This little dog picked an Aussie runner to be her pal, and followed him throughout the 6-day grueling race across the Gobi desert in China. This beautiful story has been picked to be retold in a movie by 20th Century Fox!
“As soon as I sat down in the tent, the dog curled up next to me—I started thinking about germs and diseases,” wrote Dion Leonard, as he recounted his first meeting with Gobi, the homeless dog who ran beside him, crossing 77 miles of the 150 miles Gobi desert by his side.
The Australian runner had noticed the dog trotting alongside the runners during the first day of the 4 Deserts: Gobi March 2016 ultramarathon. After the long day, Dion found her again at the runners’ camp, showing off her charm, begging for food.
But Dion didn’t give her any, as he had only packed enough for himself.
On Day 2, this scruffy dog was standing next to Dion, wagging its tail at the starting line. She stared at Dion with her
“big, beautiful brown eyes.” “Go on, get away,” he told the dog. “You’ll be trampled.”
But still, she tagged alongside Dion throughout the second day of the race as he ran through the arid desert in China. As Dion and the runners settled down at a camp that night, the dog was still reluctant to leave Dion.
“With a piece of meat midway to my mouth, it struck me that I hadn’t seen the dog eat a thing all day,” he wrote.
He threw the meat to the hungry dog, who chewed on it happily. Dion then named the dog Gobi.
On Day 3, Gobi was again waiting for Dion at the starting line. She ran alongside Dion, and when they reached a river, Dion clutched Gobi under his left arm as he crossed the waterway.
On Day 4 and 5, Dion worried that Gobi would get dehydrated in the extreme heat, and handed her to the race organizers. The race organizers made sure Gobi would be at the finish line, waiting for Dion.
Gobi covered the last miles with Dion on the final day, and they crossed the final line together.
By then, Gobi had totally melted Dion’s heart. He decided to adopt it and take her back home to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he lives with his wife, Lucja.
Unfortunately, while Dion was working on the adoption process in Scotland, Gobi went missing in China.
A disheartened Dion stayed in China for four months to find Gobi. He launched an enormous social media campaign to locate him.
The story has a beautiful ending when Dion finally united with his loving marathon companion, after a couple spotted Gobi in a park.
Thereafter, Gobi has been living with Dion at his humble abode in Edinburgh.
“Lots of Chinese people spoke about past life connections. When she went missing and we found her, I think that was double fate,” said Dion.
The beautiful bond between the two has captured people’s hearts, and 20th Century Fox has signed a deal to recreate it into a movie!