This is Kalle. My uncle Dagfinn gave him to me for Christmas when I was either two or three, and he has been with me ever since. Granted, he spent my junior high/middle school/ungdomsskole years in a closet when I was too cool and grown up for toys, but by the time I was 16, it was OK to ironically have toys again. I think I was just happy to have Kalle back, and he slept in my bed all through high school. When I went away to college it was surely time to put away childish things, so Kalle stayed home in Norway while I flew out to BYU. After a summer at home, he came to Utah with me for my second semester and stayed with me all through my college years. I lived in four different apartments with over 30 different roommates, but Kalle was a constant. And Nick, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he still slept in our bed for a while after we got married, right? Then, being an elderly gentleman in his late 20s (what is that in cuddly dog years?) he started coming apart at the seams. First his ears needed to be sewn back on, then his head almost came off. In a state of disrepair, he went back to a life in the closet.
Until I started thinking about something that reminds me of childhood. Of course it had to be Kalle! I pulled him out and mended him. I noticed the big, uneven stitches in any-colored threads from previous mendings performed by a much younger me. He's not perfect, but he's well enough to be out and about in society now. He even made his first trip outside in about 10 years for this photo. A new life for Kalle? Let's hope so.