Over the past seven months which Teddy-Eddie has been with us at New Hope, we have watched him grow, play, learn to trust and overcome some of his bad memories. We have shared with him many hours of laughter, joy and some heart-ache too.
We have been pushed to the limit of our creativity trying to come up with new ways and toys to keep him busy and we are proud to say in some things we have been successful! The one factor we are united on is that this little bear has stolen all of our hearts and will forever hold those pieces with him.
We have been blessed to have had the knowledge, experience and support of many who have shared in our love for Teddy namely; Stefan Knopfer (Arbesbach Bear Park,Vier-Pfoten International), Sharon Holden (all the way from Australia), Suyen Talken-Sinclair, Annelie De-Klerk and Herbert (Lionsrock SA), and most importantly the staff of New Hope - Dr. Zain Shaheen, Thair and Ismail without whose devotion, time, willingness and care we would not have been able to provide the care needed for this particular little one. There are two very special individuals who must be mentioned...Erik and Josje Dorssers, from Holland who have supported Teddy throughout his stay at New Hope. They have offered him the best possible food, enrichment, care and love and for this we will forever be in their debt.
Since the spring, we started to notice that although Teddy was in very good physical condition, we were not able to provide for his mental health. He was missing the one thing we could not provide...his family. Having been separated at birth from his mother and sibling (who sadly did not survive), Teddy was in desperate need of the physical and mental stimulation of his bear family. Having contacted Vier-Pfoten International and with their generosity and help the decision was taken to move Teddy to Abersbasch Bear Park in Austria with the hope that he may be adopted by a grand old female bear already happily settled at the park. The wheels were set in motion. We built the crate, did the paper work and started the count down to the start of Teddy's next big adventure.
This morning, May 30th 2011, we set off bright and early (5:00am to be precise!!) to New Hope to load Teddy into his crate and bid him a bon voyage.
Paperwork ready and in hand all that was left to do was to say 'Au Revoir' (never goodbye) and watch as Teddy started the first leg of his journey to his new home and God willing a better life.
The day passed slowly for all of us as we watched our phones for news of Teddy. Finally at 3:00pm the news we had been waiting for came; Teddy had arrived safe and sound at Vienna airport and after a quick vet check and some fresh water he set off on the second leg of his great adventure - his car ride to the bear park.
We are happy to report that Teddy arrived at the bear park at 7pm and was greeted by a 'Welcome Teddy-Eddie poster along with a big basket filled with a little teddy bear, lollipops, fruit and sweets and after long and stressful day of travel Teddy was released into his new enclosure and quickly set about exploring his new surroundings.
We wait anxiously for more news on the progress of little Teddy-Eddie and meanwhile we take with us the lessons we learned through our time with Teddy; those of heart break, joy, love and trust...
Picture courtesy of Erik and Josje Dorssers