The Darlingest Dog

posted by Momo Fali on January 16, 2008

My nine year old daughter has quite a collection of stuffed dogs. So many dogs, that for Christmas we bought her a REAL dog bed to put in her room. There are Shepherds, Collies, Poodles, Terriers, Huskies, and Bulldogs…just to name a few. The collection is so big that we’ve lost count. But, there is one…just one…that holds a special place in my daughter’s heart. One little dog so dirty and tattered that it’s almost unrecognizable. Her name is Darling, and I think she was a Beagle in her previous life at the Hallmark store.

Sometime in November, when we were cleaning out toy boxes and organizing rooms to make space for Santa’s bounty, Darling got lost. We looked everywhere for her. Furniture was moved, closets were emptied, and toy boxes were thoroughly searched. I had come to the conclusion that my five year old son had probably thrown Darling into a Goodwill bag, but I didn’t dare tell my daughter that.

Last night, just before I tucked her into bed, we made another attempt to locate Darling. We looked under my daughter’s dresser and behind her desk, and I finally told her that I was afraid we had shipped Darling off to Goodwill. Her eyes filled with tears and she said, “NOOOO!” I told her that I just didn’t know where else that dog could be.

Then I asked her if she had ever looked in my room. She and my son watch TV in there sometimes, and I told her it was possible that her ornery little brother could’ve thrown Darling under my bed. So we looked among the shoe boxes, stored-up summer clothes and dust bunnies, but with no luck. Then I looked behind my bed…and, THERE SHE WAS. Lodged between a windowsill and my headboard, crumpled up and barely visible.

When I said, “I found her!”, my little girl dropped the clothes she had been holding and ran over and grabbed her dog. And the tears which had been welling up, freely flowed down her cheeks. She was blubbering with joy, and I was so happy for her that I started crying. A grown woman, crying about a filthy, stuffed dog with spots of fur that are hardened with what is most likely syrup. I never would’ve thought that I’d be happy to see Darling too.

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    Comments

  • chefmom


    Whew! Huge sigh of relief! It is so traumatic when they lose something they love SO much. That is an adorable dog, and it shows how loved it really is, in it’s wear. My mother inadvertently left my favorite doll on the roof of the car, while straping me in and drove off. When I realized I didn’t have it, she turned around and saw it was now beyond recognition. I of course, didn’t know this until years later….Thankfully!
    I would have been crying too, if I was you, even if it was just tears of not having to go through her “Darling withdrawls” with her :)

  • sam


    My awesome wife has an aversion to stuffed animals, but it’s funny…this past weekend we were going through the toy boxes full of them to weed out the non-sentimental ones, and my wife ended up keeping most of them for one reason or another.

    Great picture. Our Ariel doll has seen better days as well since we gave it to our older daughter 3 years ago, but she was recently replaced by Gisele. It was kind of a sad day for us.

    Like in Toy Story, when Woody has that nightmare of him falling to the ground as he’s replaced by Buzz.

    Sorry for the long comment. I’ll stop now.

  • Kathy


    What a heart-warming story. Just what I needed after a difficult day. Glad Darling is back, your daughter is happy again, and all is right in the world.

  • ElizabethSheryl


    I’m so so glad Darlin was found! Being a child with a blankey (that I still have!) I know how important those things can be. :D

  • Corey~living and loving


    awwwwwww you know you are a mom when you get teary just reading this post. LOL

  • manda


    aw! I’m very glad the dog was located. When my daughter loses her female doll named “gary”, she goes into a state of depression.

  • Redneck Mommy


    I had a pink elephant named Pinky (I know, I’m so creative) that was lost. I have never recovered. I still miss that damn teddy bear. Glad your stuffed pooch was located and reunited with it’s rightful owner.

  • MommySpeak


    It’s amazing how our little babies change us!

  • newnorth


    whew! glad you found the doggy.

