In eastern China, a dog died after being separated from his owner who suffered from a stroke.
Awang, a 9-year-old Labrador/golden retriever mix, apparently alerted neighbors to the condition of Yang, his 78-year-old owner, by howling nonstop after observing him in agony.
Yang’s neighbors were alarmed when they heard the barking and called the police after knocks on Yang’s door went unanswered. When police entered Yang’s apartment, they discovered him pinned to the ground behind a fallen chair.
“We said to the dog, ‘We’re here to save your owner.’ He seemed to understand and lay down quietly,” said local police officer Shen Jianhuan.
Yang was sent to the hospital because he required emergency medical care, according to reports.
Community workers transported Awang, who had been Yang’s charge since he was a puppy, to a shelter for stray dogs. He apparently spent his time in the shelter in a cage, refusing to eat or drink anything.
Awang was given special care at the shelter because of his bravery, but on December 2, the dog reportedly passed away from separation anxiety, according to Jin, the manager of the facility.
Jin says that transferring dogs into a new setting has led to the deaths of some of the dogs at the shelter. Due to their confinement in small spaces and sealed cages, the dogs brought to the shelter also don’t get enough human contact.
Similar to this, another dog in China died in August after going on a two-day hunger strike following the death of its owner. The dog refused to eat or drink for two days while it was next to the man’s coffin.