Monday, May 28, 2012

That's quite a pooch!

I was amazed to read of the endurance and loyalty displayed by a dog in China . . . but I'm sure I wasn't nearly as amazed as those involved!  The Telegraph reports:

When a team of Chinese cyclists on a 1,000 mile-long expedition from Chengdu to Tibet threw a stray dog a bone, they may not have thought they would attract a companion who would run with them for the entire length of their journey.

The loyal stray, who has been named Xiao Sa, or Little Sa, followed the cyclists for 20 days, and has now become a sensation in China.

The group came across the dog five days after leaving Chengdu, in the mountains around Yajiang, a Tibetan area of Sichuan.

One of the cyclists, 22-year-old Xiao Yong, spotted the small white mongrel and threw her a chicken drumstick. To his surprise, Xiao Sa began to follow them.

Over the course of the journey, the dog climbed over 12 mountains that were higher than 13,000ft, and stuck with the group during heavy storms.

Indeed, as cyclist after cyclist dropped out of the expedition, exhausted by the steep mountains and the thin air of the Tibetan plateau, the dog kept him and his colleagues going, said Mr Xiao.

"There was one day when we climbed the 14,700ft-tall peak of Anijula mountain," he said.

"We did more than 40 miles uphill and at the end I had to get off and push my bike instead. But the dog ran ahead of me and stopped at a crossroads. She waited for a while, but got bored because I took so long, so ran back, put her paws on my calves, and started licking me.

"I could see she cared about me," he said.

He said the dog had enough energy to run with the cyclists for at least 30 miles to 40 miles each day, but that he would sometimes pick her up if she was tired and carry her along in a makeshift box on the back of his bicycle.

At night, she slept on the team's raincoats, but there were a couple of occasions when she cuddled up to Mr Xiao for warmth, he said. The team also decided to share their rations with the dog, feeding her custard tarts, boiled eggs and sausages.

. . .

Chinese internet users have nicknamed the dog Forrest Gump, in honour of her simple-minded stamina, and cheered to see photographs of the dog in front of Lhasa's Potala Palace.

There's more at the link.

I'm sorry, but that story just triggers my cute reflex.  Warm fuzzy happy stuff indeed!



Suz said...

Run Forrest! Run!

Ya just know - some dogs are determined to win...

Sevesteen said...

Not quite as extreme, but many years ago the local bicycling club had a 12 hour road race. One year a farm dog joined for the final 30 or so miles at around 20mph. The dog's owner said "That's the first time I've seen him act tired".

Sport Pilot said...

I just hope the poor pup doesn't end up as the main course at a roadside dinner...:-(