Three-year-old Eoin Ekedahl’s best friend was a stuffed sheep named Baa Baa. The pair went everywhere together, until a weekend in August, when Eoin accidentally left Baa Baa behind when his family left the restaurant where they had eaten brunch.
“Baa Baa was just his favorite animal — so if he went to the doctor’s office, Baa Baa went with him…he just kind of went everywhere, from his first haircut to every kind of milestone, Baa Baa was there,” said Eoin’s mom, Ann Parker.
And so Baa Baa went along for a busy day planned in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland.
In the hectic moments after finishing their meal at the Golden West Café, Baa Baa was left behind. Once she realized it, Parker called the restaurant to see if the lost sheep had been found. What she was told broke her heart.
“There was another kid who was seen playing with the sheep after Eoin and his family left,” said Kimberly Dorn, the marketing director at Golden West. “They asked if they could buy it from us, and we told them they couldn’t, as it belonged to someone else. Unfortunately, when the family left, the sheep was gone as well. I’d like to think they didn’t take it on purpose, but you never know.”
Parker says her son was devastated when she broke the news that Baa Baa had been taken by another child.
“He cried and just lost it — maybe for like an hour — but then he kind of came around. He was like, ‘Well, maybe that little girl just really needed a sheep and she didn’t have one.’” said Parker. “I’m feeling guilty. I’m feeling angry. And then, my 3-year-old says, ‘Well, maybe she just really needed the sheep.’”
Parker says her son’s sweet response made her even more determined to find Baa Baa. Both she and Golden West Café took to Facebook, asking whoever may have taken Baa Baa to return him to his family.
But Baa Baa never made it home.
Dorn says after a few weeks went by, she and the rest of the staff at Golden West decided to help turn Eoin’s sad experience around by getting him a new lamb, one they named Cousin Lamby.
“Everyone who knew what happened really wanted to see this story have a happy ending,” said Dorn. “We found this stuffed lamb online. Even if it wasn’t exactly the same, it looked soft, plushy and happy, so we knew it was the right one to get.”
“Since some time had passed since the sheep was lost, we thought it would be fun to make up a story of why it took so long for Lamby to get to Eoin. We came up with the idea to have him hanging out and working at Golden West,” said Dorn.
Dorn took Lamby around the restaurant, taking Polaroid photographs of the sheep swinging from the chandelier, making espresso, ordering a cupcake and doing other things around the café. Then, she delivered the lamb to Eoin along with a note, a gift card and some other treats.
Lamby made his way to his new home this week, where Parker says Eoin was thrilled to meet him.
“He thought the photos were hilarious,” said Parker. “We played it up to him, saying, ‘You really handled this well. This was really hard for you and there are really good people out there who care about you and care about your sheep and want you to be happy.”
Parker says she and her husband are touched by the kindness of the Golden West staff. And, they plan to stop into the restaurant soon to say thank you.
“I told Eoin, ‘We will have to go back to the restaurant this weekend to thank everyone for being so kind.’ And Eoin said, ‘Ok, but maybe I should leave Lamby at home.’”