If you remember my blog post, Blue Light Still Special, I talked about stumbling upon a sad-looking Valentine’s Day monkey at my local Kmart. He looked so sad sitting on the shelf at the former retail giant. As I wrote my piece, I thought more and more about the monkey sitting on the shelf, wishing he had a home to call his own as Valentine’s Day approached.
I went back to the Kmart after work to see if the monkey was still in his same spot. I was a bit worried that he might be gone when I got there, but then that would have been a good thing, right? Maybe he was taken home by a kid to join another group of stuffed animals. Maybe he was taken home by a husband to give to his loving wife (ultimately where this guy will likely end up). As the automatic door to the store opened, I walked through, making a left turn just as I did the night before, wishing the best for my furry friend.
I turned the corner … he was still there. Something seemed funny this time, though. He actually looked happier. Not sure if it was just a long day at the office for me or maybe he actually had a bigger smile. He must have known there were going to be good things in store for him. He was leaving his metal shelving perch.
Well, I am happy to reveal … he now has a home. At least a temporary home. As I carried him to the cashier to pay for him, I could sense his excitement. I felt his heart beating as we stood in the checkout lane waiting for his freedom to begin. We left the store, exiting out into the cold, midwestern winter air. He seemed to enjoy the chill. I think it made him feel more alive. As we got to the car, he insisted that I take his picture. He wanted to celebrate his first moments of freedom!
I asked him if he was going to continue to carry that “Be Mine” heart around even after Valentine’s Day. He said he would. He said he feels like it’s a part of him. Hey, who am I to question him after what he’s been through. If it helps him make the transition, I’m all for it.
As we drove through the darkness toward home, I could sense a little nervousness. He had met my wife before, but he had not met our two dogs. Yes, our dogs are spoiled rotten and have every toy known to man, but any stuffed animal that comes into the house, they assume is for them.
We pulled into the garage and entered the house. The moment of truth was upon us. How would the new guy do with the dogs? I took him to meet our first dog. This dog does not like other dogs, thus I was a bit nervous, but after a few interested sniffs, she buried her nose back into her pile of blankets.
Well, one down and one to go. Our other dog loves dogs, cats, geese … you name it. Again, she gave the monkey the sniff down. And, she, too, put her head back down in the blankets. The initiation was over. Our monkey friend passed! Not saying we won’t have to keep an eye on the dogs to make sure they don’t make off with our new friend at some point, but, for now, all is quiet.
I originally thought about taking our new friend to a children’s hospital to give to a child, but his eyes may present a choking hazard. I doubt they would let the kids play with him. Maybe an older child. Not sure. For now, he will find a place on a nice, comfy bed as he tries to adjust to his new surroundings.
As I was typing that last paragraph, he tugged at my sleeve. He said he had something he wanted to say. I asked what it was. He pulled me closer and whispered in my ear. He said he had a message for all the people in blog land as he called it …
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!