Fuzzy friends come to college


They have been sleeping together since her senior year of high school.

Through all her adventures, Andrea Dreis and Daisy, her stuffed duck, are still inseparable.

“I have what you call an obsession with yellow ducks,” Dries said. “And one day, my mom saw this giant, fluffy, yellow duck and bought it for me for Easter.”

Her love for ducks started her freshman year of high school when she received her first rubber duck. Her passion expanded, and her collection grew and grew.

For Dreis’ senior prank at her St. Paul, Minn., high school, she put all of her ducks in the Dean of Students’ office.

“Everyone knew it was me right away because of my ducks,” she said. “There was yellow everywhere.”

College life can take its toll on a person and a duck. After much rough housing and hall surfing, Daisy now has holes, bare patches and misplaced stuffing.

“People all over Binnewies [Hall] would steal her, and we had to track her down,” Dreis said. “It became a regular occurrence.”

She proudly flaunts her ducks, and they often sit with her and her roommates when they watch TV.

“My friends love them,” she said. “They absolutely love them. I want to eventually pass them onto my kids so they can enjoy my ducks.”

Dreis still sleeps with the Daisy she brought to college, but she also has an even larger duck at home. Dreis says she brought her ducks to school because when she came to college, she didn’t know anybody and they were kind of like a comfort of home.

Stuffed animals can have different connections, though. Erin Safley, a junior advertising major from Peterson, Iowa, keeps a teddy bear from her fiancé.

It is about the size of a one-year-old baby with straggly — yet soft — fur, black eyes and a big, red heart-shaped nose. It wears a little red bow, and on its stomach is stitched the word “love”, encompassed by a heart.

“I used to take it with me where ever I traveled that included overnight stays,” Safley said. “It surprisingly has lasted all the wear and tear.”

She got the bear on the first Valentine’s Day she and her fiancé, Mike, shared together three years ago.

Mike lives four hours away from Brookings and works all over the country. She says she sees him once a month.

“To me, it kind of means his love is always here with me,” Safley said. “When I really miss him, I usually hug it while sleeping through the night. He thinks it’s funny I’ve kept it for this long, but I think he secretly appreciates it.”