The Search for a Toy Doctor

by Bonnie

This is my antique leather horse figurine. I seek your advice on his medical condition. He used to stand up on the tripod of his hind legs and tail, but recently sustained an injury when a large, horse-like dog galloped by and knocked him over. Now one leg is slightly bent and he can’t stand.

The leather he is made of is old and dry and crackly, so my idea was to coat the injured area in leather conditioner, then wrap it in plastic. I hoped it would soften up in a few days and I could bend the leg back into position.

I felt confident in my plan because I have healed a toy before. As a kid, I read Judy Blume’s Deenie, then told my sister that her favorite doll had scoliosis. For a small fee, I would build the doll a brace and heal her. I wrapped up the doll in popsicle sticks, toilet paper, cotton, and tape, then put her to bed in her cradle and circled a far-off date on the kitchen calender. That’s how long the doll had to lie still, I told my sister, then billed her up front. I expected my sister to become impatient and rip the brace off before the approved date, in which case I would not be held liable for the outcome. Instead, like a responsible doll mom, she waited, and was all excited when the day finally arrived.

I took the patient out of her cradle, worried because I had long ago spent my fee on candy. See, the doll couldn’t stand because she wasn’t built for standing. Her feet were rounded; she was more of a baby doll. Slowly, I unwound the TP bandages and carefully held her upright. And then, she stood! It really happened! It was one of the minor miracles of my childhood.

But so far, with the horse, my treatment plan isn’t working. If would appreciate any suggestions. I am not emotionally prepared to have him shot.