On day two, runner notices a little dog by his side.

Ultramarathon runner, Dion Leonard, was on day two of the six-day 4Deserts run in China, when he first noticed the little wire-haired dog running by his side. He had seen the dog hanging around the camp the previous day, and was surprised to see that when he started his run from camp, she was at his feet. As they went along, Leonard thought, “this dog isn’t going to last the whole day”, but amazingly she stuck by his side the entire 25 miles, and curled up with him that night at camp. He named the little dog, Gobi.

The next day, they set off together and at times Leonard carried Gobi across rivers, completing that whole stage of the race together once again. On the following days, when they entered the 52 degree heat of the Gobi desert, race organizers transported Gobi to the finish line where she greeted Leonard as he ran in. In the video interview with BBC Live, Leonard said that it was during that moment he realized “this is something else than just a little dog following me”.

Even though Gobi missed two days of running beside Leonard, she managed to complete one half of the 250km race, and was awarded a medal. As much as that is a happy ending in itself, it gets even happier: Leonard is able to adopt Gobi and take her back to the UK to live with him, thanks to a successful crowd funding appeal that will cover the related expenses.