At a hospital lobby, a small dog named Xiao Bao (little treasure) in China, waited for three months, for his owner to return. He was unable to grasp that his owner had died from COVID-19 and the internet cannot laud Bao enough for his loyalty.
The seven-year-old male dog arrived at Wuhan Taikang Hospital in Central China's Hubei Province with his elderly owner at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in February. But his owner died just five days after getting admitted.
The dog's owner was one of 3,869 killed by the deadly disease in the city.
Xiao Bao, unaware of his owner's passing and hoping to see him again, waited in the hospital's lobby for three months, during which time he was fed by staff.
On April 13, after Wuhan lifted its lockdown restrictions and the hospital supermarket reopened, he was cared for by a shopkeeper, Wu Cuifen, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
Cuifen was quoted as saying: "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.
"He never left the hospital. It was incredibly touching, and so loyal. I grew familiar with the dog and later brought him into the shop," he added.
"Every morning when I opened up, Xiao Bao would be there waiting for me. He saw me off at the end of each day."
The dog’s pictures circulated online, with many people empathising with him and others appreciating his loyalty.
Tweep @thandojo shared an image and wrote: “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.”
Twitter user @doggone04103525 posted: “I hope he finds a good home. He deserves it for his loyalty! Poor little man..."
By mid-May, the hospital had gotten several complaints about Xiao Bao roaming the corridors. As a result, staff contacted the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association, which has now taken the dog into their shelter.
According to reports, the canine has been put up for adoption.