Beijing: A dog in south-west China has touched the hearts of net users after he was shown waiting faithfully outside a train station every day for his owner to come home.
A video of Xiongxiong, which means Bear in Chinese, shows the dog lingering near Liziba metro station in Chongqing’s Yuzhong district for his owner to return from work.
Locals, who are familiar with Xiongxiong and his owner, said the 15-year-old dog is ‘very well-behaved’ despite without a collar and a leash.
‘Xiongxiong will appear at the train station at about 7am or 8am every day, when his owner leaves for work,’ a local resident was quoted as saying in the Chongqing Evening News.
‘Then he will linger at the station – specifically at Exit B – for about 12 hours, sometimes until 8pm,’ he said. ‘He just waits. The moment he sees his owner, he gets so happy and excited,’ the resident said.
The video shows Xiongxiong waiting patiently by the train station and does not respond to strangers when they pet and call him.
‘He never eats anything given to him by strangers,’ the neighbour said. However, the pooch’s response to his owner is a stark contrast.
An elated Xiongxiong is seen barking and wagging his tail and hopping around his owner the moment he sees his owner walking out of the station.
‘I’ve had Xiongxiong for about seven or eight years,’ said the owner, who was identified as Mr Chen. ‘Ever since I have had him, he has waited for me every day.’
‘He is always happy when he sees me, which makes me very happy too,’ Chen said. ‘Xiongxiong always manages to make me less tired from work.’
‘I hope this relationship will last – I honestly don’t know how long he can carry on,’ Chen added, noting Xiongxiong’s old age – equivalent to almost 80 in human years. The video has been viewed more than 10 million times, making Xiongxiong an overnight star among Chinese net users.
Many were moved by his devotion. A trending topic page, named ‘Celebrity Dog Waits For Owner Every Day’, gathered 1.5 million views.
Some users have even gone and paid the dog a visit, sharing their own pictures and videos of him.
The dog has been dubbed the ‘modern-day Hachiko’, the famous Akita dog that waited for his owner at Tokyo’s Shibuya Station every day in the 1920s.
After the owner died in 1925, the dog continued to come to the station every day until his own death almost 10 years later.
The story became legend and a statue of Hachiko was erected in the dog’s memory in front of Shibuya Station, where every day hundreds of people have their photograph taken with it.