Meet Arthur: The Stray Dog Who Will Melt Your Heart
Exhausted and desperately hungry, a team of Swedish athletes sat down for a meal as they prepared to take on a 20-mile trek through the Ecuadorian rainforest as part of the Adventure Racing World Championship.
As they opened their food, one of the team members (Mikael Lindnord) noticed a stray dog staring at him out of the corner of his eye.
Feeling sorry for him, he fed the dog a meatball and thought nothing of it, but as the team stood up to continue their race the animal started to follow them – and he didn’t stop.
As the group of four navigated the final two stages of the 430-mile Adventure Racing World Championship, the dog befriended them and was eventually given the name Arthur.
Every grueling task the team faced, Arthur would do the same. He swam alongside them while they kayaked down rivers, dragged himself up hills during hikes and pulled through knee-deep mud during treks.
Even when the team tried to get rid of their new member out of concerns for his safety – he refused to leave.
This meant when he was tired they stopped for a break and when he got stuck in the mud they pulled him out.
Before one of the segments of the race – a 36 mile kayak around the coast – organisers warned the team that taking Arthur along posed a risk to his and their safety.
They tried to set off without him, but as they left he jumped into the water beside them and started desperately paddling. Mikael heartbroken by the sight of Arthur struggling in the water, picked him up, put him in the kayak and let him stay for the rest of the journey.
The gesture prompted a standing ovation and cheers from spectators watching from the banks.
After six days the team finished the race, and decided to take Arthur to the vet in South America to have him checked out.
During that time, Mikael made the decision to adopt Arthur and take him back to Sweden. He applied to the Swedish Board of Agriculture and was made to wait to see if his application was successful.
After a tense few days, the team got the news they were waiting for and arrived at the airport with Arthur and boarded the plane with him back home.
Mikael commented on Arthur: ‘I came to Ecuador to win the World Championship and instead I got a new friend.’
What a wonderful story of man and his best four-legged friend.