>One of my favorite movie scenes if from The Santa Claus…before Tim Allen was a crackhead.  After seeing Santa for the first time, the pessimistic Neil looks in awe, and little charlie replies “That’s okay Neil, you were just denying your inner child.”  Who would have though something so profound would come from such a little boy (screenwriters set aside)?  Well, for me, I am like Charlie.  I embrace my inner child, even though I try to act like an adult as much as possible.  Though, sadly, recently my inner child has become more prevalent while in Spain at the loss of my dog.  My stuffed dog, my “peluche,” my Puppy.   You see, Puppy and I have been through a lot, and although my parents have taken to calling him “slobberdog” because I used to walk around with his leg in my mouth and drool with him as I sleep, he has become a loyal retainer, as well as my photobooth buddy while I am at the Motherland.

The story of Puppy goes like this:  Puppy was given to me at my babyshower before I was born, so he is older by a few months…my grandmother got him for me and my cousin gave him to me.  He played “How much is that doggie in the window” when you turned the metal ring on his back.  We were not friends at first, he was just someone that lived in my toy basket…but as I grew squeaky bear left the picture and Puppy took center stage.  He is a boy, and his nose is pink because I rubbed him on the wall while it had wet paint at a friend’s house.  The bows prove his sense of fashion-forward and metrosexuality.  They were placed there by my grandma shortly before she died of cancer and I have never changed them.  One day I left Puppy at my grandmother’s house and although she had not driven in roughly 10 years, she took her car and brought him back to me because she knew how important he was to me.  At a sleepover in the 3rd grade my friend’s little brother ripped off the top bow, so it is now held on my safety pin…I cried for about a week.  And after seeing Toy Story for the first time, and I was convinced that my toys came alive, Puppy became the “Woody”of the bunch, and my American Girl Doll was Buzz.  Puppy has had 2 baths via washing machine in his life…and later countless via febreeze and various perfumes.  The first time I left Puppy at home was the 3rd time I went to summer camp…I survived, but we were shortly reunited.  At home, I am known as the girl with Puppy, I never have been to a sleepover without him.  He rides next to me when I drive home from SMU on my middle consule as I sing horribly at the top of my lungs to “Wicked,” my friends and their parents just expect to see him clutched in my arms.
I debated about bringing Puppy to college, but I did.  I debated about bringing Puppy to Spain.  I debated about bringing puppy to Pais Vasco, but I did.  I worried I would leave him in the hotel, and I did.
Sometimes I wonder if things happen for a reason, did I subliminally leave Puppy in San Sebastian?  Was this destiny forcing me to grow up after sleeping with a stuffed animal for the last 20 years and 1 month?  Still, daily I continue to call the hotel…but it is believed he left with the laundry, for another dreaded bath.  Sleep still alludes me…though consciously I know I can sleep without Puppy, I have done it several times.  There can be no replacement, only wondering why it happened and a constant stream of tears every time I look at my empty pillow.  Sometimes…I would rather stay Peter Pan, and not be forced to be Wendy.

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