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A Misplaced Stuffed Animal’s Journey through the Airport and back to its Family

Explorer C

For Christmas my seven-month-old daughter, Piper, was gifted a knit doll. It is a dog wearing a pink dress and a flower crown—it doesn't get much cuter! Until you combine them, of course. As soon as she received the doll on Christmas Day she was squealing and laughing; we'd never seen her have such a big reaction like that to any toy, so I decided to bring the dog on our trip to Florida the following day.


medium_1_kvzdqp.jpgIn case you've never tackled it, traveling with three small children is no easy feat. It's hectic, a bit stressful, and to say there's a lot of "stuff" would be an understatement. Luckily, we made it off the plane in one piece and were well on our way.


While I was in the restroom with my oldest daughter, one of the Flight Attendants asked my aunt if we were missing a stuffed animal "in a pink dress." Prior to the day before, the only important animal in our house was Tickles the stuffed lion and he most certainly doesn't wear a pink dress. She thanked the Flight Attendants, politely said no, and we piled our stuff into our mini-van without a care in the world. That is, until I realized later that the animal in the pink dress had actually been Piper's new dog.


My first thought was to jump online and order her another one. Surely the original was long gone! And then I saw those dreaded two words—sold out. I decided that while it was probably a long shot, I would call Southwest to inquire about locating the lost item. First, I called the main 800 number and they directed me to the baggage center at the Ft. Myers airport. It had been a solid six or seven hours since we'd landed, so I didn't have high hopes. Thankfully, I connected with Mallory...


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To my surprise, it seemed that Mallory actually knew the dog I described. She said she'd have to call another section of the airport, but that she believed they did have it. Mallory took my number and asked if she could call me back. I told her I didn't want to press my luck, but that we had another family member joining us that evening and they'd be landing within the hour at the airport and could pick up the dog if they did indeed have it. She asked where they were coming from, and immediately knew that they "were expecting that fight to land in 45 minutes or so." We hung up, and I honestly wasn't sure I'd ever hear anything about it again ... but then I did!


About 25 minutes later, Mallory called back and confirmed that they had Miss Pretty Pink Dog. I'm not sure who was happierme, or my husband, who I was silently blaming for leaving it on the plane in the first place. I asked where my cousin could retrieve it, and she told me to direct her to the Southwest baggage office. I sent a slew of rapid fire texts to her, and she said she'd pick up the dog. 


medium_kk0cew.jpgShortly after my cousin landed, I received a photo from her of the dog with a sweet note attached. Not only did Mallory track down the dog, she met my cousin at baggage claim rather than making her come to the office, and even wrote a note to my daughter (from the dog’s perspective) about its special time at the airport. While Piper may be too young to have appreciated it, my five and three-year-olds were enthralled.


Mallory truly saved the day—especially for my husband—and we are so thankful! Piper still loves her dog and now she'll always have a fun story to tell about their first adventure together. Thank you to Mallory, and to Southwest!