For some of us teddy bears and stuffed animals are more than toys. So when we lose them, we are sad. Happily good people sometimes find and save the toys.
This is exactly what happened when 6-year-old Hunter Stevens lost his favorite stuffed animal – a cute dog named Woofee. Hunter was on a trip to Miles City but lost his stuffed friend in the local hospital, Billings Gazette reports.
Hunter went to the hospital to accompany his 8-year-old brother Aksel. After visiting the doctor’s office and running a few errands in Miles City with his mother, Hunter and his family began the long 200 mile drive home. Along the way, he realized he’d left Woofee somewhere in Miles City.
“He’s special to me. My brother Aksel got him for me. That’s why he’s so special,” Hunter says.
“He cried all the way home, like any little boy would who’d just lost his best friend”, says Grace McClymont, Hunter’s grandmother. Little did Hunter know, at that time Woofee was already in safe hands. Holy Rosary in-patient access employee Lexie Koester found Woofee sitting near the hospital’s entrance and posted a picture of Woofee on a Miles City Facebook page hoping to find the person who lost the stuffed animal.
“I just felt really sad for the kid,” she said. “You could tell he was really well-loved. He had stains, his fur was matted a little bit — things that show he’s been through a lot.”
Sadly, there was no response. Meanwhile Hunter’s grandmother had called a few places they had visited in Miles City, but also had no luck. Nobody had seen Woofee. Wal-Mart employee Jannette Federspiel saw it and remembered somebody calling in that week about a similar lost stuffed animal, leaving contact information in case it turned up. She called Holy Rosary and passed along that contact, which turned out to be from Hunter’s grandmother.
The hospital staff called her to ensure that Woofee has been found and it is kept in a safe place. “We were sitting at the dinner table, and I played the message back,” McClymont said. “He just sat there with his mouth open and said, ‘Woofee’s coming home? He’s really coming home? Thank you, Jesus.’ We’d been praying about it.”
Before Woofee had been sent home, which would take a few days via mail, the hospital staff took some pictures of Woofee around the building, giving him a VIP tour and a special medical check-up to make sure he feels fine.
“Kids, they cherish these stuffed animals so much. We’ve all lost a stuffed animal as a child, so to return one like this is really, really fulfilling” says Jessica Kuipers the hospital communications specialist. They sent Hunter a few pictures via Facebook and also put some extra gifts from the gift shop to go along with Woofee.
The stuffed animal is now back with Hunter and both best friends are happily reunited.