Whooza good puppy?
August 5, 2016 8:55 AM   Subscribe

A British man set out to run a grueling seven-day, 250-kilometer marathon across the Tian Shan mountain range in northwestern China called the "Gobi Desert March." Dion Leonard had his sights set on racing to the finish line as fast as he could, or at least that was the goal until he met a friend along the way...

After completing the race, Leonard couldn't possibly fathom having to say goodbye to his newfound pal.

In the end, he did have to say goodbye, but it won't be for good. Upon arriving back at home, Leonard quickly launched an appeal on Crowdfunder to raise the £5,000 needed to cover the medical and quarantine costs in order to "Bring Gobi Home."

He hopes that Gobi will be able to join him in Scotland by Christmas time.
posted by slmorri (57 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
More here
posted by slmorri at 8:57 AM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe the real prize was the friend he made along the way.
posted by odinsdream at 8:57 AM on August 5, 2016 [55 favorites]


Maybe the real race was the one he ran in his heart.
posted by signal at 8:58 AM on August 5, 2016 [37 favorites]


A British man set out to run a grueling seven-day, 250-kilometer marathon across the Tian Shan mountain range in northwestern China...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.

Sounds like it was Gobi the dog who sacrificed her race time to be with this man she found straggling on the way.
posted by chavenet at 9:00 AM on August 5, 2016 [86 favorites]


We don't deserve dogs.
posted by Fizz at 9:11 AM on August 5, 2016 [48 favorites]


Reads teaser headline, brain says "is it a dog? Is it a dog?!?"

Clicks link, "yaaaaay it's a dog!"
posted by zippy at 9:11 AM on August 5, 2016 [21 favorites]


So cute!

Dogs make living on planet Earth so worth it.
posted by Neekee at 9:15 AM on August 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


If I was running a grueling race and some dog was larking alongside me with no difficulty at all I wouldn't become friends with that dog. I would hate that dog just like I hate 20 year olds.
posted by srboisvert at 9:34 AM on August 5, 2016 [32 favorites]


We don't deserve dogs.

They didn't do anything to deserve a lot of us, either, but I love it when they find good homes. :)
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:34 AM on August 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Maybe the real desert was his soul, which is now thoroughly irrigated with puppy kisses saliva.
posted by Kabanos at 9:48 AM on August 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


I would hate that dog just like I hate 20 year olds.

Leonardo, the runner, probably felt the same way for the first few miles but I'm sure his opinion changed the first time he navigated over something that the dog couldn't and looked at him with that wide-eyed puppy face that say, "Oh wonderful human, could you please fix it? I need help."

Yours would too.

I'm just impressed he was able to keep running after his heart melted.
posted by VTX at 9:54 AM on August 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


He thought the dog was lost, but maybe he was the one who needed to be found.
posted by drlith at 9:57 AM on August 5, 2016 [21 favorites]


human: wow, what a great pup! man's best friend!
dog: …
dog nose: snacks. snacks in those pockets.
posted by zippy at 10:01 AM on August 5, 2016 [19 favorites]


SHE GOT HER OWN MEDAL
posted by poffin boffin at 10:06 AM on August 5, 2016 [44 favorites]


This reminds me of that story from earlier in the year about the Alabama hound dog who accidentally ran a half marathon: "She's actually really lazy".
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:14 AM on August 5, 2016 [23 favorites]


That's leg 3 of the "4 Deserts Race" (Atacama, Sahara, Gobi, Antarctica) and the people who complete it are insane.

The dog though? The dog is cool. Good on him for providing a home for the pup! Sounds like she bonded with the right runner.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:14 AM on August 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


She'd actually been with us the day before running through one of the largest sand dunes in China, so she was well-versed in running with all the competitors there, but on day two she decided to stick with me

Aw, I love this. Being picked by a dog is so special.
posted by DingoMutt at 10:35 AM on August 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


Maybe the real prize doesn't always go to the winner.
posted by Cosine at 10:46 AM on August 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


Well, this thread enabled my discovery of Fenton, which made my entire day.

Good, puppy.
posted by blurker at 10:47 AM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, her medal is the best part.

