When Tian Fengbo’s dog was stolen during a morning walk Monday in Beijing, China, he, his family, local police and media were on high alert for the pup who served as the blind man’s eyes for the past six years.
The thefts of dogs in China and the surrounding region is common — dogs are often resold as meat for human consumption — but this crime was unusual as the black Labrador Retriever named Qiaoqiao is one of only about 10 guide dogs in the Chinese capital and 1 of 100 across the country, according to The New York Times .
But on Tuesday evening, as Fengbo and his family were heading out to find their stolen Lab, the Times reports Qiaoqiao came running up to the group with a note attached to that simply said:
“Please forgive us.”
The family reportedly did not see who returned the dog that had disappeared when Fengbo’s assistant was walking her. The only details Beijing police had were that “men in a gray van stole her.”
“It seems the suspects in Qiaoqiao’s theft have recognized their error,” Beijing police said in a 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.”
Fengbo, who operates a chain of massage parlors, told the Times that Qiaoqiao is doing fine.
“Last night she was a bit low spirited, but now she’s fine,” he reported during the phone interview. “She’s right beside me, bouncing and vivacious.”