Crowdfunding is one of the marvels of our age, enabling inventors to discover a paying market for their ideas. But in the case of Gobi, a stray dog from China, a crowdfunding campaign has cemented the bonds of friendship and given her a new home.
It is a tale of marathon proportions.
Extreme marathon runner Dion Leonard took part in the 2016 Gobi March 4 Deserts race, an arduous 250km trek through the Black Gobi during a six-stage, seven-day self-sufficiency foot race.
It was while competing in gruelling conditions in the Tian Shan mountain range that Leonard began to notice a four-legged friend trot alongside him, often running ahead and waiting for him.
‘Gobi took a shine to me and over the week we developed an unbreakable bond as I shared my sleeping space, food/water and ultimately our companionship’
– DION LEONARD
Gobi and Leonard quickly became friends and the little stray became the unlikely star of the entire race.
That Gobi kept up and actually morally sustained Leonard shows extraordinary stamina for such a little dog.
A magical bond
“Everyone from the competitors, volunteers and race crew fell in love with this little dog that captured all our hearts,” Leonard said.
“Gobi took a shine to me and over the week we developed an unbreakable bond as I shared my sleeping space, food/water and ultimately our companionship.
“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 four and day five 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.”
Gobi is coming home
Leonard wanted to bring Gobi to his home in Edinburgh but learned that in order to do so he and Gobi would have to run the gauntlet of quarantine, veterinary bills and adoption procedures.
He estimated that it would cost more than €5,000 and take over four months and so he began a crowdfunding campaign on CrowdFunder. He even sold off his prized whiskey collection to make up the funds.
The campaign has been a total success and, at the time of writing, has been oversubscribed by 309pc to the tune of £15,450 (€18,217) with 44 days left to target.
And now it looks certain Gobi is coming home to Edinburgh with her friend Leonard.
We knew this would be a story that would put a wag in anybody’s tail. Stay tuned for pupdates.