One stuffed tiger had the adventure of a lifetime, thanks to the staff at Tampa International Airport.
On Saturday morning, Owen was traveling with his parents to Houston from Tampa, with the 6-year-old carrying his cherished stuffed tiger from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip series. But Owen realized he had accidentally left the tiger behind, and was distraught that he might have lost his stuffed-friend forever.
The 6-year-old's mom placed a call to Tampa International Airport's Lost and Found, which was then able to locate the animal. But instead of just having Hobbes wait in boredom for Owen's return, staff decided to take the tiger on an airport-wide adventure.
"I pitched this idea a couple of months ago after I saw a similar idea where someone took a stuffed lion around a museum," said Tony D'Aiuto, Manager at Tampa's Airport Operations Center (AOC). "This seemed like the perfect opportunity."
D'Aiuto then introduced the tiger to various staff members and captured photos of the stuffed animal's behind-the-scenes airport journey. After Hobbes' VIP tour was complete, D'Aiuto printed out a photo book of the tiger's fun time, along with a storyline to give back to Owen and his family when they returned from their trip.
When the family landed back in Tampa, AOC Manager James Parker presented Owen with the photo book of Hobbes' adventure at the airport. The family was touched by the gesture.
"It was very, very sweet," said Amanda Lake, Owen's mother. "We already told him over and over that Hobbes was on an adventure so it was nice to get back and show him that Hobbes really had been on an adventure."