A loyal dog who waited over three months for its dead owner has been given to a pet shelter.The male mongrel, who was named Xiao Bao (Little Treasure), arrived at a hospital in Wuhan with his elderly owner in February, during the peak of China’s outbreak. Sadly the pensioner succumbed to the virus after just five days, but Xiao Bao refused to leave according to hospital cleaner Zhu Youzhen, 65. The dog’s owner was one of 3,869 people killed by the deadly disease in Wuhan – the source of the global pandemic.
Unaware that his owner would not return, Xiao Bao patiently waited in the lobby of Taikang Hospital for more than three months. He was kept going with scraps of food fed by staff. On April 13, when Wuhan lifted its lockdown and the hospital supermarket reopened, shopkeeper Wu Cuifen began caring for him.
Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news liveMs Wu said: ‘I first noticed the little dog when I returned to work in the middle of April. I called him “Xiao Bao”. That’s the name I gave him.
‘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.
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‘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.‘Every morning when I opened up, Xiao Bao would be there waiting for me. He saw me off at the end of each day.’ Ms Wu said Xiao Bao refused to leave, even when they deliberately dropped him off somewhere far away.
He would always make his way back to Taikang Hospital and patiently wait for his owner to return.
On May 20, as Taikang Hospital filled with regular patients, staff received complaints and concerns about Xiao Bao roaming the corridors.Nurses contacted the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association, who gave the loyal dog a home.
Xiao Bao was treated by vets and has also been sterilised as he prepares to be rehomed.The shelter is now vetting Xiao Bao’s potential new parents, the association’s director Du Fan said.
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