For six years, Qiaoqiao has led a visually impaired masseuse, Tian Fengbo, around Bejing. So Fengbo was devastated when 7-year-old Labrador Retriever was stolen out of his assistant’s hands during a walk Monday morning by men in a gray van.
Dog thefts are common in China, the New York Times reports, but because Qiaoqiao is one of only about 10 guide dogs in the city, the story was picked up by multiple Beijing newspapers, Weibo (a Chinese social media network similar to Twitter) and American publications, like the Times, sparking outrage among dog lovers internationally.
Then, 35 hours after he went missing, Qiaoqiao was returned just as mysteriously as he was taken. He bounded up to his owner wearing a note reading, “Please forgive us.”
The person who returned the dog was not seen, but Beijing police have urged the thieves to turn themselves in to receive lenient treatment. ““It seems the suspects in Qiaoqiao’s theft have recognized their error,” the police stated.
Tian reported that although the dog seemed a little off at first, she was soon back to normal, “bouncing and vivacious.”
Photo at top: AKC