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76 days later the scruffy stray finds its way home

A SCRUFFY yellow stray dog has returned home to the neighbors and friends he loves in a city residential area 76 days after being sent to be a watchdog at a factory in Qingpu District.

The dog, A Huang (huang is yellow in Chinese) was taken to the factory 71 kilometers away on December 13 but he returned to his friends in Brilliant City, Putuo District on February 27, Shanghai Morning Post reported today.

A Huang was abandoned when he was eight months old in May 2007 in the residential area. He scavenged for food throughout the neighborhood, sometimes stealing cat food.

Not all the people there liked him and he was kicked and beaten - one of teeth was chipped when a man threw a shovel at him. Not surprisingly, A Huang stayed well away from most people.
That is until he met Shao Weiliang in November. Shao was new to the area and he often bought buns stuffed with meat for A Huang after he heard his story.

A Huang would wait on the street first thing every morning. After eating Shao's buns, A Huang would stand up and wag his tail.

Other neighbors began helping the dog. One woman began washing it, a grandmother gave it milk and the dog used to follow her right to her doorway.

When winter arrived the neighbors found someone who would take the dog in but the dog never dared set a paw inside a building. The neighbors could do nothing but offer it food and drink.

When the temperature dropped below zero, neighbors put an old carpet in their underground garage and A Huang slept there every night.

Some reckoned the dog slept with one eye open to keep guard over his friends.

In October last year the property managers said they would catch A Huang or have him put down. The neighbors were given a little time to find a solution.

Early in December, A Huang disappeared for three days - a family from a different area had tried to lure it to their home using a female dog on heat. But the scruffy yellow dog did not like it there, female wiles or not, and refused to eat or drink in the house eventually escaping back to his own neighborhood.

But then the property managers got tough and insisted the dog had to go. A Huang's friends found it a job as a watchdog in a Qingpu District factory - one of the neighbors owned the factory.

On December 13 two women surnamed Liu and Hu drove their yellow friend to the factory. The security guards there promised to take care of the dog but that very night he ran off.

Liu and Hu, hearing the news, went to the factory the next day with his favorite piece of carpet and some milk but the dog was not to be found.

Liu went to the factory three times even spending a night there. Locals told her about people from out-of-town who liked to eat dog and said A Huang was unlikely to be alive still.

But last Friday the dog came back and the neighbors have been celebrating the return of their loyal, yellow friend.

A pet shop owner bathed A Huang and clipped its toes. And an A Huang Foundation has been set up with nearly 5,000 yuan (US$731).

Hu is looking after the dog just now and she plans to get it a residency permit as soon as she can.


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