My son’s favorite toy is a stuffed dog by Carter’s. He calls it ‘Doggie’ of course and has been very attached to it, carrying it around the house, daycare, and to restaurants and stuff.
When I was 4, I had a similar “lovey” toy that I simply called, ‘Froggie’ – a green stuffed frog. One day, I dropped him into the toilet as kids often do. It wasn’t liked I’d taken a leak or anything… I’d just dropped him in there accidentally.
But instead of washing it, my Mom threw it away.
As you would expect, I completely lost my mind. My parents wouldn’t budge on the topic for some reason and I, even after ~40 years, asked them about it and they no longer remember the incident… but I do still to this day. Why? Because I cried and cried and cried. I did have other stuffed animals but they just weren’t the same.
My parents eventually did get me a ‘green replacement’ for ‘Froggie’, which ended up being a larger green beanie stuffed turtle. It took months but I eventually warmed up to the stuffed turtle after a while, mostly because he was green too and I could more easily make the transition I guess… but I still called him ‘Froggie’. His eyes cracked and had to be replaced with those “googly Cookie Monster” eyeballs, a tear opened up on his side so the beans and stuffing leaked out which got replaced with dried table rice, it got ragged and lost a lot of the felt after having been washed (why’d they wash this toy and not the original ‘Froggie’, I’ll never know), etc.
But I still have him to this day in my closet. Yes, I’m a grown man and still have my 4 year old stuffed lovey animal. As a matter of fact, I showed him to my son a week ago and introduced him as “Daddy’s version of Doggie”. He nodded.
WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?
Well, when we discovered that my son took a liking to ‘Doggie’, I set out immediately to find a REPLACEMENT. ‘Lovey’ toys are very important at that age – after all, every is centered around having a ‘Doggie’/’Froggie’ for kids. It’s a constant that exists even when Mommy or Daddy aren’t around. And all that drama in my life could have been JUST AVOIDED if there was another duplicate Froggie available.
Well, just my luck, CARTER’S DISCONTINUED DOGGIE. THAT’S RIGHT. NO MORE DOGGIES ARE BEING PRODUCED.
Eff that. Amazon/eBay/uBid/whatever – here we come. I scoured the Internet for aftermarket NEW & UNUSED Doggies. I don’t know if toy sales folks know what’s up with ‘Doggie’ but the prices they’re asking for are cwwwwaaaazzzy. Some wanted $50-$60 each.
I eventually found someone willing to sell two Doggies for $35/each. You might say, “WHA?” But I say, my son’s worth it. So plop down $35 for each and have them shipped immediately.
There was a lot more drama that I won’t get into here (the delivery never arrived, I had to buy a 3rd Doggie, we had an eBay dispute, etc. etc.) but the bottom line is that I eventually found myself in the possession of 3 extra Doggies. YAY!
NOT ALL DOGGIES ARE CREATED EQUAL
Yeah, you read that right.
First of all, the official name for Doggie is “Carter’s Child of Mine” Tan Musical Puppy Dog or something like that. We’ll get back to that is just a second.
One day, Doggie needed to be washed. Badly. The problem was that our son had to go to sleep. So, of course we go to a “backup” Doggie, figuring we’ll just swap him out and while ‘”original” Doggie’s going to the spa, “backup” Doggie will pinch hit/body double in the meantime.
We handed “backup” Doggie (one of 3) to him and he looked at it silently for a bit. Then suddenly:
Big doggie. Take a look at the photo above. He’s right. The backup is on the left. After a couple years use, “original Doggie” has gotten smaller than when we first received him and “backup” Doggie was demonstrably fatter and rounder than the original. This isn’t looking good.
He then pulled on the rip cord. It’s supposed to play, “Rockabye Baby” using a music box type mechanism in Doggie’s body:
“Lullaaaaabyyyy… And goooodniiiiiiight… Go to sleeeeeeep…”
I’m a sales tech/engineer and I pride myself on being specific about details. This was, complete epic fail, to say the least. He looked up at me with somewhat sad eyes and said, “Beeg doggie.” I kneeled next to him and asked him if he liked Big Doggie.
He looked at it, then nodded and turned around and walked away clutching “Beeeg Doggie”. He later went to bed still holding him.
I later tested out all the backup Doggies. They all played “Lullaby & Good Night” instead of “Rockabye Baby”. He’s had Doggie since he was BORN so I’m not sure that backup Doggie can substitute for original Doggie but we’ll see. It beats not having a backup I suppose.