Troughout the many centuries of recorded human history (and I’m willing to bet it goes even further back than that) a great many things have been written about the connection between us and the animals known as our best friends – the dogs.
Take literature for example: you can go as back as Homer’s Odyssey, where Odysseus’s faithful dog Argos waits years for his master to return safely from his journey, in order to die in peace – something as touching as it is true – just ask any dog lover. And then there’s Toto (Dorothy’s dog from “The wonderful wizard of Oz” books), good old Buck from “The call of the Wild”, Lassie and the Ol’ Yeller, the dire wolves from Game of Thrones, etc. But then there’s poetry, cinema (both features and animation), classic British paintings (liked by no one) and lots and lots more published evidence of the eternal bond between our two species…
The subject could never possibly dry out, because as life teaches us, when a love is real (and it this case it certainly is), it never goes out of style. And since no story about a man and his loving dog will ever get old and boring, here’s one about a German Shepard called Duo Duo and his handler Wang Xudong.
Seems to me that the army life could just be the best thing for a dog, since it’s in the army service where a dog’s best qualities, like discipline, honor and loyalty are being held in high regard and tested on a daily basis. At any rate, you can that Duo Duo was a lucky pup – his life in the Chinese National Army included lots of physical exercises, good food and plenty of time with his man Wang – you know – the little things. Dogs love consistency, because it helps them develop a deeper connection with their human. Of course, it all depends on the dog. Being a German Shepard, Duo Duo was blessed with the strong and dependable character perfect for army life – a life he thoroughly enjoyed.
Of course it’s a simple fact of life that anything that good has got to come to an end at some point. For Duo Duo that moment came the day of Wang Xudong’s retirement from the Army. Chinese army etiquette states that whenever soldiers retire, they must stand in salute the guard post they’ve served, standing in a demonstration of respect.
Meanwhile, as Wang and the other soldiers were standing at their post, the dog was doing the regular patrol rounds and just happen to pass by. Duo Duo saw Wang and his colleagues, ran up to them and stood on his hind legs, as if saluting them. What was even more impressive is that Duo Duo actually stood like that for full ten seconds – something of a shock, given the fact that he was never able to hold his attention on anything for that long, nor that he did anything like that before. It was as if Duo Duo knew that he’d never see Wang again. Needless to say, it was emotionally moving for everyone present at the scene (as you can clearly see from the pictures).
And then, of course, the internet got hold of that material and it just blew up like a piñata explosion – every mass media sharing platform had it, making Duo Duo is something of an overnight star – the pictures of him saluting Wang are practically everywhere and people are clearly loving them, especially in China, where those are trending in Weibo (the Chinese version of Twitter) like crazy.
Yes – everybody loves Duo Duo. But not just him. Thousands of dog-related videos are being shot and shared at every single second (not to mention all the other animals that get their moment in the sun). This is something of a trend among animal lovers from all across the world – we love sharing videos like that, because of how wondrous and innocent dogs make us feel. It’s their gift to us, humans – to remind us how much goodness in life just slips through the cracks of our everyday lives and how much better it is when those lives are shared with a dog… and not just on video found on the internet.