Gobi March-Omni Cai

When Dion Leonard signed up for an intensive 7-day desert run, he didn’t think he would be taking home anything but a medal.

But after a tough little pup joined him for 125 kilometers of the 250 kilometer race – he knew it belonged with him in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Dion met Gobi the dog on the second day of the 2016 Gobi March 4 Deserts in China. Gobi had been keeping up with the other 101 competitors the day before, but eventually decided to stick with Dion.

“She would run ahead of me and wait for me 20 or 30 meters down the road and then I’d have to catch up with her,” Dion told Good Morning Scotland. “She’s such a small dog but has a massive heart.”

Even though the competition was grueling, Gobi matched Dion step-for-step, leading to the two becoming fast friends.

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“There were times during the race when, you know I’m there to race and compete and I’m trying to do my best to win the race but we had to cross some really large rivers where I would have to carry her over them. I didn’t actually have the time to do it but I realized then that I had to take her with me and the bond was made.”

Once the race was finished, Dion created the Bring Gobi Home crowdfunding campaign to raise money for his running buddy’s quarantine and veterinary bills. The adoption process can take up to 4 months with a staggering €5,000 price tag.

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However thanks to almost 300 backers, €8,900 has been collected for Gobi’s migration and Dion hopes to have his friend home by Christmas.

You can follow the adorable duo on the Bring Gobi Home Facebook and Twitter pages.

(WATCH the Good Morning Scotland radio interview below)

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Photo by Omni Cai via 4 Deserts

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