A domestic dog, which was accidentally forgotten by its owners at a highway rest stop, unexpectedly found its way home after 26 days and a journey of almost 40 miles.
The seven-year-old mongrel named Doudou had not been seen since September 26th, when he was left behind by his owner Qiu and his family. The mutt shocked them all when he returned dirty and skinny last week.
Qiu, from Hangzhou in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, brought Doudou along on a family trip to the town of Jiande, about 80 miles away.
In an interview with the Hangzhou-based Qianjiang Evening News, Qiu said his family, which included his wife and in-laws, were busy caring for their little daughter and did not pay much attention to her pet that day.
As they drove through the Tonglu rest stop on their way home, the family did not notice that Doudou had gotten out of the car, Qiu said. Only when they reached Hangzhou did they realize that the dog was missing.
Qiu told the newspaper: “We wanted to go back to the rest stop immediately to look for Doudou.
The following day, the whole family drove back to the Tonglu rest stop, but could not find their pet despite a two-hour search. Qiu and his wife tried again a few days later, but there was still no trace of the animal.
“We were hoping that it might not have gone far and that it was most likely still roaming the roadhouse,” said the owner.
However, after China’s holidays earlier this month, he and his family gradually began to accept the fact that Doudou would never return.
“I just hoped that he would stay alive and maybe meet someone to take him in,” Qiu told the newspaper.
The pet of the Qiu family, Doudou, unexpectedly appeared on their doorstep on October 22, 2020, after he had been forgotten at a rest stop 26 days earlier.
But on October 22, a full 26 days later, a “stray dog” appeared on the family’s doorstep and shocked Qiu’s relatives.
Qiu said he did not believe it until he came home from work and saw the dog with his own eyes.
He added: “Doudou was dirty, unkempt and emaciated, but he still wagged his tail. He is very lucky that nothing happened to him.”
Although he was driven to the rest stop in Qiu’s car and probably left no scent, the mutt somehow managed to walk almost 40 miles home.
Qiu, who described Doudou as a “shy” and “weak” puppy, said: “I used to think Doudou was kind of stupid, but now I really admire what he did.
Qiu said Doudou has since regained his energy after coming home weak and thin.
On Monday, a Texas family was reunited with their beloved Chihuahua after he disappeared from their backyard six years ago.