We decided to tell an amazing story about how a small dog changed one person’s life.
A resident of Scotland and a professional runner, Dion Leonard participated in a difficult marathon race through the large Gobi Desert, which partially occupies Chinese and Mongolian territories. The path was not easy, and its total length was 250 kilometers, which took marathon runners six days to overcome.
On the second day, right before the start, Dion noticed that a small and nondescript stray dog of a color resembling desert sand was on the line with him. When the animal ran with Leonard, he was surprised, as were the other participants of the race and all its organizers.
Dion thought that the dog would quickly leave the distance, but it endured the whole day of the journey, during which it overcame 37 kilometers. It was incredible. But even more surprising was the fact that the dog decided to participate in the marathon further, literally accompanying Leonard. However, due to the scorching desert sun, it was struck by heatstroke, and the four-legged runner was assisted by a medical team on duty in a car following the marathon runners.
The dog was dubbed a mascot marathon and named Gobi after the desert where the marathon took place. A four-legged runner traveled 100 kilometers in four days out of six. And Dion realized that the dog had chosen him, so the man just couldn’t resist taking his new friend with him. Difficulties arose, however: The Gobi’s transport from China to Leonard’s home needed an official permit, which proved difficult to obtain. And they needed funds.
The story received an unexpected continuation. While Dion was solving bureaucratic problems, Gobi disappeared from view. But Leonard didn’t give up. He opened a fundraiser on a crowdfunding site and was able to raise as much as 15,000 British pounds out of the required 5,000. And he also wrote a message on a social network and asked caring people to help find a lost dog. Later, the marathon runner himself came to the city where Gobi was last seen to put up ads with the help of volunteers.
Fortunately, Gobi was found and finally ended up in Scotland. Dion is happy that he was able to overcome all difficulties and reunite with his four-legged marathon companion. And the dog has already made friends with another pet of its owner and feels great: it plays, sometimes sleeps with Leonard, and proudly walks the streets.
Inspired by the endurance and dedication of Gobi, Dion, together with the writer Borlas Craig, wrote a whole book about his pet. Probably, we will even be able to see a movie based on these incredible, but very real events.