Our colleague Wendy Cummings put out an appeal on Facebook when she found Foxy among the lost property at our Felling store in Gateshead.

She remembered chatting to a four-year-old boy – Patrick Bradley – the previous day when he came into the store with his dad and told her he was looking after his school’s stuffed toy for the weekend.

Wendy didn’t know how to get in touch with the family so she took lots of fantastic photos of Foxy having fun "working" in the store and posted them on Facebook, hoping someone would recognise him.

With hundreds of people sharing the post, Patrick’s mum Vicki saw the pictures and got in touch with Wendy.

Patrick was reunited with Foxy at the store – and had a wonderful story to tell in Foxy’s diary when he took him back to school.

Wendy, who works in customer services, said: "I was over the moon to reunite Foxy with Patrick. He's such a polite, sweet, chatty little boy and it was lovely to see him and his sister, and return Foxy.

"He gave me a big hug and said ‘Thank you very much for looking after Foxy!'

"Patrick's dad was putting shopping through self scan and I got chatting to Patrick. He told me about Foxy and how he'd got him from school for the weekend.

"He told me that he also had a diary which each of the children use to write about what adventures they've been on with Foxy while they're looking after him.

"The next day Foxy was in the lost property drawer at the customer service desk. I knew it was Patrick's teddy but didn't know how to get in touch with him.

"I thought I'd show Foxy having adventures in the store over the weekend and post the photos on Facebook, hoping his mum or dad would spot them, and also give Patrick something to write in the diary if he got it back."

Children in Patrick’s class at St Oswald’s RC Primary School take it in turns looking after Foxy, taking pictures and telling a story about what they've been up to with him.

Mum Vicki said: "I think Patrick was worried about getting in trouble at school for losing Foxy! Then I saw Wendy's post on Facebook which had been shared by more than 1,000 people.

"I asked Patrick if it was Foxy and he said yes; he was really happy and excited. I showed his sister Caite too, and they were in stitches when they saw Wendy's pictures of what Foxy had been up to in the store."

Patrick's dad Mark said: "Patrick was made up to be reunited with Foxy.

"He must have put Foxy down for a second. We left and we were so busy that day it wasn't until the next day we realised Foxy was missing.

"Patrick was upset, so I told him Foxy had gone to play with his fox friends, which he accepted."

Mark said: "Patrick took Foxy home on a Friday, so he planned to have him for the whole weekend. On the Saturday morning, we went to the park and Asda before we went to his classmate's birthday party.

"He started chatting to Wendy as I put the shopping through, and I could hear him telling her ‘This is Foxy, our class fox, I've got to look after him and write what he's been doing in his diary.' She was chatting back to him too.

"I explained to the teacher that we had lost Foxy. She didn't seem to mind – it must have happened before. Then the next day, Vicki tagged me in Wendy's Facebook post. I recognised him and we arranged to go in and pick Foxy up.”

Wendy said: "We had a lot of fun with Foxy in the store, so I wrote him a note to say thank you for spending the weekend working with us."

Wendy received a lovely thank you card from Mark – and a personal note from Foxy, who wrote: “Thank you for taking care of me and showing me the ropes while working with you in Asda this weekend.

“I have to go home now to St Oswald’s Primary School in Gosforth with my friend Patrick who has not done a very good job of looking after me, but never mind. I still love him.

“I think I’d like to come back and work in Asda when I’m a big fox!”