The adventures of Owen and Hobbes
Airport staff took a boy's stuffed tiger on an adventure — and documented the whole thing
Six-year-old Owen Lake recently had any kid's worst fear come true: He realized he had lost his beloved stuffed animal, Hobbes the Tiger, while on a trip with his family to Texas. "When Owen asked for Hobbes on the plane, my husband and I looked at each other and our hearts sunk. We knew he was left behind," Owen's mother Amanda told the Tampa Bay Times. But Owen and Amanda had nothing to fear: Not only was Hobbes safe and sound, he was having the adventure of a lifetime back at the Tampa International Airport where he was stranded.
When Amanda called the airport after landing, the staff assured her that Hobbes and been located and would be safe until they got back to Florida. But he didn't just sit around in the lost and found. Hobbes enjoyed his six-day sojourn at the airport, complete with visits to the control tower, runway, and airport hotel — and of course a brief stop to enjoy some gelato.
Hobbes' adventure was the brainchild of Tony D'Aiuto, the airport operations center manager. After photographing Hobbes exploring the airport, he had the photos turned into a book, using a coupon he had from Walgreens, and presented the book to Owen upon his return. You can see all of Hobbes' airport adventures (including a competitive-looking game of Jenga) at the Tampa Bay Times.