Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kirby and Mr. Hedgehog

 Last week we got Kirby a new toy. He has always loved stuffed animals and, sadly, most of his older ones had been eviscerated and de-squeakered (by Kirby) and re-stuffed and sewn-up (by me) so many times they were no longer recognizable as the cute little bunny, bear and moose they once were.

The tennis ball and rope toy seemed to be holding his interest for a while... But when I saw the Hedgehog in the pet department at our local store, I just knew. Anyone who says dogs don't show expressions on their faces hasn't spent enough time around dogs. And no, I really don't think I'm anthropomorphizing when I say Kirby was ecstatic when I presented him with his new little friend.

For several days he just carried Mr. Hedgehog around, squeaking it, licking it gently, lying down with his paws around it and attempting to smuggle it into his crate at bed time (at which point Mr. Hedgehog was quickly discovered and removed so that the human inhabitants of the house could get some sleep).

That was the romance stage.

Then, as usual, things got more complicated. Mr. Hedgehog's squeaker was eventually squished to the point where it no longer worked. I don't know if it was the disappointment or just the desire to change things up a bit, but we have discovered that Kirby is now in the process of plucking Mr. Hedgehog, hair by hair, and spitting out the yarn in little piles around the house.

Mr. Hedgehog has not yet been eviscerated, much to my surprise. Perhaps Kirby has finally learned that when the stuffing starts coming out, the stuffed toy goes away. So he's doing it slowly, fiber by fiber.

I'm not sure I should allow this indignity to continue to fall upon Mr. Hedgehog (or the carpet or Kirby's innards). But the bald spots seem to have remained the same for a few days now. Kirby continues to carry his little, depilated Hedgehog around the house (albeit not with the same level of enthusiasm he once had) and, when we've been away for a couple of hours, he still greets us at the door with Mr. Hedgehog when we come home.

When I look at Kirby's sweet little face with the pudgy little Hedgehog in his mouth, I can't imagine taking it away. At least not yet.