The Red Thread

Big Dog, well-loved.

Payten’s beloved Big Dog has been with her since she was a baby. She plays with the silky tag as she drifts off to sleep, or if she needs comfort.

By the time she came to live with us, Big Dog’s tag was only a few fine pieces of silky string. I asked Payten if she would like me to replace the old tag with a new one. She said yes.

I took a couple of unneeded tags and she picked one. Then I let her pick the color of thread I would use to sew the new tag on. She chose red.

“Are you sure? That’s really going to look different than it does now.”

She was sure.

I sat on the couch while she watched TV and sewed the new tag on with red thread. I was so proud of myself! The stitches were neat and small, and this was a step up from my single ability to replace buttons.

I handed Big Dog to her when I was finished.

She took one look at the new tag sewn on with red thread and shrieked, “No! No! Change it back!” 

“You chose the red thread. Isn’t that what you wanted?”

“No! Change it back!”

My rushed and messy work to get the tag back on.

I took Big Dog back and painstakingly removed the red thread. I replaced it with brown, to match Big Dog’s fur.

I had to move quickly; she was in the throes of a meltdown over the thing that helps her get through meltdowns!

“Is that better?” I asked, giving it back. She took it with a smile; I took that as a yes.

We haven’t had to change Big Dog’s tag since then.

I think Payten was traumatized and didn’t want Big Dog to go under the knife (or needle, as it was) again.

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