When Dion Leonard began his ultra marathon in the Gobi desert in June he had no idea he would find his ultimate inspiration and the most loyal race mate anyone could ever dream of. As he was running, he noticed a little mutt running too. He never thought she’d be able to keep going, but as they began the second leg of the race she was there, in fine form, and ready to run the second day.
She began the day by his side. And as he ran, she did too, refusing to leave his side. They slept together that night and began their next day together. Soon, this little mixed breed was given the fitting nickname, Gobi. And though Leonard has no idea where his faithful companion came from, he went to great lengths to keep her safe throughout their race. He would often pick her up and carry her when conditions were too tough for her to manage to run alongside.
The marathon included areas of very harsh terrain, and some days the temperatures were so intense there was no way Gobi could safely stay by his side. On those days Gobi got a lift from race organizers and would wait patiently for Leonard to get to the finishing point of that particular leg. Gobi participated in stages 2, 3, and 6 of the race. She accomplished more than what most most anyone could even imagine. This wee one is fit as a fiddle, and ran more in those few days than many so much as jog in a lifetime. In fact, Leonard suspects that Gobi was right by his side for 169.05 kilometers of their seven day journey!
When Leonard finally got to the finish line, Gobi was there waggly-tailed and waiting. With a big smile she greeted her mate at the end of the race. Leonard, who finished second, and Gobi both got medals for their remarkable accomplishments. And though that was a moment to relish in, it sunk in that Leonard couldn’t just pack Gobi in a crate and take her home. Gobi was his, and he had to find a way to get her back to Scotland. Thus he immediately began to research what it would take to get Gobi home.
Though it’s not an easy process, and the cost is not small, Gobi’s already begun the steps to become a citizen of the UK. After raising the funds required through a Crowdfunding campaign, they’ve been told that once Gobi passes her physical examinations, obtains her proper vaccinations and spends the required time in quarantine, she will officially join her unsuspecting kitty sister in her new home.
It seems that Gobi will be home just in time for Christmas, and we can’t imagine a better gift.