Not long ago a remarkable canine has entered the spotlight in the flood-ridden central Chongqing Municipality. Her touching maternal love for her newborn pups has brought her acclaim, according to a Chongqing Evening News report on August 1.
Recent torrential floods around town trapped four newborn puppies on Coral dam which was transformed into an isolated islet. Yet the loyal canine mom didn't leave them to starve. Every day, she plunged into the river, struggled across to the islet home of her helpless whelps and suckled them. Afterwards she again swam to the mainland to hunt for food for herself. Although she was separated from her brood, the dog steadfastly continued her daily struggle to feed them for almost a fortnight.
Huang Pinghui, a member of the Chongqing Shadowboxing Association, first spotted Huahua's brave act. Usually he works out by shadowboxing in Binjiang Park and then swimming across the river. But in mid-July, rainstorms pelted the town and caused the river to rise. Coral dam originally had been accessible on foot but because of the unremitting rainfall it had separated from the land. This small land mass became Huang Pinghui's rest stop when he swam across the river.
On the afternoon of July 27, Huang found the whelps in a temporary shed while resting on the islet. The surroundings held hollow bricks and trees, but no food.
Huang could not figure out who had brought them to the islet and how they had survived without any discernable food supply.
On the second day, Huang returned the islet again with some friends. They found the puppies sound asleep but shortly afterwards the mystery became clear.
A dog was swimming from across the river. Arriving, she sprinted for the temporary shed. Her full breasts suggested that she was indeed the puppies' mother. Clearly she had come a long way to suckle her babies. The mystery was solved: in the daytime the mother searched for food on the mainland and then returned at night to the islet to feed her brood.
Huang was so moved that he posted the dog's actions on the Internet, where it caused a hullabaloo. Readers nicknamed the mother dog Huahua (flower) and learned that she used to live on a cargo boat until her owner sold it. Abandoned, Huahua became a stray dog.
Some netizens offered to help the dog, but Huang refused their aid, stating, "The pups' mother may feel anxious and threatened if strangers came too close."
Nevertheless many warm-hearted people bought a profusion of food to feed Huahua to ensure her maternal health.
One afternoon on July 31, Huang entered the shed with the Chongqing Evening News reporters but could not locate the puppies. Alarmed, he shouted: "They must have drowned in the rising flood waters!"
They searched the entire islet. Finally they found the dogs safe and sound amid a pile of hollow bricks at a higher elevation. The puppies were snuggled up to their mother's breast, sucking happily.
Intuiting the imminent rising tide, clever Huahua had sensed danger and transferred her puppies to higher ground for fear that they would be swept away.
"It's not easy at this point to find safe shelter for the puppies. It's better to leave them on the islet right now," Huang explained, "When they grow older, we'll find them a safe and cozy home."
(China.org.cn by He Shan, August 4, 2007)