HONG KONG — A blind man’s guide dog that had been stolen in Beijing, triggering an unusual amount of police and media attention, was found Tuesday evening with a note attached asking for forgiveness, its owner said.
Qiaoqiao, a black Labrador retriever that had served as a guide to Tian Fengbo for six years, came running up to Mr. Tian and his family members as they prepared to search for the dog, Mr. Tian said on Wednesday.
“She is doing well,” Mr. Tian said in a telephone interview. “Last night she was a bit low spirited, but now she’s fine. She’s right beside me, bouncing and vivacious.”
Mr. Tian’s relatives did not see who returned Qiaoqiao, he said. A note attached to the dog read, “Please forgive us.”
The Beijing police said on their official Weibo account that the dog’s return was the result of the high level of public interest in the dog’s disappearance. An assistant to Mr. Tian, who operates a massage parlor chain, was walking the dog Monday morning when men in a gray van stole her.
“It seems the suspects in Qiaoqiao’s theft have recognized their error,” said the Beijing police statement. “We hope they will take a step forward, give themselves up as soon as possible, explain the situation and strive to be treated leniently.”
While the theft of dogs, often to be resold as meat, is a common crime in China, Qiaoqiao’s disappearance received an unusual amount of discussion, including detailed coverage in many Beijing newspapers, in part because of her rarity as one of China’s small number of guide dogs. Qiaoqiao is one of only about 10 guide dogs in the Chinese capital and about 100 across the country.