Thursday, June 24, 2010

Monroe's Baby

This is Monroe at around 12 weeks old. This little stuffed toy was with her when she came to our home when she was 8 weeks old. It is now the famous "Monroe's baby" at our house.

The idea was to send each puppy home with a transitioning toy, something that was with them before they left the security and familiarity of their mom and litter mates. Monroe became very attached to her "baby". She was the only dog in our home for the first few months she was with us, and her baby was her buddy. Shasta was away at guide dog school then. Later, when Monroe was around 5 months old, Shasta was cut from the guide dog training program and came to live at our house forever. While Monroe fell in love with him instantly she has continued to hold a special affection for her little green baby, taking it to bed with her each night and carrying it around the house at times during the day.

I kept it after she entered the guide dog training program because it held so many Monroe memories for me. Later, when Monroe, like Shasta, was cut from training and returned to our house to live, she found her little green baby and picked up where she left off. Monroe's baby was her special toy, the only toy Shasta was not allowed to play with.

Shasta usually slept in bed with me, and Monroe usually chose a dog bed nearby on the floor. As a foster puppy she wasn't allowed on the furniture. Later, as a pet she was invited to snuggle up with the rest of us our king size bed (a large bed is required if you are going to sleep with two German Shepherd dogs!). Sometimes she stayed with us, but often times she chose instead to return to her own bed with her little green baby after the lights were turned out.

It has been difficult for me to sleep now without Shasta. And even though I invite Monroe on to my bed, she still prefers her own bed once the lights are off.

Monroe is once again the only dog in the house and she has returned to her little stuffed toy for company.

The last several days I have come home to find Monroe napping on my bed with her little green baby. It is rather tattered and ugly now, but I could never take it away from her (except for an occasional trip through the washing machine...).
She has been taking it to my bed during the day for nap time company while I am gone. Later, when Art returns home in the evening from work, Monroe goes to get her baby and holds it in her mouth making all sorts of odd noises of joy while going around and around Art in her happy welcome home expression of love for him. She shares her baby only with the people she loves, so it's a HUGE honor to be greeted by her and this rather ugly old stuffed toy.

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