Yellow dog

1 May

Years ago I dated a very hairy man. He was ten years older than me. He didn’t treat me very nicely. I hated his friends. And he had a back like a badger.

Anyway.

After we broke up (he dumped me) I found out I had to have an operation. I won’t go into the details but it was something even more embarrassing than my breast reduction, and I didn’t feel like I could tell my family about it. It was the week before Christmas and friends had already gone home for the holidays or were working. And I got sick with a virus just
days before the operation. I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to have it.

Hairy Back Jack and I were in touch and he offered to come over and look after me, and to take me to the hospital. He said it would make him feel better for treating me like crap when we were actually together. So I said ok.

He came over and brought me a soft toy dog. We called him Yellow Dog after the pooch in some old Chevy Chase movie we watched. I had forgotten how comforting it is to go to bed cuddling a cuddly creature. I felt so secure with Yellow Dog in my bed.

The operation went well and I came home, and cuddled Yellow Dog.

Six years later I still sleep with Yellow Dog every night. Not because of Hairy Back Jack – we had a huge falling out and I moved to New York for three months. But Yellow Dog makes me feel less alone. And more looked after. I guess however things turned out, he was a token of someone looking after me. Of care. Of compassion. And he’s cute.

Tonight I got into bed feeling very empty. I’ve had a crazy busy day and only stopped working/cleaning/packing a short while ago. I felt scared, getting into bed, worrying I’ll dream about him again (the ex, not Yellow Dog).

I’m not saying this stuffed animal is a substitute for having a person. I haven’t (yet) completely lost my marbles. But he is a reminder that I’ve been loved.

He’s also a reminder that I’ve been through tough times before.

And I always come out smiling.

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