Across China: Retired sniffer dog becomes helper of sick owner

BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- After 11 years of keeping people safe, Buding, a sniffer dog, has retired, often curling up on the sofa to sleep instead of searching for explosives.

“She did a good job. No dangerous situation ever occurred in the area where she worked," said Song Zhexuezi, an officer from a police dog unit in Beijing. Buding used to be a female sniffer dog at the Beijing Capital International Airport. "I am quite proud of her."

But instead of idling all day at home after retirement, the 12-year-old dog has a new job -- helping Song's father recover from a partial paralysis.

Song's father was reluctant to go out to walk because of the disease, but is willing to do so with the company of Buding.

“He didn’t expect Buding to show such great patience to wait for him. As he walked every step downstairs, Buding would look up at my father to check if he could follow her. No one ever taught her. She surprised us,” Song said.

When Song's father walks with Buding, the cord used to tie Buding is always loose and there is no need to control Buding as she does not run away. "My father was also surprised how a dog could be as sensible as a man," Song said.

Buding, a springer spaniel, also cooperates with Song's father when he exercises throwing balls as a recuperating effort. No matter how he randomly tosses the balls, the dog always holds them in mouth to him, which cheers him up and increases his confidence to recover.

"With Buding's help, my father's condition is improving. My mother, who did not like dogs very much, loves the animal very much," Song said.

It was Song who picked her from a group of pups in 2007 and trained her to be a police dog. She treats the dog as a member of her family.

“When I drives my car with Buding for travel at weekends, she likes to jump in the co-pilot seat herself and completely sees herself like us," she said.

Prior to her retirement, aging Buding experienced danger when she was performing a mission. A truck at a gate position headed towards her but she did not hear the sound of the vehicle due to poor listening. Song shouted at her and called her back in time.

“If I hadn’t called her back, I can’t imagine what would happen next. At that moment I realized my dog was getting old,” Song said.

Last year, Song applied for retirement for Buding, and brought her home with no hesitation. She did not want to leave her alone in the police dog unit.

"Buding has good self-restraint. She was able to resist the temptation of any food such as sausages because of her job," Song said.

But now Song offers the dog any food she likes. "Her age is equivalent to 80 to 90 years for people. She may leave me for ever any time."

[ Editor: Shi Ruoqi ]
 

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