A kid, a lost toy, and an airport that gave a rip

Courtesy of Tampa International Airport

Yes, I know there are bigger stories than the one of a kid’s lost stuffed animal at an airport in Tampa, Fla., in which a worker who didn’t have to give a rip, gave a rip.

Tony D’Aiuto Tampa International Airport

His name is Tony D’Aiuto. He runs the operations center at Tampa Airport and when the six-year-old’s lost one-of-a-kind (his aunt made it) stuffed animal was turned in, D’Aiuto did what more of us should. He went to extremes to make the day a little nicer for someone having a bad day.

The Tampa Bay Times said he took the stuffed animal on an airport tour.

He photographed the stuffed animal at the air traffic control tower, indulging in some gelato, working out at the employee gym and hanging out with airport firefighters.

Hobbes even lounged at the Marriott pool and rode around on a luggage cart.

“I pitched this idea a couple of months ago after I saw a similar idea where someone took a stuffed lion around a museum,” D’Aiuto said in a statement put out by the airport on Monday. He noted that the photos were taken during his lunch hour. “This seemed like the perfect opportunity.”

D’Aiuto had a hardbound book made, thanks to a coupon code he had for Walgreens, and crafted a short story that explained Hobbes’ airport adventure.

Owen was reunited with his toy when he and his family returned from Houston on a late-night flight Thursday. The toy was waiting for him, with the book, in the airport’s lost and found.

(h/t: Ann Arbor Miller)