"We know it's just a silly bear, but to us he's more than that. He's a member of our family."
Teddy Bear is unlike any other stuffed animal four-year-old Luke Swofford has. “He’s his world,” his mother, Nikki Swofford, told The Dallas Morning News. “He’s his best friend.”
So Luke and his family were particularly devastated when Teddy Bear got left behind at Dallas Love Field airport last week. Luke was returning home to Rockwall, TX, from a trip to Colorado with his grandparents, when he lost track of his beloved brown bear outside of baggage claim.
According to the Morning News Luke’s grandmother, Brenda Swofford, realized the bear was missing shortly after they pulled away, but when they turned back Teddy was gone.
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A thorough search of the airport in the following days also turned up nothing. Just as she was beginning to lose hope that they’d ever see sweet Teddy again, Nikki turned to Facebook for help. Surprisingly, messages of hope and positivity flooded in, and soon, thousands of people were in on the search for the missing bear.
"We know it's just a silly bear, but to us he's more than that," Nikki told the Morning News. "He's a member of our family."
The next day, the search finally ended. After consulting surveillance footage, Ian Fryers, an airport security compliance officer, found Teddy waiting patiently in an airport break room. Shortly after, Dallas Love Field posted a triumphant video of Teddy being escorted to lost and found, where he would wait for Luke to pick him up.
Teddy was even given the VIB — Very Important Bear — treatment during his time at Love Field, which included tours of the cockpit of a plane and the air traffic control tower.
All told, Teddy and Luke spent five painful days apart from each other. Finally reuinited, Luke told the Morning News that after Teddy fills him in on his adventures, they play to take a nice long nap together.