September 22nd, 2015
After several late nights, the early morning rise left me feeling somewhat fuzzy. It is that state of mind in which you do stupid things like putting the full coffee cup in the fridge (instead of the milk) or going downstairs to retrieve an item only to return upstairs with something else and not the original one. I had such a morning recently. I had washed Bailey’s stuffed bear a few days ago. Finally, it was dry and ready to go upstairs into storage. You read correctly. Bailey had no idea that she has two identical bears. Moosie, her first stuffed animal, lasted two and half months before we were searching for a replacement. We found a lion (Simba from Walt Disney’s Lion King Movie) which managed to survive not quite two days. I could see the importance of having less plastic pieces on the stuffie. We went to a yard sale the following Saturday morning in June. There sat two bears. The tags were still on them and the plastic eyes were very small. We could not buy them fast enough. Of course, Bailey had to make an appearance when the lady, who was selling the bears, heard they were for a Newfoundland puppy. She was waiting patiently in the van and happily waddled up to greet the crowd that was now forming. My son and I left pleased with our good fortune to have found these bears. When one is in use, the other bear hibernates in the hall closet until its twin is ready for the wash. Bailey is none the wiser or, at least, until now.
You see, I left the second bear out on the kitchen counter with every intention of putting it away before bringing Bailey in from outside. I forgot. Bailey arrived on the scene, inhaled her breakfast and with nose tilted up, sniffed the kitchen for more. We have learned that Bailey always has an appetite for food – our bottomless pit. I was busy with other things and only became aware of the situation when Bailey made a hesitant sounding whimper. When I turned in her direction, she ran into the living room and nudged her well-worn bear before returning to the kitchen to stare at the other one. Oops, the cat was out of the bag. Or, in this case, the bear was out of the closet. Her look reminded me of when my boys discovered that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy did not exist. As parents often do, our boys truly believed that the reindeer dust sprinkled every year would help the jolly toy maker find them. I was a bit inept at keeping up the charade. Often, I would forget that it was Santa who gave a certain toy and not us. Sometimes, the tooth fairy forgot to leave a monetary deposit – she was overworked. One son lost 3 teeth in one day. That night, I was scrounging for enough change to cover it. It does not pay to live cashless under these circumstances and I realized that the tooth fairy can not leave IOU’s. They caught on and so did Bailey.
I had been tricking her and she now seemed suspicious of me. After getting Bailey to sit and stay in the kitchen, I grabbed the evidence of my betrayal and took it to the hall closet for storage. I thought things would go back to normal – not quite. Bailey was convinced that her current bear was not the right one. She sniffed it before returning to the kitchen counter in the hopes that her “real” bear would appear. I tossed the old one in hopes of enticing her with a game of fetch. She refused to play along with the imposter. How could she not think it was not hers? It had one missing ear, a stretched tail from being pulled on constantly and a slightly matted discoloured furry body. I had to work hard to get Bailey to go near the bear. Putting a treat on top of it was a stroke of genius as Bailey scrambled for the tasty morsel. She seemed intrigued with the bear that came with a treat. Bailey gave a look to me that said, “I could love this bear.” Life was going be okay!
P.S. After 34 weeks, Bailey is now 41.2 kg or 90 pounds 13 ounces.