The Story of Arthur The Stray Will Just Melt Your Heart...
Swedish athletes Team Peak Performance sat down for a meal before a 20 mile trek in Ecuador when they came across stray dog Arthur, who was going to join their team - whether they liked it or not!
The team were in Ecuador as part of the Adventure Racing World Championship, which takes place in the Amazon Rainforest. They had just two stages of the trek left when Arthur bounded into their lives.
As the team tucked into their tinned food after a long day, member Mikael Lindnord noticed a stray dog staring at him (or more likely the food) - he felt sorry for the scrffy mutt, and so fed him a meatball. Lindnord assumed that the pooch would gobble up his offering and be on his way - but the adventurer couldn't have been more wrong!
When the team stood up to continue their race, Arthur decided he wanted in on the action too, and followed them persistantly. The team had tried several times to chase Arthur off, as they and organisers of the championship were cocerned for the dog's safety on the trek, but each time Arthur returned to the team determined to go with them.
Arthur took on every gruelling task the team faced as part of the Championship - he swam along kayaks, dragged himself up hills during hikes and trekked through knee-deep mud. He would also nap with the team and refused to leave their side - despite the best efforts of the team to shoo him away.
The team adapted their epic trek to accomodate their new canine companion. When Arthur was tired or got stuck in mud, they would take a break.
However, despite their best efforts to keep the pooch safe, Arthur had suffered some injuries by the time they finished the race six days later. They decided to take him to the vet in South America to get him checked out.
It was at that point that Lindord realised the scruffy pooch had stolen his heart, and that he simply couldn't leave his new best pal in South America when he returned to Sweden. He decided then and there to adopt Arthur and applied to the Swedish Board of Argriculture - who took a few days to get back to him.
After a tense couple of days the email came back - Lindord's application was successful. The team arrived at the airport with Arthur and took him back to Sweden with them!
Lindord joyfully reflected on the entire experience, saying: "I came to Ecuador to win the World Championship. Instead, I got a new friend."
*sniff* Is someone cutting onions in here?
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