This will bring you tears of joy! Dion Leonard, an extreme marathon runner didn’t expect to find his new best friend while competing in a 155 mile race in China’s Gobi desert. On the first day of the 4 Deserts Race Series, Leonard noticed that a tiny dog had joined a group of runners. On the second day, the same little dog appeared, only this time, she was at the starting line, staring up at him.
“This was the first contact I had with her and as I ran off the line I noticed her by my side,” he said. “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. That was it then.”
For the rest of the race, Leonard shared his supplies, food, water, and a space to sleep. He even carried the little dog, whom he named Gobi, “across rivers and over sluice gates she could not cross on her own.” After the race, Leonard knew he couldn’t abandon his new companion, but taking her home to Scotland would require time and money.
It will take 4 months worth of quarantine and medical checks to clear Gobi for entry into the U.K. Plus, a hefty price tag of $6,560. Leonard decided this would be a great time to start a Crowdfunder campaign (pics of Leonard holding Gobi at the finish line will melt the coldest heart). Thanks to his touching story, not only did he meet is goal, he exceeded it, getting $13,330 in donations. For now, Gobi is staying with a friend of Leonard’s in China, but should be cleared for entry into her new homeland by Christmas!