Just as the wand chooses the wizard, sometimes man’s best friend chooses his family.
This is the lesson that an extreme marathon runner recently learned while embarking on a 155 mile race in China’s Gobi desert.
Scotland native Dion Leonard was taking part in the annual 4 Deserts Race Series in March when a stray dog suddenly decided to join him on his journey through the Tian Shian mountain range. The tiny female followed Leonard for a whopping 77 miles, completing 4 out of the 6 stages of the competition with him.
“I didn’t speak much to her that day thinking she wouldn’t stay with me, but at the finish line she followed me into the tent and we slept next to each other,” Leonard told The Independent. “That was it then.”
Leonard researched what it would take to bring his new best friend (who he apty named Gobi) home to Scotland with him, only to be met with massive sticker shock.
“Getting Gobi to the UK is a long process, one that will take up to 4 months and see her medically checked, quarantined and fingers crossed cleared for entry. All this comes at a cost close to a whopping £5000,” Leonard explained on his Crowdfunder page. “We are committed to making this work, I am selling some of my whisky collection (I work for) and we are hopeful this will raise some funds to help make these costs more manageable.”
Leonard won’t have to worry about selling that Whiskey collection, as his Crowdfunder campaign easily surpassed its £5000 goal, and is, as of this writing, only a few hundred Pounds short of the £17,000 marker.
For those of you who aren’t up to date with the current conversion rates, that’s over $22,000!
Gobi is currently safe and is staying with one of Leonard’s friends in China until the quarantine process can officially began. He hopes to be reunited with his best friend by Christmas.
Leonard released an update to his and Gobi’s love story earlier today on YouTube:
Once Gobi is (hopefully!) reunited with her human, Leonard plans on donating the remaining sum of money to an animal shelter or rescue facility.
Follow Gobi & Leonard on Facebook to get up-to-date news about Gobi’s journey to her forever home!