When I was young I absolutely loved Snoopy — not to the point of having a Snoopy-themed pram or wearing a Snoopy costume, but still quite fond of him — so when I got to a suitable age to decide the name of the obese, rough-colored and melancholy teddy bear that had been lying beside me seriously since the day I was born, my parents thought this was a bit overkill that I name it Snoopy. (“Too many Snoopys! How will we know which is which?”) I instead called it Poochie, which kind of has the same sound.
Poochie stayed with me until I was maybe three or four, when I left him outside and came back for him later, finding only torn limbs and stuffing strewn near the car under which the dogs lounged. I had to go to Shoemart to buy a new Poochie. The only real downside of replacing Poochie was that his nose, once worn to a soft fuzz from years of rubbing, was in need of a lot of work.
When I was five or six and about to move to Australia for good, I was about to bring Poochie as carry-on luggage, but my parents told me that he was too big, and shouldn’t I spend some time with my other less-loved teddy bear, Cuddles? Cuddles was a poor choice, and throughout the long flight I wished it was Poochie I was cuddling. Three or four years later when my mom went back to the Philippines owing to a death in the family, she came back with a large white box full of goodies, and one of them was Poochie. Seeing him for the first time in so long made me inexpressively happy, as if seeing a long lost friend.
And even now, less that a month from turning eighteen, Poochie is still with me. His seam is ripped at the neck, his arm loose and his stuffing is coming out at some places, and I rarely hug him any more, but he still has pride of place at my bed. Sometimes I think that since Poochie started life with me, he may as well see it through and come with me to the grave, but I think I should patch him up and pass him on to my child, because it’s always nice to have a teddy bear.