You’ve all seen me post before about replacing patients’ eyes. The eyes come out because of washer incidents, or pet attacks and I put new safety eyes in, or reinstall the originals if possible. This red panda was here this week for eye and nose reinstall:
And here he is ready to go home yesterday:
20/20 vision and perfect smell!
Some patients, however, have different types of eyes that can’t just be replaced or reinstalled. This winter I had a couple patients whose plastic googly eyes were replaced with cloth eyes so they would not only have 20/20 vision, but would be safer for babies. First was Cookie Monster. His person’s spouse wrote:
I am looking to get my husbands Cookie Monster toy repaired. Right now it has hard plastic eyes, and one of them is broken. (I have attached photos) I was wondering if it is possible to have the plastic eyes removed completely and be replaced with plush eyes. This was his favorite childhood toy and I’d like it to be repaired for our future child. Please let me know if this is possible and the price.
This is actually a fairly common email except for the eyes. Many people send animals to the hospital to be spruced up for the next generation. We agreed Cookie Monster would have a spa and new eyes. Here he is on arrival in January:
Of course, he started with a bubble bath:
New stuffing is a must for patients going to the next generation, but he kept a bit of his original stuffing in a heart:
Then it was on to all new soft eyes:
His family wrote:
He looks great! Love the eyes!
Thank you again so much for your work, I can’t wait to surprise my husband with him :)
p.s. his original eyes went back home with him. His family wanted them for sentimental reasons. :-)
Now Cookie Monster’s cloth eyes weren’t the only ones this winter. I also had a visit from a turtle who’d lost an eye. His original was flat, and felt, so that’s what his new eye is too. He is over 50 years old and wanted to be presentable not to a new child, but to a new grandchild! So, he also had a spa. Here’s his arrival photo:
And here he is clean, able to hold his head up, and with 20/20 vision again:
This is me, age 31, with Panda, the stuffed toy I’ve had since I was a baby. He still lives in my bedroom, often sitting on the bed or the bedside table. I’m posting this because I know that, as you become a teenager or a young adult, there’s a general social expectation that you stop caring about beloved childhood toys. Lots of people think that it’s somehow babyish to acknowledge their meaning as you grow up, or to keep hanging on to them past a certain point, especially for boys. And I just wanted to say that, actually, it’s perfectly fine to keep hold of things that are special to you. There’s nothing shameful in admitting that a comfort object is comforting, or in wanting to keep one close for whatever reason. So don’t feel pressured to give up something you love just because you feel like getting older means you have to, or because some toxic definition of masculinity says men can’t like soft things. Rejecting childhood isn’t the same as being an adult.