A four-year-old golden retriever has become a local celebrity by loyally following its sanitation worker master out to work each day, helping her out by picking up plastic bottles and small trash from the Sichuan streets.
Mrs. Chai, 60 years old, is a street sweeper in Chengdu. She told reporters that her adorable helper’s name is Jiaomei, NetEase reports.
As Chai sweeps the streets, Jiaomei searches around for any plastic bottles, waste paper or cigarette butts it can pick up with its mouth.
Chai says that Jiaomei was bought for her for 350 yuan by her son four years ago. She has since treated it like her own granddaughter.
She sells the bottles that Chai picks up and uses the money to buy some buns, presumably giving her pup some extra incentive.
The dog has become a star in the eyes of locals. When residents see Jiaomei, they greet the pair with big smiles.
Street sweeping can be a tough and thankless job. Last month, a picture of one elderly street cleaner looking absolutely exhausted prompted some soul searching on the part of netizens. Later, a Sichuan sanitation worker was beaten up for unintentionally splashing some dirty water on a rather vengeful woman walking nearby.
So, it’s nice to have some help. Last year, a middle school student made headlines by helping her mom clean the streets during the Golden Week holiday. Even laowai have been known to lend a hand.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via NetEase]