A seven-year-old dog waited over three months, in the lobby of a Wuhan based hospital, for the return of his owner who succumbed to the coronavirus in February. The dog, named 'Xiao Bao' by caregiver, has now been placed in an animal shelter for adoption.
Wuhan, the original epicentre of the global pandemic, reported its first case of coronavirus in December last year. Despite many theories suggesting the origin of the fatal virus in a lab based in Wuhan, China has vehemently denied the virus being lab-made.
Dog Roamed Hospital Corridors Searching for His Owner
Reminding of Hachikō, a Japanese Akita dog who waited for his owner Hidesaburō Ueno, nine years after his death, the dog from Wuhan has won hearts of the people with his unwavering loyalty towards his deceased master.
Daily Star reported that the dog belonged to a pensioner who was admitted to the Wuhan based Taikang Hospital, in February after testing positive for the coronavirus. The dog had accompanied his master to the hospital. However, the pensioner died five days later due to coronavirus related complications.
The staff revealed that unaware of his owner's death, the male pooch continued to look for him all over the hospital. He then patiently waited in the hospital lobby for the return of his owner.
Overwhelmed by the love of pooch towards his owner, the patients and hospital staff used to feed him regularly, as he sat waiting in the lobby .
Dog Kept Returning to the Hospital After Being Dropped Off
Following the reopening of the lockdown on April 13, Wu Cuifen, who runs a supermarket located on the first floor of the hospital, decided to temporarily offer refuge to the dog, whom she named Xiao Bao, or Little Treasure.
The Sun reported that Wu Cuifen told the reporters that despite the efforts of the authorities to send the dog away from the hospital, the mongrel did not budge.
"I first noticed the little dog when I returned to work in the middle of April. I called him 'Xiao Bao'. They told me his 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. He never left the hospital. It was incredibly touching, and so loyal," Wu Cuifen was quoted as saying by the publication.
Speaking about the unwavering loyalty of the dog, the show owner went on to add: "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."
Xiao Bao awaits adoption at animal shelter
On some occasions the authorities even tried to drop the grieving dog to some place far from the hospital, but the resilient dog returned to the hospital every time. "Although Xiao Bao can't speak, we understand that he is definitely still looking for his owner," Wu Cuifen said.
According to Daily Star on May 20, a complaint was lodged with the hospital authorities about Xiao Bao roaming the corridors. It was then the nurses called the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association for taking the dog away.
Association's Director Du Fan told the reporters that Xiao Bao, treated and sterilized by vets, is awaiting adoption. "The shelter is now vetting animal lovers who have offered to foster Xiao Bao," Du Fan said.