Thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign, a marathon runner is adopting a stray pup he met while running a 155-mile race in the Gobi desert in China. The funds that were raised will help cover medical and quarantine expenses so that the dog can be transported from China to Leonard’s home of Edinburgh, Scotland.
According to The Independent, the female dog, named Gobi, joined Dion Leonard, extreme marathon runner, on day two of the annual 4 Deserts Race Series and ran side-by-side with him for 77 miles
“I noticed her running by my side,” Leonard told the paper. “But at the finish line she followed me into the tent and we slept next to each other. That was it then.”
Leonard shared his sleeping space, water, and food with his small companion during the race. He even lent her a hand when needed.
“I carried her across rivers and over sluice gates she could not cross on her own,” he said.
After the race, it was clear to Leonard that he had developed a special bond with the pooch and started researching ways to get Gobi to the UK. That’s when he learned that it would take four months for Gobi to be medically checked, quarantined and cleared for entry. All of which will cost $6,560 USD, an amount that has been surpassed due to a successful crowd-funding campaign that raised $13,330 USD.
The video below shows the little pup after finishing her amazing race.
Gobi is currently in the care of a friend in China and hopes she will arrive in Scotland by Christmas, Leonard told the BBC.
“That would be amazing. That would be the best Christmas present ever,” he said.