December 5, 2007
A Friend Indeed
I have lived the last 19 years in a nomadic state. Arriving about as regularly as a leap
year, the Eygenson family move has taken me across oceans, across the country and across town.
By now the drill is familiar: we box up our things, say goodbye to the neighbors and the
landlord, and throw a going-away barbecue. A week later, I am the new kid in school, again, and
can’t figure out how to turn on the lights in the kitchen. Certainly, I have benefited from this
lifestyle- Having lived on three continents, met an amazing variety of people, and acquired an
intrinsic ability to adapt to new environments; I am a more developed person thanks to the
travels. Unfortunately, my material possessions haven’t been so lucky. Between the forgotten
hiding spots, constant packing and unpacking, and careless movers almost any possession gets
lost or broken eventually. The elite group that has survived the many journeys is compromised of
only the especially memorable, hard-to-lose, and sturdy items. My stuffed dog, Druzhog, fits into
all three categories.
Druzhog was originally one of my parents’ wedding gifts. Quality children’s toys were
hard to come by in the Soviet Union. My mother, at the time pregnant with her first son,
considered the large, handsome, and well made stuffed animal an exceptionally nice present.
Almost immediately after I was born 6 months later the toy and I started to bond. From the time I
could crawl, I would crawl over, under and around him. In the family photo album, there is a
variety of photos picturing me licking, feeling, and biting the dog as I learned to use my body
and my senses. I can recall my early childhood exceptionally well, and the toy is even present in