THANKS to social media and a plea for help from a desperate mother, five-year-old Melville resident Emily Stewart has been reunited with her much-loved teddy bear after he spent a week lost in the neighbourhood.
After dropping Emily at Melville Primary School last Wednesday, Claire Stewart was pushing her toddler Alice home in her pram on Kitchener Road.
Unbeknownst to Mrs Stewart, little Alice – not as fond of Teddy as her older sister – tossed the bear onto the sidewalk.
“It wasn’t until bed time that I noticed,” Mrs Stewart said.
“Emily was asking for him and I couldn’t find him and that’s when I realised what must have happened.”
“Teddy has been her constant companion since she was born so she was pretty upset but it wasn’t the first time he’s been lost and I told her we’d go and look for him in the morning.”
But the next day Teddy was nowhere to be found and despite dropping flyers in surrounding letterboxes and, in the case of Emily, asking every single person they bumped into over the next few days whether they had seen him, the whereabouts of the intrepid bear remained a mystery.
Finally, on the advice of a friend, Mrs Stewart turned to Facebook page Melville City Chat the following Tuesday.
“A lady commented on my post suggesting I put it on my personal page and make it public so that people could share it, which I did,” Mrs Stewart said.
“It was incredible – the post got more than 40 comments and nearly 100 people shared it within 24 hours.”
With Teddy’s plight infiltrating newsfeeds through the City of Melville, it did not take long for the story to catch the eye of a vet nurse at the nearby Melville Animal Hospital.
Earlier that week an unknown passerby had left a teddy bear on the front counter – a teddy bear that looked very similar to the one in the post.
The Melville Animal Hospital is used to reuniting lost dogs and cats with their owners but locating a teddy bear that had gone walkabout was a first.
Manager Jodi King, who is also a mother at Melville Primary School and had seen the post, said two vet nurses messaged her Tuesday night saying they thought the missing teddy was at the clinic.
“I didn’t want to message Claire that night in case it was a different teddy but I went in at 7am the next morning to confirm it and then texted her,” Ms King said.
Mrs Stewart said she and Emily were in tears after receiving the good news and, after stopping to pick up some flowers for the staff, high-tailed it to the Melville Animal Hospital in record time where they discovered Teddy with his arm in a sling but otherwise none the worse for wear.
“Emily and I are just so grateful to the whole Melville community for really getting behind the search for Teddy,” Mrs Stewart said.