Short Stories

Puppy Love

“Are you sure you want to take him?”

I look at Mum and smile. “Yeah, without him I might not sleep.”

In my hands is a soft toy, a dog. It is floppy and almost flat and looks more like a cushion as opposed to a toy, but he has been my companion for eight years, since I was five. The puppy was a Christmas present and one of a kind, it had said so on his kennel type box. I didn’t think I could cope without him, especially in Paris. It is just so far away.

“Okay, but you be careful not to lose him.” I gave her a massive grin and said that there was no way I would.

The only problem was that Fred, my rather squashed pup, never came back. To this day I don’t know what happened. Maybe the kids I was with decided that I was too old and they threw him away, or maybe I forgot him, but on the bus waiting for the ferry I realised that Fred was missing.

“Has anyone seen Fred?”


“My soft toy?”

“I thought I saw it in your bed…” one said.

A teacher stopped and scowled at the girls and then turned her gaze to me. “If you can’t find it I will write to the hotel and see if the maid has found it.”

I said nothing. What could I say? That I wanted to go back and rescue my toy? I would just look daft.

And that was the last I saw of Fred. He was gone.

Sometimes I hope he went to a child who loved him but I think he ended up in the bin. Why he was left behind when I know I packed him I don’t know. But because I didn’t cry and make a fuss the rest of the girls in the group pretty much left me alone until we got home. School was the same of course, but I never allowed anyone to know that my prized possession was gone. I never let on how much it hurt that the toy my parents had saved for and given in love had been removed from my care.

And yes, maybe I forgot him. But I don’t think so. The girls on that bus looked far too smug and then disappointed at my reaction. They thought they had committed the perfect crime but I never gave them the satisfaction of seeing me upset.


This is not my Fred. He was darker and the leather had rubbed off his nose.

This post was inspired by the daily prompt – pride and joy.

12 thoughts on “Puppy Love

  1. That had to have been so heartbreaking. Material objects can have immeasurable meaning to us. I have a few of those items myself. I hope he went to a good home too.

  2. Totally relate to this post. Same sort of thing happened to me. Box of toys stolen when I was just a little girl. Parents stood up for me and didn’t make me feel bad about missing my toys. I did cry though…a lot.

  3. This is so sad. I still have the baby doll my cousin gave me when I was first born, I have taken her everywhere with me. She survived school camps, New Caledonia, a move to Ayers Rock and 15 months of red sand. Honestly I don’t know how she is still mostly in one piece. I keep her safely packed away now because I am terrified she will fall apart. I am very sorry for your loss of such a treasure.

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