People, do you have any of your toys left from your childhood? I do. It is the Baxter stuffed dog and I’ve had it for 30 years now. It is not just special to me because it is a stuffed dog. I mean, for someone who loves dogs, every stuffed dog toy is special, right? But the Baxter stuffed dog is special for two other very important reasons.
In December 1982, I got the Baxter stuffed dog. You can see me holding it in this old photograph.
If memory serves me correctly, I got my dog Cassie in November of 1983. Cassie was a year old at the time, so that would put her as being born at around the same time as I got the stuffed dog Baxter. And even though Baxter was not the same breed as my real dog Cassie, for whatever reason I associated it with her. In my child-like mind, Cassie and Baxter were brother and sister. So when Cassie died in 1996, I tied her dog tags to the Baxter stuffed dog.
Something happened to Baxter a few years later that makes him even more special. My beloved dog Sephi chewed his nose off! Thank goodness, that is all she did. She would have done more damage if I hadn’t rescued him. So Baxter no longer has a nose. Well, I still have his nose. I just haven’t glued it back on. If you haven’t guessed, the second reason Baxter is so special to me is because he has also become a memory for Sephi (who passed away in 2011).
Why is the stuffed dog called Baxter? That is the name on his manufacturer’s tag. And apparently this stuffed dog is so popular, that the company has made a number of them. I even found this newer version of the Baxter stuffed dog at a garage sale! I also found the older version (vintage) selling on ebay for almost $40!!!
Do you have any special childhood toys? Any which remind you of a beloved pet?