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An airport staff had the cutest surprise for a little boy and his lost stuffed tiger

Hobbes the tiger certainly gets around.

Six-year-old Owen Lake is a huge Calvin & Hobbes fan, to the point where he named his own beloved stuffed tiger Hobbes. But when the Lake family recently came back from a five-day vacation, they realized that sadly, Hobbes had been left behind at the airport. 

So Owen’s mother called the Tampa International Airport’s lost and found office to ask for their help retrieving her son’s stuffed animal. Apparently, Owen was distraught over the loss, as Hobbes is a “one-of-a-kind” stuffed animal who was made by his aunt, she told the Tampa Bay Times.

Airport staff found and rescued the orange-and-black tiger, but airport operations center manager Tony D’Aiuto wanted to kick this rescue up a notch. He had a coupon code to make a hardbound photo book at Walgreens, which gave him an idea: He could take Hobbes to some of the less-explored areas of the airport and stage photos with the stuffed toy.

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D’Aiuto made use of that coupon to turn the photos into a small book with funny captions below each photo. One photo of Hobbes “working out” in the airport’s employee gym is captioned: “Can’t lose these fantastic muscles while I’m on vacation.”

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Upon the Lake family’s return to the airport, the airport staff presented Owen with his missing stuffed associate and the Walgreens photo book detailing Hobbes’ adventures. It was totally well-received.

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“It was very, very sweet,” Owen’s mom said. “We already told [Owen] 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.”

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H/T Tampa Bay Times | Photo via Tampa International Airport/Facebook

Dylan Love

Dylan Love

Dylan Love is an editorial consultant and journalist whose reporting interests include emergent technology, digital media, and Russian language and culture. He is a former staff writer for the Daily Dot, and his work has been published by Business Insider, International Business Times, Men's Journal, and the Next Web.