Petar Luketina was driving to a coffee shop Sunday when he noticed a light blue stuffed animal on the road. The toy, which had gotten dirty when it fell onto the street, tugged at his heart.
Fox8 reports when he spotted the fluffy hippo, the teacher told them:
“I noticed something on the ground and I passed by it and I looked out my driver’s side window and noticed it was a stuffed animal.”
After thinking about it for a moment, Luketina turned his car around. He got out and moved the stuffed animal off-road on top of a snow pile. The teacher thought a child might be searching for it so he wanted to help.Petar Luketina/Facebook
He waited four hours before he went back to check on the tiny toy. But the hippo was still stranded in the snow.
The man took the stuffed animal home, washed it up, and went to work trying to find its owner. Luketina said:
“It was kind of a melancholy moment when you pick up something that precious, that could belong to a child.”
Hoping to reunite the stuffed toy with the little girl or boy who lost it, the man headed to Facebook. The teacher spread the word by posting photos of the hippo with the location where he found it:
Hey everyone, Adam and I found this little guy on our way to Fiona’s Coffee Bar & Bakery Downtown Willoughby . The poor fella was in the middle of the intersection. If you have friends with children in that area, please ask if they’ve lost a stuffed animal on Ridge Road. I know it’s seems minuscule to us, but to a child it can mean the world.
Nearly 6,000 shares later, his good deed paid off. The teacher was thrilled the cuddly stuffed animal’s owner had been found, according to Fox8.
But it was definitely not who he expected. Luketina explained in an update:
We’ve found the owner!!! I was hoping to see the eyes of little boy or girl light up as I reunited a little tyke with their stuffed animal, but looks like the world threw me–and everyone else–a curve ball! Kate Wearsch, 22 yrs. old sent me a picture of the little guy in her bedroom. She had Poe during her two years of being in and out of hospitals. Kate named him “Poe” because when she says, “Hi Poe!” it sounds like “hippo”. When she rolled down the window she didn’t know Poe had fallen out.
Wearsch had pictures of Poe in her room to prove the hippo Luketina saved belonged to her. The 22-year-old woman thanked him for rescuing her missing hippo:
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR FINDIN MY HIPPO! I’m so excited to have my cuddle animal back because I’m 22 and I love my stuffed hippo. I can tell the whole backstory behind my little guy??
On his updated post, Luketina shared the scoop on how the toy got lost:
When she rolled down the window she didn’t know Poe had fallen out.
Luketina met with an ecstatic Wearsch to reunite her with her hippo:
Luketina turned out to be Poe’s hero by stopping on the road that day, instead of just driving by. As he told Fox 8:
“I did what I would want others to do for me too.”