One Astoria woman has turned to social media to find something that seems worthless but according to her has sentimental value.
The moment the sky over the Long Island City lit up with fireworks this weekend, Tori Piper’s heart sunk as she realized Walter, a dinosaur figurine that has been her travel companion for the past four years, was no longer with her.
Walter is a 3- to 4-inch-tall T. rex figure that was given to Piper as a present from a friend who knew of her love for dinosaurs. The Astoria resident has been collecting anything related to dinosaurs since she was a child.
During her first trip abroad to Russia during the winter Olympics, she decided to take Walter with her because he was small enough to travel with and helped her feel calm during the trip.
“It was my first time out of the country and I was really nervous. It was a whole new experience and I kind of needed a calming totem, something that I loved and could be with me. He was a little piece of home that was with me no matter what,” Piper said.
Since then, Walter and Piper have been inseparable, and Piper has even started an Instagram account documenting everywhere Walter has traveled. They have traveled to Russia, Ireland, and other parts of the United States, and the figurine even travels with Piper during her job in television and film.
“I can’t imagine traveling without him; I haven’t since I’ve had him,” Piper said. “When you travel you think, ‘Do I have my passport, the money that I need and my dinosaur?’ He is right there next to my passport.”
She even decided to take Walter along with her on July 4 to catch the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks on the Long Island City waterfront. The last time she saw her beloved friend was at the LIC Flea & Food.
Once the fireworks started, Piper said she knew she had to get a photo with Walter, but she couldn’t find him. She tried to find him that day and even searched the area days after but still has had no success .
“I would have rather lost my phone or wallet,” Piper said. “You can’t replace him; he’s my little buddy.”
Piper added that a lot of people know how much Walter means to her and friends have started to spread the news on social media in hopes of finding the dinosaur. They have also been using the hashtag “#WheresWalter.” Piper said she hopes somebody picked Walter up and she is willing to trade another of her dinosaurs for him.
Walter is described as being light brown in color, 3 to 4 inches tall and the tip of his tail is broken off. Piper plans to head to the LIC Flea this weekend and also hand out fliers asking for help in finding him.
“Hopefully I’ll find him before that. I’m not stopping until he comes back,” she said.
If you have any information, email Piper at firstname.lastname@example.org.