I've been trying to figure out what mix of breeds she is--she doesn't look much at all like any of the breeds I associate with that area. It's like the entire process of domestication (encounter, notice foods available, sneak in for warmth, bond) took place over one race.
posted by praemunire at 10:48 AM on August 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


guys please post more "maybe the REAL x is y"

I am dying here
posted by radicalawyer at 10:51 AM on August 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


Maybe the real marathon is life itself.

Maybe the real finishing line is happiness.
posted by Segundus at 10:56 AM on August 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


i was expecting to see a lanky houndy sort of pupper like the various indigenous mediterranean podencos but instead she seems like mostly a typical indian yellow pariah dog mixed with some kind of sprightly terrier, maybe? idk she is perfect and i love her and her lil tufted earsies
posted by poffin boffin at 10:57 AM on August 5, 2016 [22 favorites]


Maybe the real reason I signed up for Metafilter last year was because somehow I knew I'd eventually see this post and it would all be worth it.
posted by teponaztli at 11:03 AM on August 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


i love her stupid little face and her tiny stupid little legs and i want to mush her and squeeze her

but she could most definitely outrun me :(
posted by burgerrr at 11:06 AM on August 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I love these dogs who are all YAY RUNNING I'LL DO IT

I read this story this morning and yelled YOUAREADOG at my phone at this dog.
posted by zutalors! at 11:07 AM on August 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


Fantastic story, but that dog is in for one Hell of a surprise when it lands in Scotland!
posted by quarsan at 11:09 AM on August 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


Maybe he really didn't need to run non-stop, but to enjoy a little paws.
posted by Kabanos at 11:10 AM on August 5, 2016 [19 favorites]


"Perfect" is of course an entirely legitimate breed designation for such an awesome pupper. I long to smoosh her odd little face.
posted by praemunire at 11:18 AM on August 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


I would adopt that dog in 4 seconds, JUST LOOK AT IT.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 11:20 AM on August 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Maybe this is just the thing to make Metafilter "purrrrfect"!
posted by Cosine at 11:23 AM on August 5, 2016


"When you saw only one set of footprints in the sand,
It was then that I SMOOSHIED YOUR CUTE SNOUT INTO MY FACE. YES I DID!"
posted by Kabanos at 11:33 AM on August 5, 2016 [28 favorites]


Fenton chased those deer all the way to China
posted by zippy at 1:02 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


... and then found a hooman to pay for his return airfare to the UK
posted by zippy at 1:05 PM on August 5, 2016


POST-BREXIT UK EMBRACES CHINA
posted by Kabanos at 1:18 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


WOOOOJIEEE BOOOJIIEEEE!!!!
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 1:20 PM on August 5, 2016


Aaaah! The Feels!

.. off to smoosh my 60 lb boo.
posted by annsunny at 1:27 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would adopt that dog in 4 seconds, JUST LOOK AT IT.

I have looked about 100 times, but I will grudgingly follow your order and look again.
posted by zutalors! at 1:42 PM on August 5, 2016 [15 favorites]


From the "more here" link:

"It was then that I realised this was something else other than a little dog following me."

Somewhere, on discovering one of the race legs is in the Antarctic, John Carpenter starts typing.
posted by zippy at 1:48 PM on August 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


"She'd sit there and wait for me [at the finish line] so I could see her as a I was running in. It was amazing to see her stand up and start running towards me," Mr Leonard said.

"It was then that I realised this was something else other than a little dog following me."


Nope, that's just how dogs are man, all of 'em.

Sometimes these kinds of stories make me feel the tremendous weight of having a dog. If I'm lucky, my dog will be with me for 15 years. Since I was solidly an adult when I first got her, I won't really change much during her lifetime. Furthermore, I can do things like open doors and control a car. How impressive must it be to a dog that I can summon food to my door? She always has to chase it down while it's running away. I'm way stronger than her and can pick her up pretty easily even though she's 80 Lbs. I'm so much smarter than her that I can think in ways that she simply isn't capable. I'm sure that most of the things I do seem totally weird to my dog. Abstract thinking is just not something dogs can do very well so my intelligence must seem beyond her understanding and yet she is utterly loyal and devoted to me.