  • BusyDad


    Oh! I was feeling her sorrow. But even more I was feeling yours as this unfolded. Bearing witness to our children’s pain is worse than any pain we can endure ourselves. So happy that it ended happily. That doggie looks as loved (tore up) as Marcus’ Bada.

  • Maureen


    Oh, this brings back so many memories. My daughter is 16 now, and she STILL (although she would never admit it aloud) sleeps with her little stuffed puppy… actually when it was new, it had water in it’s tummy, which is long gone. But that poor dog has been through it all, and it too was lost for awhile, until we found it wedged between the dresser and wall.

    So glad to hear your story ended well too…

  • Immoral Matriarch


    That made me tear up – I’m such a sap. I’m glad you found it. My youngest sleeps with a Pablo stuffie from the Backyardigans. :)

  • Sarah is Ok


    Even I was relieved! What a cute post.

  • meleah rebeccah


    that was the sweetest story I have read in the longest time.

    Oh! I could tear up just thinking about it.

  • Kimmylyn


    I am such a girl. I am sitting in my office with tears in my eyes because of her reaction.

    Glad Darling is safe and sound.

  • Huckdoll


    Aww. What a darling story! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Childlife


    Ah, yes… we have one of these at our house too. His name is Cosmo : )

  • piper of love


    Momo, you read BusyDad too much! You’re going soft on me ;)

    Awesome post, great story. You rule.

    ~xo

  • Marie


    Awwww! Makes me wonder what ever happened to my stuffed lamb, Oatmeal.

    My daughter LOVES every single one of her hundred or so stuffed animals and God help us if one ever goes missing.

  • PG


    great story. it hit me ‘right there’. Well done!

  • Jo Beaufoix


    Ahhhh. My heart was in my mouth. Miss E (7) has a favourite stuffed bear called Friedabear. She cannot sleep without Friedabear. We cannot sleep without Friedabear. If anythng happened to that bear I would die, so I was really feeling this. Glad Darling was found safe and sound. She looks so loved. :D

  • Mr Lady


    THAT is a cute dog. I heart him.

  • Rachel


    Awe, that’s so sweet. I can just feel the anxiety and then the following whoosh of relief that Darling was found!!
    Love that you added a picture!!

  • Pinky


    Ahhh, I needed this, Momo! Thanks for the good ending, I was so afraid that you would drive to the Goodwill only to see some nasty, mean family drive off with Darling, laughing and cackling out the car window. Sheeesh! Glad that didn’t happen!

  • Tara R.


    I still have my favorite stuff dog (George) from when I was a little girl. He’s got to be over 40 yo. I can completely understand her devotion. Glad all ended well.

  • bmg


    Awwww. I’m so glad you found Darling! Have you read “Knuffle Bunny”? If your daughter doesn’t mind reading picture books (even my almost middle schooler loves this one), it’s adorable and fitting.

    What a great story. A celebration seems to be in order (‘course finding Darling is probably enough to keep her (and you!) smiling for days).

  • Stephen


    When we lost Tender, our oldest’s, there were many tears. Thankfully, the lamb Beanie Babies were still around, and thanks to the market crash, were still cheap. :)

  • Jamie E


    om! That is possibly the most loved on stuffed thing that I have evah seen!!!! I don’t know what Ben would do w/o puppy!

  • terancedubya


    When I read this post, I almost teared up. ALMOST. Although, I did say “ahhh…that’s so sweet.” in front of the mother unit while reading this. I then had to explain why G.I. Joes and dumptrucks are sweet. What an awesome post to come back to after taking a little blogging break. Thanks.

  • Jenny-up the hill


    Ohhh…I’m sooooo glad you all found the dog! Our little Gus had the exact same dog and it traveled with him everywhere. He would rub it’s ear when he was falling asleep. One of the nurses named it Nasty Dog because it was..well..so nasty looking! We washed it often, it just got a lot of love! Now that Gus is gone, Nasty travels between sitting on top of my computer to hanging out in my studio. I’ll never get rid of Nasty!

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