I guess it was National Pet Day this past weekend. At work, we had a contest on our intranet site to post stories and photos about our pets. The COO posted this contest and then said she’d pick a winner with her young sons as judges. I posted this little bit that I thought I’d share here because I liked the story:
I’m not really a pet person as many of my family and friends know. So when I first saw this contest challenge, I just thought I’d sit by and watch the posts roll up. Then I thought, well, what about inanimate pets, like stuffed animals? When we were kids, my brothers and I loved our collection of stuffed animals. We used them for skits and puppet shows, took them on road trips, and had our favorites.
At one point, one of my brothers and I got matching little grey stuffed animals – a baby elephant for him, a baby hippo for me. We loved them! One summer, we were driving down the long 20+ hour ride from Maryland where we lived to Florida to go to Disneyworld. Somewhere along the way, the three of us (sitting in the middle section of our huge station wagon) were fighting over who would get to play with Hippo (we were creative with naming our stuffed animals – Beary for a puppet stuffed bear, Ele-y for the baby elephant, and yes, Hippo for baby hippo), driving my parents crazy. My dad had enough, stopped the car on the side of the highway, grabbed Hippo from us, and hurled him into the woods!!!! We were in shock. And I don’t remember anything else from there.
To this day, I have remembered that story, because it was so traumatic and also because my brother still has Ele-y, safe and sound as a new playmate for his kids! (Don’t worry, my brother and I get along great now, so I haven’t held a grudge… not really.). So anyways (don’t worry, this story ends on a happy note), I shared this story with my fiance D as we were getting to know each other, and it must have stuck because this past Christmas, I got a new Hippo to fill the hole in my heart!
Wait, the story doesn’t end there! So New Hippo was handmade by D! He had gone online on Etsy, found and bought a pattern for making a stuffed hippo, gone to the thrift store and bought a used sweater and to the craft store and bought other essentials, and gotten a tutorial on using a sewing machine from his sister, and put the whole thing together. Mind you, D is not a sewer nor is he a crafter. This was the first thing he had ever sewn on a sewing machine, and it turned out so well! It was the best Christmas present ever – homemade, meaningful, and totally cute. So Happy Pet Day, to little New Hippo!