Earlier this month, we introduced you to Gobi - the adorable dog who ran 78 miles of a grueling race with her buddy Dion Leonard. Leonard fell in love with his stalwart companion and raised over $21,000 USD in a Crowdfunder campaign to bring Gobi back to Edinburgh, Scotland with him.
Just before she was due to travel to fly to Beijing for quarantine, she ran out of a door and into the street. A distraught Leonard flew back to China to launch a search and rescue campaign for his little dog.
He started a second Crowdfunder campaign, raising over $12, 000 USD for the search. Once in China, he handed out posters, called for action on social media and with local news. Hoping, desperately, that he would find his little buddy.
In front of camera today. Urumqi news crew interview & following search doco. Lots media interest across city 👍👏 pic.twitter.com/0SusTQCOHh— Dion Leonard (@bringgobihome) August 23, 2016
Leonard searched high and low for little Gobi. For her fans and for all of the people that supported him, Leonard posted optimistically about her return. But, in his heart, he feared that they may never find her.
The town of Urumqi has a population of about 3 million people and that doesn't include the surrounding countryside. It is easy for a little dog to disappear.
"I needed to come and do it, just to be sure in my own mind I had done it," he told BBC Radio Five Live. "But realistically, I was dreading having to go back home next week without her."
But, then on August 24, he found her. A local man spotted Gobi in a park as he and his son were walking their own dog. He recognized her from a picture and brought her home.
At first, Leonard was skeptical, there had been so many dead ends, but when he walked into the room, she ran towards him with all the excitement and joy a little pup could muster. Leonard sat down on the ground and they snuggled, finally reunited.
We bloody well found her!!! pic.twitter.com/tIw5fEIDIg— Dion Leonard (@bringgobihome) August 24, 2016
Leonard's not taking any chances, after their reunion, they walk together with a leash. Gobi has completed 120 days of quarantine, and Leonard still hopes to have her home by Christmas. He thanked everyone who helped him to find her - thank goodness he found her!
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