He is almost as old as me. In fact, he has been in my life since my second day on this earth. Doggyhat is my teddy bear. Never a dog, and no longer wearing a hat, he has been by my side (or on my bed) for my entire life. He has moved from one home to another with me. He came to college with me. He moved into my condo with me. And someday he will be given to my child.
Oh sure- my mom tried to replace him more than once. I once went to bed as a child only to discover an impostor Doggyhat! He was bigger, newer, softer (and certainly cleaner) and I threw a fit. Doggyhat was irreplaceable and my mom learned that very quickly. Sure enough, within a few minutes the original Doggyhat was back in my bed after being rescued from the trash and quickly washed. And the impostor disappeared, handed off to a younger sibling.
Small enough to fit in the crook of my arm, my pink teddy bear is missing a few patches of fur, his nose is scratched and dented, and he lost his hat decades ago. But nothing makes me feel better than glancing to my bedside table and seeing him on my shelf. He can’t talk. He can’t make a sound. But a quick brush of his fur and I am transported back to the most comforting times of my life with the most important people in my life.