This is Arthur and it’s fair to say he’s has become a bit of a celebrity since joining the adventure racing team from Örnsköldsvik in Sweden last year.
Sweden’s Peak Performance team was in Ecuador to compete in the Adventure Racing World Championship, in which athletes hike, kayak, and bike during a 430-mile (692km) endurance race through the Amazonian rain forest. It’s the kind of race where athletes try to keep moving day and night.
Just before starting one stage, the team’s Mikael Lindnord made friends with a dog, sharing a meatball with him. Lindnord thought that would be the end of it — but then the dog followed him, and essentially forced his way onto the team.
From the first meatball in the mountains, he followed the team all the way to the part of the competition where it was time to paddle. There Arthurs journey should have ended but Arthur didn’t want to leave the side of his new chums and jumped into the water and swam towards the team.
The organization gave the advice not to bring dog Arthur out on the last leg — a dog in the kayak didn’t seem like a great idea and the team was going to follow this advice. Mike, Simon, Staffan and Karen put their kayaks down in the water and set off, but Arthur refused to be left and started swimming.
I felt there was no other choice but to take Arthur with us. I remember how I heard the buzz from the beach and people started to cry. Even my eyes filled with tears.
A Different Path
There was one occasion where Mikael thought that Arthur had chosen a different path and that they would never be seen again. When the team paddled past a village Arthur jumped into the water and began swimming toward the village.
“Then I was sure I would never see him again. But then I saw him come trotting towards us. He jumped into the water and swam towards us again. So we lifted him up again. After the finish of the race, I felt that we could not leave him.
Back home after long wait
After some uncertainty, Lindnord managed to work out a way to bring his new best friend back to live with his family in Sweden: He and his teammates opened a Paypal account and mounted a Twitter campaign to raise money to bring Arthur home. They’ve also had him treated for a nasty wound to his back that he had suffered months before they met in him the rainforest.
Michael could leave him and applied for permission to take Arthur home to Sweden.
After four-months in quarantine, Arthur put down his paws in his new home in Örnsköldsvik and what better way to celebrate his home coming but meatballs! Here’s the pics of his arrival and early days in his new home:
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