interview with expert
Woman Takes Home Filthy Toy She Found On The Street Thinking It's Hers From 18 Years Ago, Realizes She Made A Mistake (Interview With Expert)
Vittoria Gallagher lost her favorite stuffed dog Crackers 18 years ago and rediscovered him lying dirty on the street by accident. Well, she brought him home and washed him. But it turns out that the doggo she found wasn't Crackers at all. It was… an imposter!
Woman Takes Home Filthy Toy She Found On The Street Thinking It's Hers From 18 Years Ago, Realizes She Made A Mistake (Interview With Expert)
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When we were growing up, we all had our personal collection of stuffed animals that we'd never part from when bedtime came. But out of all of them, there was always that one cuddly toy that was our favorite. You know the one. Odds are, you probably still have it. But some people are unlucky to have lost theirs.

Vittoria Gallagher shared the story of how she lost her favorite stuffed dog Crackers 18 years ago and rediscovered him lying dirty on the street by accident. Well, she brought him home and washed him. Who wouldn't? After all, it's your childhood toy that magically appeared in front of you!

But it turns out that the doggo she found wasn't Crackers at all. It was… an imposter! [Cue lightning and thunder.]

It should come as no surprise that Vittoria's hilarious and heartwarming story, combined with her witty prose, made her Twitter thread go viral with over 13,100 likes and 2,700 retweets. The wholesome thing is, Vittoria inspired a lot of people to share photos of their beloved stuffed toys and tell their stories.

It's completely natural for kids to sleep with stuffed animals. But as we grow up, some of us have a hard time telling our best buddies, our guardians-against-nightmares that it's time for them to leave our beds (but that they'll still stay in our hearts).

Therapist Margaret Van Ackeren told Bored Panda that adults sleep with childhood stuffed animals because it brings them a sense of calm and reduces loneliness, as well as anxiety. “Sleeping with childhood stuffed animals as an adult is considered healthy, as long as it is not interfering with various areas of life such as social, occupational, psychological, and relational functioning,” she said.

“If the behavior is causing a problem in any of these areas, then it is worth looking into and putting effort into resolving.”

According to Van Ackeren, sleeping with stuffed toys may put a “strain” on adult relationships. Especially if your partner feels “neglected or second to the stuffed animal.”

If that’s the case, you’ve got to talk to your significant other and try to work something out. Therapy might be useful for some people if they have a hard time letting go.

In Van Ackeren’s opinion, people who want to get some distance from their stuffed animals can try replacing them with their partner’s love and affection. In other words, instead of hugging your teddy, you could try cuddling up to your loved one.

We should only think about hiding our cuddly toys if keeping them around gets in the way of our lives. For example, if it damages your romantic relationship with your partner or if you avoid traveling because you can't bring your stuffed warthog or cuddly armadillo with you, then it's time to think about moving on.

According to Well and Good, there is a certain… process to breaking up with your teddy. Like changing your diet or quitting a bad habit, going cold turkey isn't the way to go for some people. For them, it's better to take things slowly. Step. By. Step.

For instance, let's say you decided that your stuffed panda is stopping you from being a super-serious and responsible adult. Well, the first thing you should do is move your childhood friend from your bed onto your nightstand. Easy, right? I mean, it's right there next to you.

The second step is putting your friend, who's stood by you all these years and always supported you no matter what, on top of your dresser or on the window sill.

The last step is the hardest. Take your teddy (who will always love you unconditionally and will understand you better than most people ever will) and put it out of sight in a closet or under the bed. Wow, that was harder than it seemed.

Dear Pandas, what's your favorite stuffed animal? What's its name and how long have you had it for? Do you still sleep with it every night?

Comments (23)
Malice Evil
I had a similar story but the toy did not look like any of mine, it was a teddy bear. Took him home gave him a bath, made him look dapper, and gave him as a gift to my best friend. To go along with the toy i wrote a story of how the teddy ended up on the street and how he is searching for a friend to give him a new home. That teddy became one on the most cherished possession of my friend. All toys deserve a good loving home and a second chance especially those that are lost and neglected. I still have most of my childhood toys and they represent such lovely memories from when i was a child and saw the world through different eyes.
Roy Dark
Great story, and literally round the corner from me in Freemantle! You found the second one at christmas, why not call it Christmas, it goes with Crackers!
Oh my gosh. This is really cute. I'm glad you have found your original as well.
Aww. This is a cute story!!
Ethan Collard
(at the time of posting this, I am 13) I've had a stuffed dolphin named rocket for so long I can't even remember when we got him. He is currently in my sister's room, protecting them from the monster under the bed/in the closet. Now, he is big, like big big! If I remember correctly, he is around 4 feet long, so when I had him, he was like a god that was assigned to protect me. tl:dr = I have a giant dolphin that i still love at age 13
wow, how funny, a person finding a wrong toy...
lorrie rothstein
i cant believe she thought that was her toy. maybe she is crackers. she said she smoked weed
Still have my first teddy bear and plush rabbit. Surprised they are still as good as new(well almost) when my little brothers teddy bear dont even have any fur left XD
Carol Emory
I had a stuffed bear that was as big as a 2 year old that always stayed in bed with me at night. I was a typical kid scared of monsters in the closet. So while I slept with my back to the closet, my bear would be propped up against my back, staring the closet down to keep the monsters at bay. Several times he popped a seam. My parents repaired him as best they could. But eventually, I had to be brave and let him go. I miss that bear....
Sue Prewitt
WHY would he be piss soaked, and really? after how many years? just sitting there, huh? FFS
Diana Jansen
I still have my teddy bear from steiff. Back in 1995, my grandma gifted one to me and one to my twin on our first birthday after saving money for a year (!)to buy them. I still have him in sight (on my desk) as one of the few memories I have of her as she passed away when we were 7. I still love him ?
Monty Glue
I loved elephants when I was a toddler and asked for one every Christmas, probably starting when I learned to talk. I got my stuffed elephant for my 4th Christmas. I kept him and took him to the first home I purchased, then the apartment I rented, then to the home I had built 29 years ago. I'm 62 and my elephant is 58 years old. He lives in my attic because I don't want people to know I'm a sentimental old kook.
Steve Cruz
"Crackers" sounds like the name of a white dog.
I'm sorry but how stupid can you be??
Patrick Shore
nice story...why all the cursing !?
Kathleen Barlow
I'm 42 and still have a small brown stuffed bear named Funny that I got on my second birthday. Had I ever lost him and seen his doppelganger on the street years later, I would have done exactly the same thing as this lady and rescued him! haha
She got her real Crackers a buddy! Yey! ?
Gin Marie
I have my teddy from when I was four. At some point he got decapitated so I had to recapitate him with these big huge stitches. He looks like Frankenteddy but I still have him.
Efi Karafotia
I love this!!!
I draw things
Omg lol u thought
I'm just surprised they both were in decent condition. When I re-found my old favorite stuffed bunny, it resembled a gray beanbag with an eyeless head.
Really...she had to ask her sister if she'd ever even had the thing and only knew its name once her sister reminded her. What in the world would possess this woman to take trash on the street home....
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