where he waits out the remainder of his days.
    And now.....his Pikachu goes everywhere. And yes, he has two. He's 9 and I see no abandoning of his lovie in any near future.
    His younger sisters also have a favourite lovie that they sleep with. The problem with them is that they want to drag All The Stuffies around. Always. They are a bit more fickle then their brother ;)

    Since hubby is in his 40s and is a tough cop -- who still has his "froggie" on his dresser: I am not worried in the least about such things.

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    1. "Blind, mute and lost his sense of smell"....hahaha...yup, that pretty much described puppy too!!

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  6. Aw, puppy is awesome! In any way shape or form. I'd love to have a puppy in my bed!

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    1. R is a stuffy-hoarder! Funny how there is always one particular one that is a favourite.

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  7. I never met old puppy and I miss him! Poor guy... I was thinking the same as Rhonda (old puppy in new puppy) but ask first. Wouldn't want him to fear he was eaten by new puppy and is now trapped. ;) You could always sew the nose or paw onto the outside instead.

    K had a favorite 'bears blanket' (it was actually a quilt) that she attacked with scissors one day. It was way beyond repair. She still asks to get a new bears blanket sometimes. Would if I could.. I think attachments like that are healthy. What a relief you had a backup!

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    1. What's with the scissors?!?!?!? ;P I'm just relieved I didn't throw away the backup! :O

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  8. Oh, I wouldn't worry one bit about him having a puppy. Glad all those other commenters agree. :)
    I've missed you and Riley world in these crazy days of holiday merrymaking!

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    1. I'm glad everybody agreed too! :)

      Happy to see you all had a fun Christmas! Been popping in and out...I have 'challenges' commenting from different devices. Oi. All the best to you and yours for 2014!!

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