Dog lovers, I know what you’re thinking, so I’m going to assure you that little Gobi is still alive and well with his family in Scotland. Now that we’ve got that settled, let me just say this book gave me everything I needed out of a dog/running memoir and more! This is such an incredible journey that show us all that instalove is a true phenomenon among dogs…humans, eh the verdict’s still out.
The moment the homeless little desert dog laid eyes on HIS HUMAN, he just knew he found his soul mate, his destiny. I truly believe this because my CeeCeee was attached to my side the moment I scooped her up off the street. It’s like they can see far into the future and just know they are home. Out of all the super-human ultra runners camping out in the desert, Gobi only fixated one Dion, well technically he was more obsessed with the yellow gators wrapped around Dion’s shoes. Like a cat with a mouse, he chased after those gators for miles upon miles upon miles. Astonishingly, those tiny legs kept up the pace with a trained elite athlete as they traversed the scorching desert’s rugged peaks and valleys. Just incredible, I tell you! I do a bit of running (half marathons), but there’s no way I could even fathom a full marathon, let alone hundreds of miles in extreme temps. These two unlikely teammates were a powerful force!
At first, I couldn’t make up my mind about our narrator, Dion Leonard, especially when he was growing annoyed of Gobi diving after his feet. But when he found the little guy in distress at a water crossing, he sacrificed his time to run back over to scoop him up and stick by him to the finish line. From then on, Dion surrendered himself to the fact that the scruffy little bearded dog was all his. Also, from a human standpoint, Dion won over my heart when he stopped to rescue a fellow runner—also his biggest rival—who collapsed and nearly died of extreme dehydration. Pretty scary stuff, especially when he described the guy’s grayish pallor and black-tinted urine. Yeesh. Dion is, in my opinion, a good human, and I’m willing to bet Gobi sensed that the moment they crossed paths. Dogs have that way about them.
When the grueling multi-stage race came to an end, Dion’s biggest challenge had yet to begin. He had to find a way to transport the little guy all the way from a dog-unfriendly communist country to Scotland. Y’all! I know there’s a lot of red tape involved in moving a pet across a continent, but the struggles Dion faced were beyond comprehension! There’s months of quarantine at the kennel, airline protocol bullshit, and insurmountable fees upon fees upon fees. To make matters worse, while Dion was sorting his affairs in Scotland, the woman he entrusted to keep Gobi safe managed to lose him! I won’t say anything more on that matter, but I will say that I’m still highly suspicious of that nasty bit of business.
This truly is a fascinating book about the mutual unconditional love between a dog and its human. Together—and with the help from legions of crowd-funding donors and a team of local heroes—they made the impossible possible. Gobi is certainly a miraculous dog with such a big heart. I couldn’t even imagine the pain Dion endured when he learned his best friend was missing in probably the worst possible city for stray dogs. I can imagine the pain would be on par with what runners call “The Wall,” that point in race when you just can’t want to crawl into a hole and die. I’m just so glad he pushed through and reunited with his miraculous little dog.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child. I think it takes almost half a planet to rescue a dog.”- Dion Leonard
If you’re looking for a heart-warming dog book that doesn’t end in tragedy, you have arrived. I may have to pick up the children’s version of this book to read to CeeCee. Also it looks like Gobi’s kitty sibling has a book out as well—what an accomplished literary fur-family!