T.I. arrived at LAX moments ago with an adorable wittle bitty puppy dog in his hand ... seriously, this thing is frickin' cute.
And when we asked why such a tough guy was cruisin' around with such a teeny tiny pet -- he explained that he promised his kids a puppy if they got good grades in school.
The kids came through ... so dad kept his word.
We also asked T.I. about the mega-party he attended at Justin Bieber's house the other day -- but the rapper made it clear, his lips are sealed.
Maybe Justin's bribing HIM with a puppy ...