Runner To Adopt Dog That Followed Him 77 Miles (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Dion Leonard GobiDion Leonard Gobi

An extreme marathon runner who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, is trying to adopt a stray dog from China (video below).

The small dog, named "Gobi" by Dion Leonard, ran about half of a 155-mile race in China, which included the Tian Shan mountain range and the Gobi desert in March, notes The Independent.

"She'd actually been with the race group on day one," Leonard told BBC World News. "She actually ran over one of the largest sand dunes in China on day one with some American guys. I noticed her around the campsite on the evening of day one."

Leonard told The Independent that though he was leery at first, they became fast friends.

At the start of Day two, Gobi was on the start line next to me looking up at me. This was the first contact I had with her and as I ran off the line I noticed her by my side. 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.

Leonard carried the dog through a river with strong currents even though he was in third place and trying to catch up with the leader.

Leonard, who finished in second place, called his wife and told her about the dog; she supported the long-distance adoption.

Leonard created a crowdfunding page to raise about $6,500 to have Gobi medically cleared and quarantined -- a protocol that could take up to four months -- before the dog can legally enter Scotland.

He ended up raising about $10,410 after his crowdfunding effort went viral.

Leonard plans to spend any extra money on a dog shelter or rescue organization.

Leonard told The Independent that he is hoping Gobi makes it to Scotland before Christmas: "She joined us on the cold side of the mountain -- so I'm sure she will adapt quickly to life in Scotland."

Sources: BBC World News via YouTubeThe Independent / Photo credit: BBC World News via YouTube

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