In any event, I've decided that this would be the perfect day to introduce you to one of my very bestest, lifelong friends in the entire universe. Please meet Cream Puff:
or, as he is sometimes known, "Creamy." I showed you his picture in one of my Christmas posts. Cream Puff has been around more or less as long as I can remember. The story goes that one day right before Christmas, my parents were at the grocery store (the Grand Union, in or around Teaneck, New Jersey), and as they were leaving, they saw this stuffed animal. I'm guessing it was probably my father who said something like, well we might as well get that for Bridget, you know she would like it. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Here we are the day we first met, Christmas Day, 1959:
That's him on top of the doll carriage (which is actually kind of funny, because yes, I got a doll carriage, but I didn't have very many dolls, and was not that interested in them. I mainly used said doll carriage to ride around Cream Puff, other stuffed animals, and the cat when I could convince her - which was not very often). In this picture,* he is much lighter in color, and much plusher, to say the least. It was love at first sight, since I had wanted a dog (we had a cat, Frosty, and a blue parakeet, Bing, already), and pretty much knew it wasn't gonna happen. Since this day, Cream Puff has always been with me. He listened and comforted me while I was growing up, every time we moved and I had to start a new school; every time the other kids would hurt my feelings (which was a lot, since I was sensitive and a loner); when my sisters would "be mean" to me; and, numerous other traumas, real and imagined. All you have to do is hug him and you feel better.
He was the only one of my toys who used to call my parents by their first names, and they didn't mind. He has always hung out in the bedroom when we are not spending time together. But this year, I wanted to make a point to put him under the Christmas tree to enjoy the holidays, 'cause I thought it was his 50th birthday ... until I looked on the back of the photo above, it said "January 1960," which of course means that last Christmas was his 50th birthday ... sigh. But in true Creamy fashion, he was completely understanding about the whole thing, and took it in stride. (I was also convinced that he had originally sported a light blue ribbon, and was dismayed that I couldn't find one, and had to use a burgundy one. Then was pleased when I saw that I had the right color family after all!)
Anyway, The Tim even took this picture of us on Christmas Day 2010 to mark the occasion:
We are both older, darker, and both of us are a little less "plush" shall we say. But we are still together, and he has seen me through the trying times of my life as an adult as well - the death of my parents' (which he also felt bad about, having known them intimately), cancer, bad jobs, you name it - remaining, calm, cuddly, and most importantly there. He is happy when I am, and a true friend when I am not. His red felt tongue has been sewn back on about a million times, and his tail is held together at the end with a safety pin ... he has many bald spots as well.
As far as I'm concerned, though, he looks just the same as he did on the very first day I saw him, and I think he is the best pup ever.
*Whenever my mother would see this picture, she would say, "Oh good God, your father must have dressed you that day!" I'm guessing that it might have been the case, but that I was the one who chose this lovely ensemble, and he was happy to let me go with it. Seems funny I didn't grow up to have a career in fashion, n'est-ce pas?