Xiao Hua, a mixed breed mutt, had come to his owner, Deng Jialin, as a little puppy. Little did Ding know that this mutt would one day be a hero to a whole village—the fateful day of the Wenchuan earthquake, more commonly known as the Sichuan earthquake, on May 12, 2008.
Video of the Wenchuan (Sichuan) earthquake on May 12, 2008:
On that day, Xiao Hua started to behave in a very uncharacteristic manner. He started running madly around inside the house, and then started barking. He even grabbed Deng by the pants and tried to drag him outside the house. The neighbours all came to complain about the loud barking, and everyone was annoyed with poor Xiao Hua.
When he couldn’t make anyone understand his desperation, Xiao Hua became very sad, lying down with drooping ears and tears rolling down his face.
The dog’s tears caught everyone’s attention, with the news spreading throughout the village. Everyone came to Deng’s house to see the crying dog.
This made Deng realise that Xiao’s behavior might be warning of an impending natural disaster.
He then rushed from door to door to try and warn the village. A total of 42 villagers came out of their homes, but many others didn’t take him seriously, laughing at him or calling him names.
The earthquake struck 20 minutes later, and all of the homes in the village were destroyed. Those who were able to immediately started digging trapped people out of the rubble. Xiao Hua’s heroism continued—he helped to locate another 7 trapped survivors. The little mutt saved a total of 49 lives that day, receiving his fair share of patting, praising, and gratitude from the whole village.
On May 16, earthquake relief headquarters announced that all dogs in the disaster area were to be destroyed to avoid the spreading of disease. Deng tried to hide the village’s best friend in a cave, but the authorities still managed to find him. Deng’s wife went down on her knees and begged for his life. The police were touched by Xiao’s heroism, yet they claimed that they still had to follow orders. Xiao was hanged three days later, bringing the whole village to tears.
This little dog was a whole village’s best friend, and gave the best of himself. He displayed a moral code that was far beyond what many human beings seem capable of today. This makes us all question—why are we so incapable of honoring and recognizing such good behavior? What would the world be like if we could all become a little more like Xiao Hua?
Research by Monica and Kathy