I bought a teddy bear from Build-A-Bear Workshop when I was ten years old. I am seventeen now, a senior in high school. His name was Dylan. He was the best teddy bear a girl could ever ask for. I stuffed him, I filled him with love, and boy, did I love him back.
For seven years, I loved that teddy bear. I slept with him every night of my life, even when I went to sleepovers or hotels. I would always kiss his forehead and wish him a goodnight. It’s cheesy, I know, but he’s my best friend. One of my oldest best friends.
Today, when I got home from school, tragedy struck. My dog, Chloe, ate Dylan’s face to shreds. My mother brought Chloe to the doctors and it was confirmed that the fabric of Dylan’s face is in her stomach. Just the face. Not the ears or the tail, or the feet. Just the face. He has no eyes or nose or mouth. Nothing.
It’s really upsetting, because I’ve had that teddy bear since I was little. I’m crying at this moment I write this to you. I mean, I was planning on bringing him to college with me this fall! I took him to sleepovers with girls who would think of how childish I was, on vacation with me, to my grandma’s, to camp, etc. I even took him this past summer to Alfred University where I took a workshop and slept in a dorm for one week. (I wasn’t the only girl who brought their stuffed animal.) And I never once cared what other people thought of me, even as a seventeen-year-old girl with her teddy bear, because I had him. I had Dylan right in my arms.
And it’s not that I want to hold onto my childhood and never grow up. I am very excited to grow up, to go to college, own my own place. But the relationship between a young girl and her teddy bear as she grows up with it is priceless. You can’t make up for that time they shared together, or the places they went, or the sleepless nights filled with crying and heartbreak as the young teenage girl experiences her first heartbreak. Your teddy bear is there with you through it all. It never judges, or makes fun of, or laughs. It always knows the right things to say, what to do to comfort you, and make you laugh. It’s always there when you need a hug or a friend to just vent to.
I guess they can’t live forever. I’m hopefully getting a new one soon, the sad part is that the new one will never replace the old one. But I’m getting Dylan Jr. at Build-A-Bear Workshop. I just wish Build-A-Bear Workshop still had his type of bear, unfortunately, they don’t.
But I just want to thank Build-A-Bear Workshop for giving me my teddy bear, Dylan, who helped me through my childhood and almost all of my teenage years. Too bad it was almost.
R.I.P. Dylan Gioia, the best teddy bear a girl could have ever asked for.
Forever in my heart. <3