It’s been two weeks since Vladimir Davydov, a 77-year old resident of the Russian city of Bratsk in Siberia, lost his only friend – a German shepherd named Yan.
Ever since Davydov’s wife passed away, the dog has remained his only companion, providing the man with crucial emotional support and helping him cope with otherwise lonely existence, according to Russian media reports.
Now every day he goes out in the streets wearing a sign that says 'Help Me Find My Friend' with the picture of the missing dog attached below the caption.
"Everyone in the neighborhood knows us, we are always walking together. There’s no other dog around here as big and friendly as Jan," Davydov said.
According to Davydov, Yan ended up in his care purely by chance.
"Originally his owners wanted to get rid of him, but then offered me the opportunity to take him in, and I agreed. Jan literally grew up on the playground. Some of the kids who played with him now have kids of their own, and still they come to visit him," the old man reminisced.
It all came to an end on February 8 when Yan went missing.
Davydov's neighbors, however, refused to sit idly and watch the man deal with his plight alone. Scores of volunteers swept the surroundings, checked animal shelters and called for help via social networks, eventually attracting the attention of several prominent media outlets.
And as long as people refuse to ignore such cases, as long as human compassion does not go extinct, hope still remains. And perhaps one day, perhaps very soon, Vladimir Davydov will be able to welcome back his friend and companion.