Meet Praise! As of Christmas 2013, he’s 16 years old. My mom bought him for me as a Christmas present. I’ve slept with him every night since then and he’s traveled all over the world with me. He’s been to Sacramento, CA, Nassau Bahamas, Jamaica, Cincinnati, OH, Fort Thomas, KY, Lexington, KY, Scranton, PA, Jamestown, NY, Daphne, AL, Miami, FL, Dayton, OH, TN and a bunch of other places. For this post, the idea of a “fetishscreen” signifies an object you possess or something that you do that gives you a sense of confidence and security. Praise has always done that for me. I think it’s because he’s so cuddly and he just fits perfectly and comfortably in my arms when I sleep. I’ve always collected stuffed animals, but over the years I’ve passed on certain animals and held on to those that have significant meaning like my Juliet June Bear that my daddy gave me when I was a little girl (I think I was around 2 or 3). I had another stuffed animal that I slept with – I still have him but his battery died. His name was Sleepytime Bear. He’d sing you a song when you pressed his paw. He’d sing: “Dream with me, Dream with me, cuddle up I plead! Bedtime is a magical time, dream with me I plead. Wow! Can’t believe I still remember that. But my stuffed animals are not the most important animals in my life. For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a dog. I had a springer spaniel named Lady (from Lady and the Tramp) a mutt named Goldie (from Goldie Locks and the Three Bears), a couple of other dogs whose names I’m blanking on and then I had Missy, who was a miniature schnauzer. I had to put her to sleep back in 2008 , 2 days before my 26th birthday. I actually didn’t have another dog until my mom almost ran Brody over. I got her to stop the car and I got out to try and get the dog because it looked like our neighbors dog. But it wasn’t. Someone had abandoned Brody in the neighborhood, so I begged to take him home with us. I’ve had Brody now for 4 years and he’s a lab/pug mix. In July of 2012, I got Ella (her full name is Enchanted Ella and she’s named for the movie Ella Enchanted and Enchanted).
I don’t know why I love sleeping with a stuffed animal. I think it has something to do with having something to cling to while I’m sleeping. I also think it stems from the trauma that I experienced from my parents divorce and my daddy’s subsequent death as well. Maybe it helps me to feel grounded. My puppies on the other hand bring me joy and laughter and lots of love and kisses. They are most definitely my babies. Ella and Brody are the best of friends and they take care of each other. New Years Even 2012, Ella and Brody got out of the fence and I looked for over an hour and I couldn’t find them. I was panicked. My mom and me each took our own car and began driving up and down the neighborhood and surrounding roads looking for them. Finally drove back through the neighborhood an hour later and there they both come running together. The entire time that they’d been free, they’d stuck with each other. Oh, that was such a relief! I was scared out of my mind. I think I love my dogs so much because 1. they’re awesome and they love me. 2. they’re my kiddos. 3. I think as an only child and a single woman they give me someone to devote some of my time and attention to. But aren’t they just adorable? As an afterthought, I also realized that there is an action that I do that gives me a sense of confidence and strength! That action is prayer! Many times I think it is prayer and the ability to talk to God, and sometimes yell at Him, that helps to keep me sane. I had a situation that happened this past Friday night and it was only through the power of prayer and Christ that lives in me that I didn’t totally lose it and go off on the person who attacked me. Prayer is important to me, not only because it keeps me sane, but because it keeps me in constant connection with the one who knows me and loves me better than anyone else. To know that Jesus is always with me and that he’s only a whispered word or a sighed groan away . . . makes a world of difference to my personal life.
(P.S. I don’t really see how this fits into the Entertainment Cycle, but oh well)!