Lending new credence to the notion of "man's best friend," a dog named Xiongxiong waits for 12 hours every day outside of a subway station in southwest China for his owner to return from work. The unnamed owner acquired the loyal pooch 7-8 years ago and says the 15-year-old dog has waited for him every day since.
Now, the patient pet has garnered a bit of a following online, with some internet users even making the trek to China just to see him.
One local resident was quoted as stating:
He's well behaved and never eats anything given to him by others. The dog just stays here and waits for him. It always gets extremely excited when it see its owner return each day.
You can see for yourself:
🐶 Meet the dog who waits every day at subway station for his Chinese owner to return from work. The 15-year-old dog, called Xiongxiong, waits faithfully outside a metro station daily while its owner goes to work and stays there all day until he returns. https://t.co/DbRFAN7O8v pic.twitter.com/RafOYuHm5P— TODAY (@TODAYonline) May 1, 2018
Below is a video of Xiongxiong waiting for his owner.
(Note: Sensitive viewers should be aware that though the video is fun and light, comments in the video's Twitter feed contain graphic images posted by animal activists—see note at the end of this piece about China's problem with animal cruelty.)
Many commenters found joy and comfort in the tale of the patient dog:
Very touching bonding of love is force of nature— Vishwamohan P Singh (@PVishwamohan) April 28, 2018
Twitterers quickly zeroed in on the similarities between Xiongxiong and Hachi from the 2009 British-American drama Hachi: A Dog's Tale starring Richard Gere.
The movie was based on the real-life Japanese story of a dog named Hachikō, born in 1923, who would greet his master at the train station after work. The owner died unexpectedly, but the dog continued going to the station every day for the next nine years awaiting his master's return.
Another Hachi - what a sad and beautiful story that was. 😢 Hopefully this time there will be a much happier ending.— hesouttamylife (@Ilive4u4me) May 4, 2018
Watched the true story about this dog! Amazing movie and shows how much we mean to our pets!— kathy pinkstaff (@PinkstaffKathy) May 4, 2018
But not everyone found this story so heartwarming. Many were concerned for the welfare of the dog:
this is cruel this poor dog is forced to wait everyday at his age for his owner with no food or water??!!im outraged,this is stressful not fucking "awwwww" "cute" or "adorable"— ahimsa wickrematunge 🦋 (@ahimsamarian) May 4, 2018
This poor dog deserves a comfy bed and safe place to stay during the day, not left to spend his golden years lying on the concrete of a train station all day. Not a feel good story. ☹️— Vigilante Editor #ReplaceAndRepeal (@VigilanteEditor) May 4, 2018
Sadly, China is known for animal cruelty as there are currently no nationwide laws in place to protect them. Although attempts have been made to improve the situation, so far nothing has really taken hold. On a grading system of A through G, China scored an E on the World Animal Protection's Animal Protection Index in 2014.
Animal activists made a little headway recently with the banning of dog meat sales during the annual Yulin dog-eating festival where thousands of dogs—including abducted pets—are slaughtered each year.
To learn about how you can help improve the lives of animals in China, check out Asia for Animals (AfA) Coalition which is, "composed of 21 well-known and respected animal welfare organizations that have a shared focus on improving the welfare of animals in Asia."