News / Calgary

Calgary police go above and beyond for Stampede stuffie loss

Officer arrives days later with replacement bear for seven-year-old

Ashlynn Walia poses for a photo with Sgt. Paul Dunn after the officer brought the seven-year-old a new bear to replace one lost at the Calgary Stampede.

Courtesy Amrit Walia

Ashlynn Walia poses for a photo with Sgt. Paul Dunn after the officer brought the seven-year-old a new bear to replace one lost at the Calgary Stampede.

A Calgary girl could bear-ly stand it when she lost a teddy bear on the Stampede grounds, but a CPS member went above and beyond by coming to her rescue.

Ashlynn Walia, 7, first received the little bear from an officer while at the Stampede for BMO Kids Day.

Her father, Amrit Walia, said she absolutely loved the bear for the short time she had it.

She gave it to her dad before going on a ride, and it somehow fell out of his handbag.

“She was very, very upset,” said Walia. “It was just a little teddy but she loved it.”

After a frantic search around the grounds, and even a visit to the police station to see if they had more of the free bears, they were unable to find the teddy or a replacement.

Amrit said they were really about to give up when Ashlynn noticed pair of officers walking past. She asked her dad to ask them for help.

“One of them was Sgt. Paul Dunn,” said Amrit. “He even radioed to someone to try and see if anyone had any of the bears. Then he asked us for our address and phone number.”

While he appreciated the officer’s attention, Amrit didn’t expect anything to come of it.

“I thought he was trying to make her a bit happy,” he said.

However Sgt. Dunn wasn’t about to stop there. He arrived at their home on July 18 with a replacement bear, much larger than the original.

“When they flagged us down on the ground – I honestly didn’t see there being any other response,” said Dunn.

Ashlynn was away at camp when he arrived, so Walia made arrangements to meet the officer at the station, which they did earlier this week.

“She very kindly brought me a thank-you card – it was heart-warming and humbling as well,” said Dunn.

Dunn said he didn’t have to play any carnival games to win Ashlynn a new bear. Community and Youth services have quite a few on hand for emergencies.

Walia felt compelled to share the story because he was moved by the officer's thoughtfulness.

“This story was not all about a lost teddy but it was about humanity, thoughtfulness and generosity of a great police officer,” he said.  

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