Josh was 4 months old when my Dad passed away.

The last 2 weeks of my Dad`s life, he spent in the West Island Palliative Care Centre (an amazing centre!). Zach was almost two, and Josh was 4 months, but we wanted to spend every second of every day there with my Dad.

Now anyone who knew Josh then, or knew me, or lived remotely on the same planet as us, knew that Josh was NOT a happy baby. He pretty much cried non-stop for the first 8 months (ok, I`m being nice – the first year) of his life.  So I would walk the floors with him, trying to keep him happy. I tried to bring my double stroller inside the centre and walk the halls with both boys in it, trying to get them to nap. It was pretty tricky.

One kind nurse, (I suspect fed up from hearing the wails of my sweet little boy), approached me one day with these cute little doggie stuffed animals. They were the “mascots” of the Palliative Care Centre and she gave Zach and Josh each one.

Somehow, Josh took to this dog. He loved him. It seemed to calm him. “Doggie” became his favorite stuffie. We all appreciated how it seemed to soothe him.

As the months went on, he became more and more attached to Doggie. Months turned into the next year. Unfortunately, like all over-used stuffies, Doggie started to wear out. But Doggie was his best bud! He never wanted to go anywhere without Doggie. He took Doggie to Ti-Tia`s (the home day care that I talked about here) every day, and brought him home everyday. Doggie went through many wash cycles. But Doggie was looking plain old run down.

Then, I had a brilliant idea! I would sneakily replace Doggie. I called my Mom, who immediately went and got me a new one from the Palliative Care Centre and sent it along. I figured Josh would never know the difference. I brought the new guy over to Ti-Tia`s and just told her to throw out the old guy, and replace him with the new guy!

So we did just that. He never suspected a thing! Every 6 months or so, I replaced Doggie with a brand new one. I was so surprised at how Josh never made a fuss, or even suspected anything!!

Until the day when we had to leave Ti-Tia`s and move to a different daycare. Ti-Tia had carefully packed up all our stuff; extra clothes, blankets, toys, Doggies…wait…Doggies?? Why are there so many Doggies?? Ti-Tia smiled. Of course she couldn`t throw out Joshy`s Doggies! He loved them!

Every time she got a new one, she just added him to the pack! Josh was now sleeping with a bunch of dogs at Ti-Tia`s house. Of course, now that we had them all, he had to have all of them with him all the time. A whole bunch of ratty little dogs.

Back in 2006 – with 2 of his Doggie’s

Fast Forward to today, and 4 Doggies remain. There were more, but a couple didn`t make some of our “not feeling so well nights”. But, these Doggies have been through a lot and are still his constant companions.

For Christmas this year, Gran picked up Josh a new “replacement” Doggie at my request. I wanted him to see the “original”. I told him he wasn`t allowed to touch this dog; he was a “Display Dog” only:) One day maybe this new Dog would become the Dog he gives his son! He wasn`t so thrilled about this idea, but kindly obliged (for me)!

Tonight when I was tucking him in, I glanced at the “Display Dog” and then pulled him down to do a little comparison. We could not believe it! These are the same dogs!!! Seriously! With varying degrees of love:)

Lots of history in those Dogs. Gotta love ’em!

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