Dog learns to collect shopping for owner shielding at home
An abused dog who was abandoned in a park has re-paid the ultimate favour to his loving owner who rescued him.
Niño has become somewhat of a celebrity in his neighbourhood in Bogotá, Colombia, and has been picking up food shopping for his shielding owner during the pandemic.
Owner José Ever Henao, 62, is in the high-risk category and has been trying to stay at home as much as possible since the virus broke out in the South American country.
But well-trained Niño has been taking some pressure off José by running errands and is regularly seen trotting to the shops with a basket in his mouth, along with a shopping list and cash.
Local shopkeepers know what to do when they see Niño. They check the list, load up his basket, take what they are owed, then the loyal dog carries it back home to his owner.
He never eats the groceries and he never strays off course from the job at hand, his owner told local news site El Tiempo.
José took Niño in eight years ago after he was thrown out of a moving van and left in a park in the city’s Primavera area.
His then-owners never stopped to check if he survived.
After José came across the abandoned puppy, he took him home, bathed him and the pair have been inseparable ever since.
José gave him the name Niño – meaning child or son in Spanish – because he has considered him as a ‘son’ ever since he took him in.
Soon after rescuing Niño, José started using games to teach the puppy tricks like carrying a basket in his mouth to fetch items – turning Niño into the pro he is today.
And over the years, the dog has become well-known in the neighbourhood for his impressive and adorable skills.
‘He carries a wicker basket in his mouth and goes about his tasks with a lot of care,’ said a local butcher. ‘Everyone really loves him around here.’
His skills have proven invaluable to José during the pandemic – in the country which has seen more than 211,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases.
José, who describes Niño as his ‘beautiful baby’, said his famous dog is so well-loved in the town that even local teenagers regularly stop to take selfies with him.
Cuddling Niño on his bed, José added: ‘It’s because my little dog is the sweetest in the world.’