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A Stray Dog Joined In On A Marathon And Ran Her Way Straight Into This Man’s Heart

Dion Leonard is no stranger to extreme marathons, but at his most recent race his life changed forever. It happened as he was entering mile 20 of the treacherous 155-mile 4 Deserts Gobi March 2016 marathon. As one of the 101 participants, Leonard was joined by a last minute entry.

A small stray dog came up along side Leonard and stayed by his side for the first 22-mile stretch. Brushing it off as a strange coincidence, Leonard was shocked to notice the dog wandering the runner’s camp.

Gobi / omni cai

“On Day 2, I was at the start line for the race stage and she was standing next to me looking up at me,” Leonard told The Dodo. “I thought to myself this little dog isn’t going to last very long at my side as we raced off, but she ended up running the whole day and 23 miles distance.” / omni cai / omni cai

At each day’s finish line, the dog refused to leave Leonard’s side. In fact, the two became inseparable. Leonard decided to name the dog, Gobi for the race. Gobi ran alongside Leonard for the first three days of the race. On the fourth and fifth day, the weather was too much for the little dog. Race organizers carried Gobi to the finish line, where he waited for his new friend.

Gobi / omni cai

On the last day of the race, Gobi was able to return to running alongside Leonard and the pair finished the race together. With such an unbreakable bond, Leonard knew he wanted to take the animal home to live with him forever. Unfortunately, getting an animal through borders is a difficult process and requires time, paperwork and money.

Gobi / omni cai

While Leonard works hard to complete the process, Gobi is currently staying with one of Leonard’s trusted friends in China. With the help of several generous donors on Crowdfunder, Leonard was able to reach his monetary goal and is one step closer to reuniting with his friend.

Gobi / omni cai

“Gobi picked me to be her pal for life, so I am doing what I can with some great support from around the word to make this happen.”

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