WATCH ABOVE: A little girl from Lloydminster left behind a favourite stuffed animal, but thanks to some strangers, this story has a happy ending. Vinesh Pratap explains.
EDMONTON — Little Ava loves her stuffed unicorn, which is why she was heartbroken when it went missing somewhere between a vacation in California and the family’s home back in Alberta.
The stuffed toy became a member of the Stang family after Ava became sick while on vacation back in January.
It was love at first sight. Wherever Ava went, the unicorn was sure to go. Until it didn’t.
The Stang’s flew back to Alberta and stayed at the Days Inn hotel in Leduc before driving three hours home to Lloydminster. That’s when they realized the unicorn was gone. Courteney Stang called the hotel to ask about her daughter’s toy.
“I said to my husband, ‘everyone knows about this unicorn. I guess it’s kind of unique looking,’” she said, referring to its dopey face and bugged out eyes. It turns out staff at the hotel decided to have a bit of fun with the wayward toy.
“I’m sure she was sad that her unicorn got left behind, so we wanted to make it a little bit fun for her,” said Gail Johnson, operations manager at the Days Inn Edmonton Airport.
When a family friend picked up the stuffie a few weeks later, it came with a pink photo album full of photos showing the unicorn meeting new friends, answering phones at the front desk, reading the newspaper, even “enjoying” a Valentine’s Day dinner.
“My daughter just loved this photo album,” said Stang. “In fact, I have pictures of her reading it to the unicorn.”
“For them to go out of their way to do something so connected was just such a neat thing.”
The Stang’s ended up making a thank-you album in return for hotel staff.
“It brought me to tears. It was such a wonderful thing to know that we made that impact, that they wanted to share it back to us,” said Johnson.
Despite everything the unicorn has been through, it doesn’t even have a name.
With files from Vinesh Pratap