Social media users in China have fallen in love with a dog who spends every day patiently waiting for his master to emerge from the subway stop in Chongqing, a large city in southwestern China. Since local media picked up the story in late April, the dog has melted hearts all across China.
Every day, the devoted dog, XiongXiong, waits for his owner from 7am until 7pm in front of a subway station in Chongqing. On April 23, XiongXiong, who is 15 years old, suddenly became a celebrity when a local media, "Chongqing Tonight", picked up his story.
The very next day, local TV station "Li Chongqing" hurried to pay XiongXiong a visit. The resulting video garnered more than 10 million views on Miaopai, a Chinese video platform.
"He doesn’t have a collar or a leash and he doesn’t accept food from strangers,” says the journalist in the video.
Many Chinese people on social media said they were moved by the story of this dog, who has been going to the station with his owner and waiting for him every day for about eight years. On Chinese social media site Weibo, tens of thousands shared this story using the hashtag #网红狗每天等主人下班#, roughly translating as #CelebrityDogWaitsforHisOwnerToComeHomeFromWork. Some admirers even went so far as to visit XiongXiong.
"A ‘fan’ even went to go see XiongXiong"
"All of the employees at Liziba station know Xiong Xiong," reads a comment made by the official social media account of the Chongqing subway system.
However, some people expressed worries on social media that XiongXiong’s newfound celebrity would attract people with bad intentions.
The official account for the Chongqing subway system commented: "Everyone knows XiongXiong."
"We need to take care of him, I’m afraid that some people might wish him harm,” said one social media user.
Many people evoked the story of Hachiko, a Japanese dog who became famous in the 1920s. Hachiko waited for his owner each day at Shibuya station, in central Tokyo, and continued to do so for nine years after his owner died.
"He’s the modern-day Hachiko,” said one person on social media.