A small stray dog has become a sensation all across China after joining up with a cycling team and running with them for more than 1,000 miles.
It began when 22-year-old cyclist Xiao Yong saw the little white mutt and threw her a chicken bone. (Note to readers: Don’t give dogs chicken bones; don’t given them any kind of cooked bones; and preferably just give them chewy toys rather than bones, period. Anyway, moving right along …)
The dog clearly took the hint (Cycling team = Food source) and when the team got back underway, she followed along.
For the next 20 days, she ran as the team biked, climbing over 12 mountains that were higher than 13,000 feet and staying with the group during heavy storms.
Xiao Yong write:
“There was one day when we climbed the 14,700ft-tall peak of Anijula mountain. 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 says that the dog could run at least 30 miles a day, but that he made a box so that when she got tired, he could pick her up and carry her on the back of his bicycle.
At night, she slept on the team’s rain jackets, but on cold nights she would snuggle up with Xiao Yon. And at meal times, the team shared their food with her.
In Lhasa, at the end of the expedition, Xiao Yong took her to the vet, who gave her a full workup and pronounced her free of altitude sickness. Xiao Yong then formally adopted her, named her Xiao Sa (Little Sa) and flew back home to Chengdu with her.
They are now living happily ever after.
Here’s more of the story from China Daily, and here’s a video from ABC’s Nightline: