Sorry it has taken me so long to reply, as I had seen your post earlier. I am female, and all my life I have slept with stuffed animals. They reassure me and comfort me, as I am afraid of the dark. Recently I wound up in a psych ward for about ten days, and my brother, who is a psychologist and knows me very well, sent me a great stuffed bear while I was there. This was a very big help to me, and I still sleep with it since I got out of there.
I would say that your mother is acting quite normal, she simply wants company while she's off to the middle of nowhere. Your brother is using the stuffed dog to reassure himself, after fighting with his girlfriend. Perhaps she thought the stuffed toy would help bring out any problems she sensed he had, since she used the dog to bring her and him back together. But I have to say, with your brother, spending time at social gatherings with his stuffed dog is a little irregular, and so, sure, it might help him if you engaged him in normal conversation when you see him, to see will that help draw him out more naturally.
Now, keep in mind, I'm not the best source for advice, as I am quite depressed, I have panic disorder, and so I take a few medications for all that. But as for keeping stuffed animals, I think in general this is normal... I recall seeing more than one adult bed with stuffed animals on it when watching the House & Garden TV station, where they try to make a house ready to sell, and also where they go into homes for sale. Hope this helps.
Hello. I'm new to this site--just looking it over and came upon your posts re: adult attachments to stuffed animals. I'm a late-stage Baby Boomer and have developed such an attachment for the 1st time in my life, as of 2014. Never was the type of female who would have appreciated/wished for stuffed animals as romantic tokens back in my romantic days...never really understood the interest. I have been very attached to living pet animals throughout my entire life, tho. In the Summer of 2014, I was shocked and saddened by the unexpected death of a young, wonderfully affectionate and seemingly healthy pet cat due to previously undetected heart failure. After discovering him breathing with much difficulty, I rushed him to a Vet ER, where he received testing and time in an O2 tent, but it ended with a prognosis that had no hope---I found no choice other than euthanasia, with me having to order his immediate death---or watch him clawing the walls, gasping for breath which would never again come naturally--- then having to leave without him, but with a $900 bill. It was surreal and broke my heart, left me with pangs of loss, sadness and guilt (although, in reality, there was nothing else I could have/should have done earlier). I've since found some healing and comfort due to the acquisition of a small, cute and cuddly stuffed toy--fashioned in the shape of a bewhiskered kitty cat, wearing a neckerchief with "2014" on it. I've named him "Kitty" (see? I call it a 'him'---like my dear little cat was---but, not with the same name---too painful). I carry him from room-to-room with me and use him as a neck pillow when sitting, reading, watching TV and sleeping. It's my secret that my neck pillow is really a kitty memento...and that having it/him in my life does help me with the heartache of his unexpected and irreversible passing from my life... and, yes, I do sometimes talk to him and give him a kiss or two on his little stuffed toy head!