A dog in eastern China has died after being separated from his owner who suffered from a stroke.
Awang, a 9-year-old golden retriever and Labrador crossbreed, reportedly alerted neighbors of the state of his 78-year-old owner, identified as Yang, by barking incessantly after seeing him in distress.
According to local police officer Shen Jianhuan, the authorities broke into Yang’s apartment in the city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province and found Yang pinned to the ground under a chair that fell over him late last month.
“We said to the dog, ‘We’re here to save your owner.’ He seemed to understand and lay down quietly,” Shen told South China Morning Post.
Yang, who was in need of urgent medical attention, was brought to the hospital, according to reports.
Awang, who had been under the care of Yang since he was a puppy, was taken to a stray dog shelter by community workers. He was reportedly placed inside a cage at the shelter, where he refused to consume food and drink.
Although the shelter allegedly paid special attention to Awang because of his bravery, the dog eventually died from separation anxiety on Dec. 2, according to the shelter’s manager, identified as Jin.
“We know that this dog saved his owner, just like any person saving another,” Jin said.
According to Jin, there have been several dogs that have died at the shelter as a result of being relocated to a new environment. The dogs brought to the shelter also do not receive sufficient human interaction as they are restricted in space and confined in locked cages.
Similarly, in August, another dog in China died after going on a two-day hunger strike following the death of its owner. The pet spent two days beside the man’s coffin, refusing to eat and drink.