Heartbreaking Moment Soldier Breaks Down At Funeral Of His Sniffer Dog
In what might be the most heartbreaking thing you'll watch all day, the video below shows the moment a soldier breaks down in tears at the funeral of his trusty sidekick - sniffer dog Tianbao.
Chinese soldier Wang Rujian had worked alongside the late spaniel for 12 years, having trained the pup at the Shandong Search and Rescue Dog Professional Mobile Detachment for the provincial firefighting department.
Sadly, Tianbao - whose name translates as 'treasure of heaven' - passed away last month from multiple organ failure, reports the Daily Mail.
At the tribute ceremony on Wednesday (19 August), Rujian was shown holding onto Tianbao's gravestone as he bid a tear-filled farewell.
Speaking at the funeral in eastern China's Shandong Province, the officer said: "Tianbao, it was worth having you all the way. May you rest in peace."
Rujian's sorrow is reflective of the bond they shared, which developed after he started training the pup to be a sniffer dog back in 2008.
According to Shandong Firefighting Department, over the years together, the 'timid' but 'courageous' canine accomplished more than 30 major missions alongside his handler.
The pinnacle of Tianbao's active career arrived in 2011, when he was awarded the title of 'Meritorious Dog' for saving survivors of the 2010 Yushu earthquake.
The powerful 7.1-magnitude disaster left 2,698 dead, 270 missing and 12,135 injured. However, Tianbao's actions in the devastating earthquake led to the rescue of a number of locals, as well as officer Rujian himself.
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Recalling the incident, Rujian told state media he had collapsed during the mission while looking for survivors who were trapped in the debris.
He was kept alive by Tianbao, who bit at his legs to keep him awake and continued to bark to draw the attention of nearby officers until his handler was carried to safety.
Rujian said: "After that, Tianbao and I became partners of life and death."
This is just one example of the devoted dog and his achievements, another of which included his rescue efforts in the 2015 Tianjin explosions, a series of chemical blasts that killed 173 people and injured hundreds of others.
Tianbao's retirement arrived in 2016 after eight solid years of good service, a move that separated the pup from his lifelong pal.
But after seeing Tianbao looking sad at the kennel where he was to reside, Rujian insisted to his supervisors on taking care of him and the pair were reunited - this time as pet and owner.
And Rujian gave his furry friend the best four years, looking after him right up until his death on 26 July.
The Shandong Firefighting Department commemorated the heroic dog and buried him in the Meritorious Dogs Cemetery in Jinan, giving the officer the chance to say goodbye to his 'partner of life and death'. RIP Tianbao.
Featured Image Credit: Shandong Fire Protection