It's been a wild ride for a Wairarapa teddy bear spotted lost in the middle of the road just over a week ago.
The story Ted E Bear, which captivated a growing audience on social media over the last week, has now had a happy ending, as Ted (which, it turns out, is named Patch) has finally been reunited with his family.
New Zealand Police Senior Sergeant Jennifer Hansen found Ted when she was driving out of Featherston, in the Wairarapa, just before the start of the long weekend.
Ted was just lying on the road, in his now dusty hotel robe.
"I assumed it belonged to a family driving away for the long weekend and dreaded to think of a child arriving at their destination without their beloved teddy bear," the officer told the Herald.
"We put some Facebook photos up on Monday, in the hope of finding the family."
The photos of Ted immediately went viral, as Kiwis came together in the hope of reuniting him with his family.
The post was even shared internationally, with people in Melbourne joining in to spread the word.
Meanwhile, waiting for good news, Wellington Police continued to update Facebook with what Ted was up to - and his fan base kept growing.
Ted was spotted out on police duty, hanging around near a box of doughnuts, checking CCTV and just overall doing very official police-y things.
Then, earlier this week, the good news came: "We think we've found Teddy's mum".
"On Wednesday, I got a message from a lady in Silverstream that it belonged to her and her husband. They'd got him when they'd stayed at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland with their twin granddaughters," the officer said.
"During lockdown, when we had the nationwide Teddy Bear Hunt, they put it on the front of their car and then they lost it their travels last week."
Patch meant a lot to the family, especially the young girls, who'd grown used to seeing it in the front of granddaddy's car.
Yesterday, the post everyone had been waiting for finally appeared: Ted - aka Patch - was finally home.
"It was quite sweet that we got to return him home after giving him a great adventure," Sanders said.
Commenting on how many Kiwis joined in on the search for the owners of the teddy bear, Sanders spoke of how heartwarming it was to see it all unfold.
"It was a sweet break away from all the chaos of the world, to see everyone jump on board in the search."
Patch is home, safe and sound, but will always be welcome to visit the police officers who looked after him.