Dublin: 13 °C Friday 14 June, 2024

A stray dog followed a runner for half a desert marathon, and now she's getting adopted

No YOU’RE crying.

DION LEONARD IS an Australian professional runner – last month, he competed in an intense six-day marathon across the Gobi desert in China.

On the second day of the marathon, Leonard noticed this tiny dog running alongside him:

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Leonard says he recognised the dog as one that was hanging out at the campsite the night before, and assumed it liked the bright yellow colour of his gaiters (a garment runners wear on their ankles).

The dog ran a grand total of 22 miles (AKA more than we’ve ever ran in our lives) with Leonard, and accompanied him back to the camp, where they both had a well-deserved kip.

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But the next day, the dog was up and at it and ready to run with Leonard again. He told BBC Radio 5:

She came into the camp with me at the end of day two and that was it… From then she didn’t leave my side. She did 125km of the race, she did half the race.
She couldn’t do two of the stages because we had crossed the mountain range into the Gobi desert which was 52 degrees, so that would have been too hot for her. What the race organisers did was take her to the finish line, and she’d sit down and she’d wait for me.

According to Buzzfeed, the runners named the dog Gobi in honour of the race and began rationing their food to help feed her. At this point, Leonard began to think seriously of adopting Gobi.

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He set up a crowdfunding page to help fund the expensive process of getting her to Edinburgh, where he lives – he’s already far exceeded his target, raising a whopping £16,260.

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Leonard has already started the process of adopting Gobi, but for now, she’s hanging out with a friend of his in China.

“I didn’t adopt Gobi, Gobi seemed to adopt me,” he said.

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