Talk about a great consolation prize.
A group of adventure racers from Sweden was taking a break during a six-day race through Ecuador. One of the team members tossed a meatball to a stray dog before the group prepared for a 25-mile hike through a jungle.
The group didn’t realize it at first, but the dog was following them. The dog walked with them through deep patches of mud, although he was so fatigued at one point that the team stopped and fed him.
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Alas, the team reached a part of the race that required 36 miles of kayaking, and organizers said it was time to say good-bye to the animal.
“When we set off in the kayaks, he started swimming after us,” Team Peak Performance captain Mikael Lindnord told The Telegraph. “It was too heart-breaking and we felt we couldn’t leave him, so we picked him up.
“We could hear the people cheer on the shore as we set off.”
Lindord named the dog Arthur, and he was with the team until the end.
From Team Peak Performance’s Facebook page:
“And for you who might wonder… yes, Dog Arthur was with them all the way across the finish line. He took a few swims along the way on the paddling, but there was no doubt about him returning to the team. The story of the dog has become big in Equador – the race director told the team it was the ‘best story ever’ and a TV team was at the finish to meet the team with their new team mate. Now they have taken in to a hotel and yep… Arthur is with them!”
The team finished 12th, but they picked up a new member.
Lindnord adopted Arthur and was allowed to take him home to Sweden. Arthur had a sizable wound on his back that has been treated.
Arthur’s story has been such big news that Team Peak Performance has started the Arthur Foundation to help stray dogs around the world.
Here is a video of the adventure.
Thanks to the team for allowing us to use the photos.
To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter.com/pgrathoff