From my very first ultrasound with Madeline we knew there were problems. Being somewhat superstitious, I was afraid to buy anything for the baby. That didn’t stop me from going to the baby stores, though. I spent many lunch hours browsing racks of baby clothes – never touching anything – until I came upon the toys. Toys didn’t have a gender, and for some reason they felt safer. I found this adorable plush dog that could be a rug or a stand up toy. When I let myself touch its soft fur I knew I had to get it for my baby.

Maddie used it a bit when she was little or tired.


But she never wanted to stay in one place too long. One day after Maddie and I crawled away from what we nicknamed the Dog Skin Rug, I turned around and saw someone else had taken up residence.

dog on a dog skin rug

The funny thing was Rigby only wanted to be on the rug AFTER Maddie had been on it. As if she wanted Maddie to warm it up, or maybe she wanted to smell Maddie as she drifted off to puppy dream land.

For the last five months, the rug has laid empty.

And then this happened:

I don’t know what changed, but it was comforting and gut wrenching.