I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned my very most important material possession before. His name is Albert.
Albert is a black lab Pound Puppy (remember those?). He has become a member of our family, because I have created a story about him since we can’t have a dog as a pet due to allergies.
When I went away to college, I missed my dog, a miniature black poodle named Mitzi. During one of the first weeks of school, I went to the nearest Toys R Us (of blessed memory) to look for a black pound puppy, to remind me of her. I knew that Pound Puppies were making a comeback (I had a brown spotted lab when I was a child, complete with cardboard box dog house and red collar), so I thought maybe I could find one. I think maybe the stores had Pound Puppies, but not a black one, and I didn’t want to settle, so I left empty-handed.
Anyway, time rolled on. Ryan and I started dating that fall. And as we got to know each other, I discovered that he had brought to college with him…wait for it…a black lab pound puppy. It was a childhood memento that he had kept and brought to college with him. And before spring break of our freshman year, when we were going to be apart, he gave his stuffed dog to me.
Obviously, I never gave him back. I never needed to! And I gave him a name at some point along the line. I actually went through a phase of giving inanimate objects names that ended in “Bert”…there was a Hubert, and Herbert, and I don’t know what else. But Albert…that stuck, and Albert stuck around. He has accompanied us through all of our moves (five), and on some trips. And the children have been raised with him, and the stories I tell about him (including those about his job as a somewhat reluctant watch dog while we’re away from home), which has added to his personality. So even though some adults might think it’s ridiculous that I have a stuffed dog, he is important to our family, and we all love him, and the family history he represents.
So that’s the story of Albert. Sometimes, I have a secret dream of writing books about his adventures with our family. Since I have no talent as an illustrator, I doubt that will ever happen, but I do know this…he has a story, and it’s a fun story to tell!