So someone on my Twitter account asked me if the picture I have of a stuffed puppy on a training potty is stock photography or a personal photo of a member of our family in an embarassing situation. The truth is the latter. This is my 4 year olds’ idea of a joke. He placed Nite-Nite Puppy on the potty as a decoy while he ran around half-naked throughout the rest of the house. Nite-Nite Puppy IS a very special member of our family. He came to our family about nine years ago from a surprise baby shower for our first son. Back then he was just Ty. He’s made by the Ty company. Creative, aren’t we?
When our second son was born, his big brother went shopping in his room and came to ask if he could give Ty to the baby as a present. We didn’t know then that this moment would go down in history as “Why binkies are better than puppies.”
Anyhow, the adorable connection of this puppy between two brothers made him the “most special Puppy” in the world at our house. Yes, we blame ourselves for the addiction. As the baby grew to be a toddler who could toddle and drag the Puppy around, we arrived at the most important question about owning a “favorite”. “What if we ever lost Puppy?”
So, this is how he got the name “Nite-Nite Puppy”. He was only to be held at night and had to stay in the conversion crib for that reason. It worked for a while. The name stuck but the rules tapered off, as ass-inine rules often do.
So we came to the question of “What if we ever lost Nite-Nite Puppy?” Now, I just finally mastered Facebook, I’m still getting to know Twitter and WordPress and maybe someday I’ll have an Instagram account. I am, by no means, eBay savvy. By this time, Nite-Nite Puppy was old news in Toy Stores. Besides, NNP is not a Beanie Baby and he’s about the most typically described dog in the world. Searching key words for this guy is painful. I also have a short attention span so, after about 15 minutes of not finding him, I just figured I would only do a desperate search if he had actually disappeared. I know, that’s insane.
Well, NNP is still here. He could, technically, be referred to as About-Town Puppy. So, funny story, after nine years, we ran into a Puppy at Panera that was, WITHOUT A DOUBT, of the same breed and brand. My four year old spotted her in the arms of a little girl sitting on the counter as the mommy ordered lunch. We could not believe our eyes and we were speechless until they walked away from the counter. It wasn’t till after they were gone that I felt a desperate need to find out where the Doppelganger Puppy was purchased! So, while standing and waiting for our order, we scanned the restaurant for the mother and child. They were no where to be found. I’m thinking they went to the restroom. Our food was ready and we still had not seen them again. Keep in mind that we went to Panera at the worst time of day if you want to locate a Tan Colored Stuffed Puppy – Lunch time, that is. It was a nice Fall day so we decided to take our food outside and, as we placed our trays on the table, LO AND BEHOLD, we saw the Puppy on the inside of the restaurant looking out the window at us!
“There she is!” I shouted embarassingly loud.
I scooped up my son, abandoned our trays, and went inside as fast as the crowd would let us. We dodged trays, customers and employees. I think I even juked a man with a tennis ball cane. We slowly approached the table as not to freak out the mother and child.
Long story short, I told the woman we had the exact same Puppy, showed her a picture of NNP on my iPhone (which, looking back, was probably a little odd) and asked her where her Puppy came from. Coincedentally, NNP was in the van that day at risk of being lost about town. Unfortunately, this mother had also acquired the Puppy years ago and had the same dilemma as I and constantly worried about the day the Puppy would be lost.
We chatted briefly with the pair as the little girl held her Puppy tightly in her arms (as all seemingly irreplaceable Puppies should be). Although our solution to a lost Nite-Nite Puppy was not found, we got a chance to speak with kind strangers that obliged us and we had the pleasure that day of being introduced to “Dog-Dog”.