(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.