Friday, August 8, 2008

My genius idea.

This is Skuggs. Skuggs is The Son's "favorite guy". We got him a few years ago at the National Constitution Center when they had an exhibit on Benjamin Franklin. Evidently, good old Ben had a pet squirrel named Skuggs and this little fellow is the stuffed toy interpretation of him. He has been through a lot. He used to have bifocals. He used to be grey and white, not grey and lighter grey. He used to have a soft fluffy tail. He used to smell a lot better. All those "used to's" sound good but I'd venture to say he wasn't nearly as loved as he is now. 

Skuggs loves to travel and has been a lot of places. Here he is on the steps of our City House taking pictures for Mother's Day for the grandmoms.

At the Camden Aquarium watching a 3D movie.

Enjoying the view of The City from the top of Philadelphia City Hall with his best friend The Son.
A year or so ago when we still lived in The City, Skuggs decided to travel without permission. We got home to our house and realized Skuggs was lost, dropped out of his stroller on our walk from the parking lot to our house. I searched and searched for him until a woman who ran an art gallery in our neighborhood noticed The Son and I looking VERY distraught. She came out of the gallery and asked what was wrong, I told her and she mentioned that she had just seen someone's dog who was walking by, pick Skuggs up in his mouth and keep walking! I was flabbergasted. Really, who does that kind of thing? Couldn't they tell that this toy was some little kid's best, best friend? I told the gallery lady where we lived and mentioned that if she saw Skuggs or the terrible dog and it's owner to please let them know how important this dirty, smelly, goofy-looking stuffed toy was to my little boy.  I went home in tears (yes, The Son was in tears too) and immediately called The National Constitution Center. They had no more Skuggs' left. I readied myself to make "Lost Squirrel" posters to hang in the neighborhood. I was prepared to pay a nice little reward for the return of our lost friend. I was also able to find a "replacement" squirrel on line. Not that any thing could ever replace the original Skuggsy. Nonetheless, I ordered two...just in case. 

I put The Son down for his nap, hoping he'd be able to sleep without Skuggs. I sat down on my couch, feeling really sad until there was a knock at my door. I answered the door and lo and behold...THERE WAS SKUGGS! He was brought back to us by a young lady who worked in the museum on our street. He had been found by the gallery lady (on a parking meter? huh?) and since I had told her where we lived, she brought him back to the museum and eventually, he found his way back to us. I was overjoyed! I hugged Skuggs, kissed him and jumped up and down. (yes, I'm serious.) The museum girl must have thought I was insane. I couldn't wait for The Son to wake up from his nap so I could tell him the happy, happy news. 

Later that evening, we went to the market and bought some flowers for the gallery lady which I had The Son take to her to say, "thank you". I was so grateful that there are still kind people in this world and I had to make sure to thank her properly. 

The two squirrels that I ordered came and were never opened, they're still in the original box they were sent in. I opened them recently when we moved and couldn't get over the difference in looks from Skuggs now and the original unloved Skuggs...pretty funny. 

So where does the genius idea come in you ask? Well, after all this adventure, I decided to get Skuggs a dog tag. A real dog tag that you can buy at the pet store or from one of those little self-serve machines at the evil store that is Wal*Mart. I engraved the name Skuggs on it and my cell phone number and tied it with a cute ribbon around Skuggs' neck. Go back and look at the pictures, you'll see it in most of them. 

Yes, it's been used. Once, and I'll never forget that phone call, it was recently while we were shopping at an outlet mall in Lancaster, PA. We had been at the Pottery Barn Kids Outlet, it was late and we left the store to use the restroom. A few minutes later, I received a call on my cell phone and noticed the area code of the caller was the area code for Lancaster, PA, I thought that odd and answered. On the other end I hear, "Ummmm, Hi, we have Skuggs?" I started laughing and thanking the PBK employee as I ran down the shopping center pavement to retrieve our friend Skuggs. (and Blanket who was also left and doesn't have a dog tag but does have a replacement) Again, I was so thankful that someone was nice enough to make sure that Skuggs was returned to his rightful owner. 

The Son doesn't have to take Skuggs with him everywhere any more, he's kind of growing out of it. We try to keep Skuggs and Blanket in the bedroom or in the car for long trips. He's as much my favorite guy as he is The Son's at this point. I could go on and on about Skuggs' personality and voice when The Son wants to "talk to Skuggs" but I'll save that for another time. Any guesses on who supplies Skuggs' voice? 

So basically, this post was just a long way of saying put a dog tag with your cell phone number on your kids' favorite works...just ask Skuggs! 


Kimba said...

Your comment cracked me up!!!!

And I love this story about Skugs (sp?)! How wonderful that there are still some kind people in this world. And what a brilliant idea to get a dog tag for him!!! Seriously!

You need to submit that to Tip Junkie. Her readers would love that idea!

My younger son has a monkey that he's so attached to. We have two that I rotate so that they are equally worn. But I'm still terrified to take them anywhere for fear we'd lose one.

Marie said...

That IS a genius idea! I almost wish my kids dragged stuffed animals around with them still so I could make tags for all of them. I LOVE that your son loves a squirrel. lol My son's favorite animal is a squirrel. How weird is that? lol

Heather said...

Our 4 year old as a bear named Teddy, orginal I know. Our 2 year old has a lamb named Lucy. I have never let them out of the van for fear of lossing them. Our youngest still has to take his everywhere, and the dog tags would save us a lot of fights, that Lucy has to stay in the van to sleep. Great idea!

Liz said...

This was too funny. I'd totally tag a kid.. which is probably why it's best I dont have one yet. :)

I have read the Fever book...loved it. She wrote Speak too, loved that as well. Laurie Halse is a fabulous author. Thanks for the rec though, I'm always up for new suggestions.

Chris said...

I was just coming on here to tell you to send that to Tip Junkie and Kimba beat me to it! Great idea. As for the handprints (from my blog), you could do a vinyl saying over it and do the three framed handprints in a row. OR you could have a long, narrow frame with your last name in it and place the three below. OR...just kidding! Just some thoughts!

The Berry's Patch said...

Oh that's such a great idea. What a cute story. I would keep Skuggs forever!!

Erin Leigh said...

That was a good idea. It is kind of sad how they out grow things.

Michelle said...

Caren, that is a really good idea about the tag!

Skuggs and The Son are so cute together!

Kara has a stuffed unicorn named Sparkle that she used to take everywhere with her. I was sad when she started leaving Sparkle at home. She still sleeps with her, though. *sigh*

Running Jen said...

That IS a genius idea! Loved that story, just too cute.

Victoria said...

Oh I can relate! We have a "George", as in Curious George, that my daughter has to sleep with. After spending many evenings trying to find where she left him about the house I banned him to her bed.

Good idea about the dog tag though!

Thanks for stopping by Christina's and my blog!

Always Smiling said...

What a great idea. I would have never thought of that. I am glad that Skuggs was able to find his way home, not once, but twice.

Darlene said...

I LOVE it....what a great idea of a dog tag....cute, cute story. I love stories like this and Skuggs would have to live in a shadow box (after your son is finally done with him) forever........