Pioneer mourns loss of best friend - two decades on Loo Kwong-yun has never seen the face of his best friend. But he remembers every detail about Winta, her loyalty and intelligence, even two decades after her death. The runaway success of the Japanese movie Quill, which has taken $13 million in just 36 days in Hong Kong, mirrors the story of Mr Loo and Winta, one of only two trained guide dogs ever introduced to Hong Kong. 'Now, when people around me talk about the film Quill, I recall my days with Winta. I think Winta was even smarter than Quill,' Mr Loo says, remembering how the labrador retriever took him to work and became his guardian angel. 'She stopped at red lights and when there were barriers or danger in front of me. I miss her so much.' Quill, directed by Yoichi Sai, features the journey of a similar labrador, from puppy to guide dog and companion of a cancer patient. Based on a true story, Quill shows his skill and loyalty over a 12-year career. The movie has moved many viewers to tears - and is drawing them in droves. By Thursday, 36 days after opening, Quill had taken $13.88 million. 'Quill is a great success. Many people love it,' said Golden Scene publicity manager Vivian Leung Wing-yue. Guide dogs are popular in many western nations, including the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, and are also available in Japan and Taiwan. But the service, which involves training the dogs and the blind people they help, has never been developed in Hong Kong. In 1975, Winta and another dog, Opel, were brought from Australia for two blind pioneers under a charitable programme organised by Australians living in Hong Kong. Mr Loo, who was vision-impaired at birth and blind by the age of 20, was a beneficiary and received four weeks' training in Melbourne before bringing two-year-old Winta home. His seven-year friendship with Winta was a treasure. 'I treated her like a human being. She understood my feelings.' After Winta's arrival, Mr Loo's commute to work was no longer a dangerous trip. 'I felt so secure. I only needed to give her a command such as go home, go see my mother or go see my dentist, and she automatically knew the way.' Winta also became the darling of his friends - 'they all loved her' - at the Immigration Department, where Mr Loo worked as a telephone operator for more than 30 years before retiring in 1998. He was devastated when Winta was killed in a traffic accident in 1982 at the age of nine. 'It was not her fault. I set her free for a walk in a hillside near Choi Wan Estate. She walked down a slope to find me. But there were many cars and she was forced to walk to the middle of the road. Suddenly a minibus drove in her direction and hit her head. 'I kept telling her to hang on, but she did not make it.' Mr Loo tried to get another guide dog from Australia but his request was rejected. 'The trainers there said they found Hong Kong's environment was too crowded and not suitable for guide dogs.' Since then he has learnt to get about using a cane. Mr Loo says Hong Kong should consider reintroducing guide dogs, 30 years after his 'experiment'. 'I think many blind people want such assistance and a friend like Winta.'