(TMU) – We’re sure that our readers need absolutely no convincing that humans have no better friend than our dogs. For tens of thousands of years, dogs and people have had closely-knit relations marked by mutual support, loyalty and a bond that lasts a lifetime.
But one can’t underestimate the unconditional love and friendship that dogs feel toward us – be us rich or poor, healthy or ill. And for one dog in China whose owner fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic, his unyielding loyalty is proving itself to be a force that’s stronger than death.
Xiao Bao (“Little Treasure” in Chinese) is a seven-year-old mongrel who appeared at Wuhan Taikang Hospital in central China’s Hubei Province after his elderly owner became sick during the height of the outbreak in February, reports the Mirror.
Tragically, the elderly man died after only five days, according to hospital staff.
With little awareness of the fact that his owner would never return, Xiao Bao persisted in patiently waiting at the lobby of the hospital for over three months, searching everywhere for him.
Generous patients and medical staff eventually ended up feeding and pampering the sad dog.
By mid-April, Wuhan had finally reached the point where its strict lockdown measures were relaxed, allowing the market inside the hospital to reopen. The market’s shopkeeper, Wu Cuifen, eventually took the pooch in – and named him Xiao Bao.
Loyal #dog waits at a #Wuhan hospital for 3 months after his owner dies from covid-19
7-yo dog Xiao Bao waited patiently for his owner at Wuhan hospital.Staff at Wuhan Taikang Hospital fed Xiao Bao
Xiao's owner died 5 days after being admitted pic.twitter.com/H31Ls2Dsrh
— Hans Solo (@thandojo) May 26, 2020
“They told me Xiao Bao’s owner, a pensioner, was admitted with the coronavirus. Then he passed away, but Xiao Bao didn’t know and just stayed in the hospital looking for him. It never left the hospital. It was incredibly touching, and so loyal. I grew familiar with the dog and later brought him into the shop.”
Wu had taken notice of the little guy when she saw him hanging around the hospital’s first floor, which is also where the supermarket is located. She said:
“Every morning when I opened up, Xiao Bao would be there waiting for me. He saw me off at the end of each day.”
At one point, Wu Cuifen even tried to remove Xiao Bao from the facility by taking him on a trip and deliberately leaving him far from the Taikang Hospital. But the mongrel, dead-set on finding his lost friend, stubbornly returned. Wu added:
“Although Xiao Bao can’t speak, we understand that he is definitely still looking for his owner.”
Staff said Xiao Bao refused to leave. Even when they deliberately dropped him off somewhere far away, he would make his way back to Taikang Hospital and patiently wait for his owner pic.twitter.com/204kAG9eEi
— Hans Solo (@thandojo) May 26, 2020
Eventually, patients and visitors began to get annoyed with Xiao Bao’s presence in the hospital – as well as an alleged disturbance in the lobby – and complained to the facility’s directors to have him removed.
Fortunately, hospital staff was able to reach the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association, which is where the dog will be sheltered, treated by vets for any ailments, and sterilized before he is prepared to find a new home.
The story resembles the famous tale of Hachikō, a Japanese Akita dog born in 1923, whose extreme loyalty compelled him to wait for his deceased owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, for 9 years following Ueno’s death. Hachikō has since become a symbol of undying fidelity not just within Japan, but across the globe.
And with domestic and international media taking notice of Xiao Bao’s profound faithfulness to his owner, we’re sure that this pooch won’t have any problems finding a new, loving home.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Heat Wave Kills Over 1 BILLION Sea Creatures on Canada West Coast, Experts Say
Researchers in Canada are reporting that over 1 billion marine animals on Canada’s Pacific coast are likely to have died in last week’s record-shattering heat wave, showing how ecosystems not accustomed to such high temperatures are especially vulnerable to changing conditions.
The deadly “heat dome” that settled over British Columbia and the U.S. Pacific Northwest for five days is believed to have killed at least 500 people in Canada, and pushed temperatures to extreme temperatures of 104F (40C), sparking wildfires that are burning across the Canadian province.
Multiple experts are now saying that the heat wave also took a horrifying toll on marine life, leaving “postapocalyptic” scenes in its wake.
Marine biologist Christopher Harley of the University of British Columbia knew, when he saw the harrowing weather forecasts, that when the tide dropped the sweltering conditions would absolutely fry the mussels, barnacles and sea stars that were exposed.
When the heatwave actually struck, he was devastated by the stench of decay and the vast death toll sustained by the local ecosystem.
“The shore doesn’t usually crunch when you walk on it,” he told The Guardian. “But there were so many empty mussel shells lying everywhere that you just couldn’t avoid stepping on dead animals while walking around.”
Mussels and barnacles can typical deal with harsh temperatures as high as 113F for a few hours – but any more than that is simply not survivable.
Harley told the New York Times that the loss of mussels likely reaches into the hundreds of millions.
However, when factoring in the death of other marine animals that once lived on the shore and resided on the mussel beds – such as hermit crabs and their crustacean relatives, worms, sea cucumbers and other creatures – the number could quite easily exceed one billion.
“It just feels like one of those postapocalyptic movies,” Harley said.
Harley’s colleagues have also reported on dead sea anemones, rock fish and oysters in the region.
In neighboring Alberta, a massive number of fish also washed up on the shores, likely due to the heat wave.
Fortunately, mussels are able to regenerate over about two years. Starfish and clams, however, live for decades and reproduce much more slowly.
The domino effect of such a vast loss of marine life could be felt on other animals in the ecosystem such as sea ducks, a migratory bird that feeds on mussels in the winter before migrating to the Arctic.
The horrific loss shows that the pace of warming climate conditions is likely outstripping the ability of creatures simply to survive – a prospect that makes Harley feel saddened, but he is still trying to find hope.
“A lot of species are not going to be able to keep up with the pace of change,” he said. “Ecosystems are going to change in ways that are really difficult to predict. We don’t know where the tipping points are.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.