This Toddler Thought His Best Friend Was Gone Forever Until One Mom Had A Brilliant Idea

Kids go nuts for animals. If it’s got fur, a tail, and a lot of energy, chances are kids will love it. They form unbreakable bonds with dogs, cats, and other family pets. For some kiddos out there this connection to critters even extends to stuffed animals.

So when a Wisconsin woman noticed a stuffed animal all alone in the strangest place, she knew someone out there was missing their best friend. But this woman wasn’t going to just give this beloved toy back. She had something else planned.

After dropping her kids off at school, Brooke Fadeski, right, and her 12-year-old dog, Olive, were walking in Wisconsin’s Elm Grove Village Park. There, she noticed something odd lying just beneath the water in one of the ponds.

Brooke Dreske Fadeski / Facebook

 She recalled it was “in one of the grossest parts of the pond,” so she almost didn’t see what looked like a muzzle and paws sticking out of the water. Worried it was an animal, Brooke couldn’t just keep walking.

 Carefully, Brooke inched towards the water for a better look. The figure was just out of reach — and because Brooke wasn’t about to wade into the murky pond to retrieve it — she found a nearby sunflower stalk and used it to drag the figure to safety.

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But it wasn’t an animal she’d just rescued. Not exactly. It was a black teddy bear. “He was covered in all sorts of mess,” she recalled, so she picked it up, squeezed out the water, and put it in a plastic bag to take home, compelled, for some reason, to clean it up.

This was one lucky bear. He had the good fortune of getting a thorough “bath” in Brooke’s washing machine. Brooke was charmed by the “good as new” bear. “I stared at Mr. Bear and just smiled,” she said. “Somehow [he] just made my day.” But now she had a mystery on her hands.

Brooke Fadeski

As much as she loved him, Brooke knew the bear must belong to someone in the area. She posted in a buy, sell, and trade Facebook group, “Found this precious teddy bear in EG Park pond looking pretty rough. He’s getting some spa treatments and hoping to find his owner.”

One Facebook user saw the post later that day and couldn’t believe her eyes. She knew the bear well — she could’ve picked him out of a teddy bear line up! But even more importantly, she knew its story…

See, Catherine Antczak and her two-year-old son, Henry, loved to frequent the Elm Grove Village Park in Wisconsin during the day. On their walks, Henry always brought along a special friend…

Catherine Antczak / Facebook

Who was this lucky buddy? A stuffed black bear named Blueberry! As Catherine later explained, “He does everything with him,” so it was understandable that the bear would be in Henry’s arms while they were at the park.

Catherine Antczak

One fall day, Catherine and Henry took their usual route and ended up spending some time by the pond. It was proving to be a lovely day until suddenly, Henry was frantic.

“Blueberry, where are you?” Henry cried over and over again. That’s when Catherine realized that Henry wasn’t holding the bear anymore. She looked on the ground around them, but Blueberry wasn’t anywhere to be seen.

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They retraced their steps and looked all over the park. Catherine hoped they would find him, but the black bear was just…gone. They later left empty-handed.

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Catherine said, “I pretty much gave up hope after that.” Three weeks passed and there was still no sign or word regarding the missing bear — until Brooke went for a walk.

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Catherine’s sister was the one who spotted that aforementioned Facebook post. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s Blueberry,'” she recalled. “I think my heart skipped a beat.” She reached out to set up Blueberry and Henry’s reunion.

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Being a mother, Brooke knew what stuffed animals meant to kids. She wanted to make a journal to give to Henry, along with Blueberry, so he knew where Blueberry was all this time. She didn’t want him to think his bear abandoned him!

Brooke Dreske Fadeski / Facebook

So she made a book called The Adventures of Blueberry and Henry, which she hoped would chronicle Blueberry’s time away from Henry — you know, so he didn’t feel abandoned!

Brooke Fadeski

“After I got lost in the park a while ago,” the book began, “I made some friends with a duck family. They were nice but I was still hoping I’d get back to you.” That must’ve been comforting for Henry to hear!

Details, anecdotes, and photographs filled the book, shedding light on Blueberry’s journey home. Apparently, without his best bud around, Blueberry turned briefly to piracy! Yarr!

CBS 58 via Brooke Fadeski

Luckily, Blueberry left behind his swashbuckling ways and returned to his loving roots, a moment captured in this photo. He looked right at home cozying up to Olive. Indeed, Blueberry had a wild three weeks!

CBS 58 via Brooke Fadeski

Eventually, it was time for Blueberry to go home — both he and Henry were surely relieved! The moment the two friends reunited was as heartwarming as you’d imagine.

CBS

Catherine recalled that Brooke’s kind gesture was above and beyond what the average person would do. “It will be something that we always remember,” she said. “It just really restores your faith in humanity.”

Brooke was thrilled by the reunion and hopes to transform The Adventures of Blueberry and Henry into a real children’s book. For now, the original story is safe with Henry’s baby book and will be read to him when he is a little older!

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