When I was a young girl, I had many stuffed animals. These were my toys of choice, valuing them above all others. Some specific ones were even more valued, and I rarely parted ways with them if I could help it. I assigned them feelings, clearly extensions of my own feelings. I gave them "food" and "water" and lots of love. Always treating them as though they were living, breathing beings needing care. I had a great deal of empathy for them and was attached to them. I remember my grandmother sewing me (by hand) a dress for my Monchichi doll (my absolute favorite) and then teaching me how to sew a second dress for her. My father would tuck me into bed by "making them talk". He would mimic their voices and they would show me the "Proper Way of Getting Into Bed". Often I would foil his efforts and he would have to start over. This was a fun game we played and I learned to look forward to bedtime.
As I grew, these stuffed animal attachments waned. I brought home a hamster and then 2 cats of my very own that were far more interesting than any stuffed animal could ever be. I was gentle and giving with these cats. They could do no wrong in my eyes. Were these the "stuffed animals" of my early childhood? Was I already predisposed to loving animals from my earlier attachments? Try not to laugh now - I still have 1 German Shepherd stuffie which I sleep with every night - "Puddles" as she remimds me of my 1st GSD, Tank, that passed away years ago
The girls have favorite toys. They will prance around with them and sometimes sleep with them, but mostly it's the waking hours that they'll seek them out. Sometimes frozen in time, stuffed animal in her mouth, Nyxie will alert to some outside sound. Her ears will cock and the fun of playtime is put on hold. How heartwarming this is! That split second between carefree fun and "PERIMETER ALERT!".
I'm glad that I haven't grown out of my attachments to animals. It is part of my foundation, my fabric. My Objects of Affection are very much real, and alive and I am thankful for them.