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The ‘lovely’ story of a N.S. dog, a lost stuffed animal and the joy it’s bringing to others – Global News

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As the old saying goes, a dog is considered “man’s best friend” — but who is a dog’s best friend?
A stuffed monkey, apparently. And their friendship is bringing joy to humans too, thanks to a Facebook page that documents their journey in life together.
After washing up near Nova Scotia’s St. Margaret’s Bay, an unbreakable bond has been formed between a stuffed monkey and a four-year-old labrador retriever named Indie, after the pup spotted the stray toy while out for a walk, instantly jumping to its rescue.
Mary Jane Hampton, Indie’s owner, said her canine companion quickly pulled her toward a ditch to make its formal introduction to the abandoned toy, which was in desperate need of a wash. They fittingly named the toy “Monkey.”
“She (Indie) insisted on bringing Monkey home, so we got Monkey into the house. The first thing we needed to do was get Monkey into a bath because Monkey really stank,” she said, as she sat next to her dog, who carried a backpack with the stuffed toy comfortably placed inside.
After receiving some tender loving care, the rest was history, as Indie and her newly-adopted friend became inseparable.
Despite offering a warm welcome to the toy as the newest member of the family, Hampton hasn’t wavered in her attempts to locate the stuffed monkey’s original owners.
“The monkey looked pretty sweet, so we thought some child had been traumatized by the loss of their toy,” she said.
She said she’s made some posts in community groups online but is yet to hear from anyone with information on the monkey’s origin.
In the weeks following the toy’s rescue from the Nova Scotian shores, it’s maintained a pretty hectic schedule as it’s been spotted doing housework, receiving a spa treatment, playing the piano, napping, and sightseeing at the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse — all while attracting quite the following online.
“Monkey and Indie have now done all kinds of things together and we do regular posts and updates, all in the effort to see if we can find Monkey’s family,” she said.
Hampton said she’s discovered a refreshing sense of unity amongst the online community as she continues to share Indie and the stuffed monkey’s journeys together.
“It’s been several weeks now and there hasn’t been a single negative comment,” she said.
“We’ve been through pandemics, natural disasters, floods, wildfires … and I think everybody needs something that is innocent, simple, friendly, and lovely, and this is a really nice little friendship.”
Despite all the positives stemming from the recent adoption of their toy friend, Hampton said there have been a few challenges along the way.
“Monkey isn’t always incredibly behaved. We’ve had him swinging off my chandeliers, banana peels where you wouldn’t expect to find banana peels,” she smiled.
Although one of her main priorities is to connect the long-tailed toy with its proper owners, she does admit that it might be difficult to fully let go of Indie’s newfound confidante, if that moment ever arises.
“In a silly way, we would feel like we were missing someone if we didn’t have Monkey anymore. At the very least, if we find Monkey’s family, we’re going to be asking for shared custody,” she laughed.
Looking ahead, Hampton said she’ll continue to publish more candid “Indie and Monkey” content on her Facebook page for everyone’s enjoyment.
“There’ll be endless content because they’re together on the daily,” she said.
— with files from Zack Power
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