There is no animal more loyal than a dog. They will wait for you literally forever – and it’s heartbreaking to see dogs living up to that after their owners have died. And one dog in China broke hearts around the world with his loyal display of friendship as he waited every single day, for three months, for his owner to return.
Sadly, the dog’s owner was an elderly patient who had passed away five days after being admitted to the Wuhan Taikang Hospital with coronavirus, according to reports by staff members.
The dog had accompanied his owner to the hospital in February as the pandemic continued its sweep through the country. And after the owner died, the dog continued his vigil for three months – deeply moving all the members of staff who had no way of telling the loyal pup that his owner would not be coming back. The seven-year-old dog continued to come into the lobby of the Taikang Hospital. The staff took him in and fed him during the three-month run.
Then, a woman named Wu Cuifen, who ran a market within the hospital, heard about the dog’s predicament. At first, she tried to get the dog to come with her from the hospital, but the pooch refused to leave. She then decided to take care of him, whom she’d named Xiaobao, which means “Little Treasure.”
When Wuhan lifted lockdown restrictions on April 13th, the supermarket in the hospital was able to reopen. By that point, Ms. Wu had already been caring for Xiaobao, and said to the New York Post, “I first noticed the little dog when I returned to work in the middle of April. I called him ‘Xiaobao.’ They told me his owner, a pensioner, was admitted with the coronavirus.”
She added that after the owner had passed away, Xiaobao remained, ever so loyal – something that absolutely warmed her hear.
Given that the shop she runs is on the hospital’s first floor, she’d become familiar with Xiaobao, and later was able to bring him into the shop. Once restrictions lifted and she was able to reopen, Xiaobao was there. Each morning when she’d open up, he’d be there waiting for her in order to play the role of her shopkeeper.
According to Ms. Wu, Xiaobao was ever faithful to the hospital and refused to leave – even when they tried taking him different places he’d end up finding his way back to the hospital to hold his vigil.
“Although Xiaobao can’t speak, we understand that he is definitely still looking for his owner,” Ms. Wu said.
Eventually, some patients began to complain about Xiaobao’s presence at the hospital. This meant that staff had to get in touch with the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association, who took him in and got him medically evaluated as well as neutered – all in preparation of finding him a forever home.
According to the shelter, they’re now on the look out for a potential new home for Xiaobao, and according to Du Fan, the director of the Association, they remain hopeful someone will take him. Additionally, Ms. Wu is hoping that Xiaobao will get the happy ending he deserves with a family who loves him.