The Security Blanket

Blue Bear is a well-chewed toy that belongs to our dog, Dixie. It was never intended to be a dog toy; it was created as a toy for a child. The dog doesn’t care. In spite of many other toys in better condition, it is Blue Bear that is loved most.

Blue Bear has endured a number of major surgeries. Every so often, it’s soft furry body yields to the dog’s sharp teeth and acrylic stuffing begins to pop out. This means finding a needle and thread and attempting to sew up Blue Bear before it falls completely to pieces.

In addition to his many close brushes with the trash can, the bear has endured the amputation of one leg. We do not know what might happen if Blue Bear ever perished. We have tried to introduce other toys like Squeaky Fox, which was a short-term favorite. But after a while, Squeaky no long squeaked and Dixie returned to her first love, Blue Bear.

Like pets, children often have security blankets that they drag around and cling to for relief of anxiety, especially at bedtime. Eventually, kids outgrow the need for this type of security and “blanky” is put away or thrown away. However, some people save the object of affection even after childhood. While they no longer sleep with it, they retain it as an object of sentiment.

As a child, my daughter had a stuffed raccoon named Wally. Eventually, Wally was loved to death. We bought a new Wally, but it was never the same as the old tattered Wally, who was carefully placed on the top shelf of the closet where his dilapidated remains could be taken out for an occasional visit.

The security blanket of cartoon character Linus was made famous in the Peanuts cartoon strip. Linus held it to his cheek and sucked his thumb, a behavior to which many people could relate. A child can become so attached to an object that when a beloved security blanket is misplaced, the child will become anxious and unable to sleep without it.

Blue Bear has been around for a long time. He was Dixie’s favorite toy when she was a tiny pup fresh from the kennel. The dog was not much bigger than the bear at that time and she would often sleep with her head on the toy like a pillow.

We gave her the toy because the pups in the kennel had stuffed toys. We thought it would help to relieve the anxiety of separation from her mother and litter. We expected it to be a short-term relationship. Little did we know that we would be sewing up a stuffed bear for years afterward.

Dixie sometimes goes without playing with the toy for weeks at a time. We lose track of it and it is lost behind furniture or in some other place where blue bears hide when they want to rest. Then one day, the dog will come bouncing into the room with Blue Bear in her mouth. We have no idea where she found it.

My mother says that when I was a child, I had a doll that I made myself from a sock. Mother says she once overheard me tell the doll, “Honey, you are so ugly I would throw you away, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings.” Apparently, at some point I hurt its feelings and got rid of it.

For adults, a security blanket can be almost anything, an item or something intangible that gives comfort, like religion or a relationship. Security blanket has become a synonym. But for Dixie it is simply a toy from puppyhood that cannot be replaced, even with an identical toy, as nothing else would smell, taste or feel like Blue Bear.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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7 Responses to The Security Blanket

  1. We all need a blue bear sometimes! Dixie is one lucky dog to still have it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your “Honey, You’re so ugly…” comment. To bad you got rid of it.


  3. A well-loved toy and a well-loved dog. I did have to question what I was doing when I was sewing up our dogs cloth bone recently. The craziness of the situation, but she likes her bone. I wanted to make her happy.


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