I am my dog's god and our relationship defines her religion. That is some seriously heavy shit. I can be a caring and loving god or an angry and vengeful one.

Then she comes and lays her head on my elbow, I give her some scratches and that stuff suddenly seems a lot lighter.

Though despite the fact that I feed her, groom her, play with her, pet her, scratch her in her favorite places more, walk her, and give her more treats and attention, she "prays" a lot more fervently at the temple of Mrs. VTX, which I find endlessly amusing.
posted by VTX at 2:24 PM on August 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


That is one adorable, happy pup.
posted by darksong at 4:06 PM on August 5, 2016


Previously from 2014: Arthur, extreme sports dog.

(one year later)
posted by effbot at 5:09 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Man, that dog is going to get real expensive if every hypermarathon he enters requires him to quarantine the dog and wait for 28 days on both ends of the race just so they can run it together.... plus the dog's entrance fees...
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:10 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I dunno, for three years in Afgh I had a screensaver of the cutest little kitten imaginable with superimposed text

This cute kitten....


..... has RABIES!

and many stern admonishments about interacting with the local wildlife.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 5:21 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


This post made me unreasonably happy. As always, whether it's a sensible thought or not, I hope that everyone finds their Gobi or that your Gobi finds you.
posted by nfalkner at 5:47 PM on August 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


Maybe the real canine was in his gums, all along.
posted by benzenedream at 6:07 PM on August 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm dogless this week so I've clicked these links and read this thread like eight times.
posted by goofyfoot at 7:02 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe the real rabies was CUTENESS
posted by a strong female character at 7:08 PM on August 5, 2016 [14 favorites]


"The good lord in his infinate wisdom, gave us three things to make life bearable; hope, jokes, and dogs. But the greatest of these was dogs." - Robyn Davidson
posted by WalkerWestridge at 7:52 PM on August 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm so much smarter than her that I can think in ways that she simply isn't capable. I'm sure that most of the things I do seem totally weird to my dog. Abstract thinking is just not something dogs can do very well so my intelligence must seem beyond her understanding and yet she is utterly loyal and devoted to me.

Dogs (and a lot of other animals) have senses and abilities that we can't grasp, too. Their sense of smell alone is just crazy. We might as well be blind in comparison.

Reading about "scent walks" a while back gave me yet another appreciation for how dogs interact with the world -- letting the occasional walk be at their own smell pace instead of going as fast as possible. Slowing down. Watching their explorations and pondering what they're experiencing. Predicting what objects or areas up ahead will attract their attention. Maybe even crouching down and having a sniff yourself.

And funny enough, that just so happens to behave a lot like mindfulness. Good for both of us.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:00 PM on August 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


I've done that sort of accidentally before. She sniffs every surface that has been peed on by another dog (including herself), particular plants (to pee on), and sometimes what appears to be a random patch of grass will, in fact, be hiding a little pile of rabbit and/or squirrel poop.
posted by VTX at 5:59 AM on August 6, 2016


Aw, man, I think I got something in my eye.
Now it's in both eyes.
*sniff*
posted by Gadgetenvy at 10:58 AM on August 6, 2016


Is it squirrel poop, Gadgetenvy?
posted by ambrosen at 11:14 AM on August 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Sometimes if it's something especially smelly,like an orange peel, goose poop, or a dead fish that washed up on the beach, she'll rub her neck/face on it...so she can share what she found with the pack. While I understand that wild wolves enjoy this behavior, this particular pack does not (except for the orange peel, that was nice).
posted by VTX at 11:59 AM on August 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


my dog used to descend into absolute madness every time our farmer neighbor would fertilize his fields with a delightful slurry of horse and sheep dung, we had to keep this ridiculous pupper under constant guard lest he gallop wildly into the fields and writhe about ecstatically in the poops and then come barreling back into the house to then gyrate all over the furniture and anyone foolish enough to get in his filthy way

my precious infant child
posted by poffin boffin at 12:24 PM on August 6, 2016 [9 favorites]




dammit i just cant make the maths work for a 'footprints in the sand/that was when i carried you' joke
posted by quinndexter at 6:27 AM on August 8, 2016


« Older Food allergies: a risk poorly grasped in...   |   Then I got just two words for you, bub... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments