When Australian runner, Dion Leonard, was competing in the gruelling 250km marathon through the Gobi Desert, the last thing he expected to be returning with, was a four legged friend.
Leonard was surprised to attract the attention of a running mate as he set off, alongside 101 other competitors over the Tian Shan Mountains down to the Black Gobi Desert. Looking at her size and the conditions she was running in, Leonard initially thought the little dog would run back to where she came from, but when she refused to give in and instead ran alongside Leonard for 4 out of 6 stages of the race, he knew she was there to stay.
Throughout the race Leonard, his fellow competitors and volunteers all fell in love with the little dog who refused to give in and as such, she formed a very special bond with the marathon runner.
“During the race I had to make small allowances to ensure Gobi’s safety and completion of the stages she ran, I carried her across rivers and over sluice gates she could not cross on her own. Gobi rested on Day 4 and Day 5 due to the heat of the desert but waited for me at the finish line and I knew then this was no ordinary dog and experience. After completing the race I began looking into how to get Gobi from China to me in Edinburgh, Scotland.”
After realising that Gobi had secured a special place in Leonard’s heart, he began to look into how he could bring her home with him, but due to the country of origin, it was going to be a hard and expensive journey.
That’s when he began his crowd funding campaign to raise the £5000 needed to bring her home. This included quarantine, medical and transportation costs.
So far, Leonard has raised 228% of his initial target, thanks to the love and admiration of people around the world who understand the magical bond we have with our pets.
For more information on #bringGobihome and the crowd funding campaign visit the fundraising page here.