They say a dog is a man’s best friend – and for this pooch in China, the friendship never ends.
For the past five years, a loyal pet named Da Huang has been patiently waiting for the return of its owner, Mr Shen, who died of cancer.
Come rain or shine, the faithful dog has refused to leave the man’s former work site, determined that it would see its beloved owner once again.
Da Huang, a former stray, was adopted in 2012 by Mr Shen who worked as a parking lot attendant at a residential complex in the city of Shenyang, northeastern China’s Liaoning Province.
The man decided to keep the poor animal after finding it stealing a bite of his dinner in his office one day, reported local media Liaoshen Evening News on Friday.
Mr Shen gave Da Huang a new home by letting it live in his office while feeding and bathing the pooch regularly.
For the next three years, the pooch became the man’s four-legged assistant as the pair spent their days together.
Every morning, Da Huang would wait at the car park to welcome Mr Shen, eagerly wagging its tail when it saw him appearing in distance.
It would also help the man guard the area, barking to alert him when it saw an unfamiliar vehicle.
Until one day in 2015, the man did not arrive at his office as usual.
Within less than two weeks, Mr Shen had been diagnosed with cancer before abruptly passing away.
He did not get a chance to bid a farewell with his furry best friend, Da Huang, who continued to wait for its owner at the parking lot.
After a while, Da Huang began to look for Mr Shen, said local residents who spotted the pooch wandering around the neighbourhood.
Whenever it saw someone who looked like its owner, the dog would run up to them with its wagging tail while sniffing around to check if they are Mr Shen.
‘After realising it wasn’t Mr Shen, Da Huang would slowly walk back with its head down,’ one neighbour told reporters.
While out on the street looking for its owner, Da Huang was once captured by a trafficker who sold it to a dog meat restaurant.
Luckily, the pooch was found by the residents who noticed its disappearance and rushed to look for it.
They bought Da Huang back and saved it from being slaughtered and served on the dinner table.
Although its search always ended with disappointment, the loyal pet would reappear at the parking lot at 3pm every day, the time when Mr Shen used to start his shift.
‘We are all very curious,’ the resident added. ‘Da Huang has determinedly waited for five years. How long could it carry on?’
Da Huang’s loyalty touched many locals who joined forces to look after the pooch after Mr Shen’s death.
They built a doghouse in the complex for Da Huang to sleep in while bringing food to feed the animal every day.
Some neighbours also tried to adopt the dog, but the faithful pet refused to leave the parking lot where Mr Shen worked.
‘We don’t look at it as a dog anymore, it is our neighbour,’ said the residents, who are determined, just as Da Huang, to take care of the pooch for its owner.
To keep Da Huang warm in the winter, they are planning to build a new home for it near Mr Shen’s former work site.
‘That’s the most familiar place for Da Huang, and the place where it stubbornly waited,’ the locals added.