Doesn’t it seem like some humans and some dogs seem destined to find each other, no matter how unlikely?
The 155-mile six day extreme Marathon trek across mountains and the Gobi Desert in China makes the Olympics seem like a walk in the park. For competitor Dion Leonard, 41, who lives in Scotland, it turned out to be a lot more than a dog walk in the park.
At first she seemed to be sizing everyone up, but the second day she stood next to Leonard at the starting line, looked up at him and stayed with him all day. She slept with him at camp that night, making little growling noises if anyone came too close.
She put a spell on him.
He named her Gobi because she had a heart as big as the desert. She soon became the race mascot and her feats were featured online during the race. At times she would run ahead of him and wait for him to catch up. At times he had balance on boulders to carry her across rivers too wide for her to swim.
The last two days she got to ride in air conditioned comfort with the race officials when the temperature got above 100 degrees. She was waiting for Leonard at the finish line where he came in second.
Leonard faced two problems: how to tell his wife about their new family member and how to get Gobi from China to his home in Scotland. His wife had been following online reports from the race organizers so her first words were when could she meet their new dog.
Leonard established a crowdfunding page to pay for getting Gobi approved for travel to the UK. He hoped to raise 5000 pounds, but over 11,000 pounds have been received.
He hired a pet service to handle the bureaucratic red tape, forms, and vet exams to be completed. The government of China notoriously doesn’t make anything easy for foreigners or its own citizens.
For now Gobi is living with one of the race organizers, but they are both hoping for a speedy reunion.
We hope it is soon for these two who seem destined to be together.