Man adopts stray puppy that ran ultra-marathon with him in the Gobi Desert

2nd Aug 2016
Written by: Dave Owen

Walkies is going to be epic

A stray dog has become the unlikely star of an ultra-marathon in China, after befriending one of the competitors and refusing to leave his side throughout the race.

Dion Leonard was competing in the 250km event in the Gobi desert when the dog, dubbed simply ‘Gobi’ decided to run along with the competitors. She took a particular shine to Leonard, and completed the ultra-marathon at his side.

Now Leonard is campaigning to bring Gobi home with him to Edinburgh.

Leonard and Gobi between stages

“Gobi took a shine to me and over the week we developed an unbreakable bond as I shared my sleeping space, food/water and ultimately our companionship,” said Leonard. 

The dog completed four of the race’s six stages, the organisers refusing to let her run the fourth and fifth stages due to temperatures hitting 52 degrees Celsius.

Leonard and Gobi became besties after he had to carry her over a river that was too wide for her to swim by herself.

Unfortunately, bringing Gobi to the UK isn’t as simple as getting on a plane. She needs to travel from Urumqi to Beijing, where she’ll be quarantined for several months. Upon arrival in the UK she’ll need to be quarantined again.

Nothing is going to stop Leonard being reunited with his marathon mutt, and a crowdfunding campaign to help bring Gobi to the UK hit its £5000 target within 24 hours.

If all goes well, it will only be six months before Leonard and Gobi are together again.

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