Loyal dog Dou Dou walks 37 miles in 26 days to find home after ‘its owner left it in a service station by accident’
- The pet in China, Dou Dou, was travelling with its owners by car to visit relatives
- It was said to be accidentally left behind when the family stopped for a break
- The loyal dog began an arduous quest to find its home which was 37 miles away
- Dou Dou was emaciated and covered in dirt when it finally returned 26 days later
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A loyal dog has walked 37 miles within 26 days in an arduous quest to find its owners who had left it at a service station by accident in China, according to reports.
The seven-year-old pet, nicknamed Dou Dou, was said to be forgotten by the Chinese family when they stopped at the motorway facility for a break.
After trotting through bustling traffic and busy highways for nearly a month, the exhausted animal was emaciated and covered in dirt when it finally returned home, a state-run newspaper reported.
The seven-year-old canine, nicknamed Dou Dou, was ‘forgotten’ by the Chinese family when they stopped at the motorway facility for a break, according to local media. The picture released by the local newspaper shows Dou Dou playing outside before it went missing
After trotting through bustling traffic and busy highways for 26 days, the exhausted animal (pictured) was emaciated and covered in dirt when it finally returned to its home in Hangzhou
According to the Qianjiang Evening News, Mr Qiu and his family from eastern Chinese city Hangzhou travelled by car to the countryside to visit relatives last month.
They brought along the family dog, Dou Dou, which had been living with them for seven years.
During the long trip, the family stopped for a break at the Tong Lu Service Station, which is about 60 kilometres (37 miles) away from their home.
Mr Qiu told reporters that they assumed Dou Dou had stayed inside the vehicle whilst the family was busy looking after their young child.
The owners apparently did not notice the missing pet until they arrived at the destination several hours later.
The next day, the family rushed back to the petrol station and spent nearly two hours looking for Dou Dou. After that, Mr Qiu and his wife also went back to the facility several times in the hopes of finding their pet, but all to no avail.
A loyal pet dog has walked 37 miles for nearly a month during an arduous quest to find its owners in China. In this file photo, a dog sits on its owner’s lap in a park in Hong Kong
The family eventually accepted the fact that their family dog would not return.
On Thursday, nearly a month after Dou Dou’s disappearance, the family suddenly spotted ‘a dirty, gaunt stray dog’ appearing on their doorstep.
They were shocked and surprised to discover that the scrawny canine was, in fact, their lost pet.
Mr Qiu said that Dou Dou had become so emaciated that he could barely recognise it at first sight.
Thrilled by the discovery, the family rushed to give their pet some food and a warm bath after its arduous journey to return home.
‘Apart from being skinner than before, [Dou Dou] was still the same self. Its eyes are radiating with lights,’ Mr Qiu said.
‘Luckily it didn’t have any injuries,’ the pet owner added. ‘Even though Dou Dou was tired and walking wobbly on the first day [after returning home], it has become a lot more energetic recently.’
Dou Dou’s story even amazed animal experts who are impressed by the pet’s ability to find its home.
‘We are still trying to understand dogs’ many behaviours,’ a dog trainer told the Hangzhou-based newspaper. ‘But [Dou Dou] can find home even from so far away. It has exceptional talents.’
But the experts claimed Dou Dou’s behaviour was ‘accidental’ and warned other owners to watch their pets closely while travelling or playing outdoors as they cannot expect the same outcome if their dogs went missing.
In July, a ‘homesick’ farm camel trying to find its old home after being sold to another family more than 100 miles away touched the hearts of millions in China.
The elderly camel had walked more than 62 miles alone in the desert before being spotted by a herdsman, who took it home and contacted its previous keepers, it is reported.
The loyal animal was exhausted and covered in scars when it finally met its former owners.