This story is something more than just a tale of adoption! It’s about a dog who wanted a home so desperately that he walked for more than 6 thousand miles, overcoming jungles, rocks, and rivers.
Arthur was a stray dog from Ecuador. When scavenging around in 2014, he stumbled upon the Team Peak Performance, from Sweden, who participated in the Adventure Racing World Championships.
Extreme racing is one of the most challenging sports, and it features trekking, climbing, hiking, and kayaking through the most dangerous and challeging conditions for a human to endure.
Team Peak Performance was on day 4 of the championship when they stopped for a snack. Just at the moment, a homeless dog arrived.
The team captain, Michael Lindnord, felt sorry for the hungry animal, which looked neglected and injured, and gave him a meatball. But when the team set off to continue their race, the dog came with them. He followed the athletes everywhere.
The dog tagged along with the team all the way. He never left their sight and overcame all the geographic and climate challenges. “To be honest, I can't understand how he survived all this”, Lindnord told ESPN.
After a day, they were all exhausted by the grueling track, including the dog. But the team members felt a strong connection to their unexpected companion and even gave him a name, Arthur.
Whether it was a knee-deep mud trek, inhospitable terrain of the jungles or steep slopes, Arthur did not leave the team. When they were about to kayak through the dangerous Cojimies River, Lindnord had to leave the pup at the river bank.
However, just in a few moments, he heard the splash – Arthur jumped into the water and started swimming next to the kayak, hating the idea of being abandoned.
One of the team members, Staffan Björklund, recalls:
It was so clear, he was a part of us. … There was something bigger in taking care of this dog than winning.
He accomplished the whole extreme racing program, and Michael knew he could not leave him now after all they had been through together. They built something stronger than just a bond between a man and his pet!
Despite the juridical difficulties of transporting the animal to Sweden, the approval was received, and the athlete came back home to Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, with a new friend.
Now, in the opposite side of the world, Arthur could finally feel loved and cherished.
The race was over, but their amazing friendship was just starting!