Clitheroe schoolgirl reunited with cherished teddy bear - eight years after she lost it!

An ecstatic Clitheroe schoolgirl has been reunited with her precious teddy bear - eight years after she lost it!

By Faiza Afzaal
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 12:30 pm
Summer collecting Poopert from Lynn Bootle
Summer collecting Poopert from Lynn Bootle

Summer Buxbaum was just four years old when she lost her childhood stuffed toy during a walk with her mum Emily Jane Patten around Brungerley Park.

Distraught, she cried for weeks and the family searched everywhere, but couldn't find it and didn't think they would ever see it again. Little Summer was left heartbroken and devastated.

Now, after eight years apart, 12-year-old Summer has been reunited with "Poopert" thanks to an astonishing Facebook appeal by Clitheroe woman Lynn Bootle, who not only found the teddy in 2012, but looked after it beautifully.

Thrilled Summer now at 12 years old and with the teddy when she was a toddler

Emily (32), a teaching assistant at Ribblesdale High School, explained: "My nana made the teddy for summer when she was about two years old.

"She took it everywhere - to the childminders, to nursery, her grandma's - everywhere and even on walks. The teddy was called Rupert, but she called him Poopert because she couldn't pronounce Rupert. She lost it on a walk down to Brungerley. Once we had realised she dropped it, we retraced our steps, but couldn't find it. At the time, Summer was absolutely devastated for a good number of weeks. She loved to cuddle him at night. "

Speaking about the time she found the teddy bear, Lynn (74), said: "I remember it was lying in the middle of Cowper Avenue. I picked it up and dried him. Following this, every time we had a nice, sunny day, I would put the teddy on my garden wall, hoping someone would claim it. I became quite fond of the teddy and I would often take him out in the car with me or move him around the house. I even bought him a little teddy bear as a companion and made masks for them both during the pandemic!"

It never occurred to Lynn to post an appeal on Social Media until a family friend suggested it. So, she immediately posted a picture on Facebook's Clitheroe Gossip page urging local people to help find it's owner. Emily added: "As soon as I saw the post it was like the breath had been knocked out of me. I screenshotted it and sent it to my daughter as she was at her father's house. She immediately messaged back saying message her! So I found some photos of Summer and Poopert and attached them to the comments on the post and it went from there.

Over the moon to have her precious teddy back with a companion!

"We are so extremely grateful that Lynn kept him for all these years and never gave up trying to reunite him with his family. Poopert holds so much sentimental value as our nana Mandy Wilson passed away just over two and a half years ago. Summer and her were so close so this to us means everything. She was such a huge part of our lives, the centre and rock of our family and is incredibly missed every day by us all so to have a part of her back with us after all this time is so precious. When we picked him up, we couldn't thank Lynn enough, summer was incredibly grateful and gave her a small gift for being such a lovely lady and looking after Poopert all this time. Lynn even made him a little suitcase and sent him home with a friend. It just shows the care she took with him and what a beautiful person she is. Summer is now coming to the end of Year 8 at Ribblesdale HIgh and even at almost 13 years old, she loves that teddy as much as she did when she got him."

Speaking of her joy, Summer added: "I cannot believe I have been reunited with Poopert thanks to the power of the internet. I remember him so well as it used to go everywhere with me. I cannot thank Lynn enough for taking very good care of Poopert. I am absolutely thrilled to have him back!"

Summer as a toddler with her mum, Emily Jane Patten
Summer with her beloved great-grandmother Mandy Wilson