One of the best stories on the web these days is about Arthur the Dog. Don’t tune out just yet. This story about an unlikely encounter and a change in priorities.
Mikael Lindnord was captaining a team from Sweden in 2014 in the Adventure Racing World Championship in Ecuador. He and his team were on a mission to win the World Championship and take the crown of the best team. The whole team thought they had a legitimate shot at this title.
They start off on the race but on Day 4, as they are transitioning from biking to trekking, this street dog that had been abandoned, possibly beaten, sick, and hungry stumbled upon Lindnord and his team. Lindnord, without thinking twice about it, shared some of his meatballs that he had for food on the competition with the dog. He then finished his business and went about the race.
As the team continued the race, they realized they weren’t alone. The dog had followed them, as any dog would if you give them food. The dog rested when the team rested and continued on when they did. The dog felt he was part of the team. For whatever reason Lindnord decided to name the dog Arthur as he followed the team for days on end.
Arthur followed the team on a 40m jungle hike where they encountered knee-deep mud. There were times that the team had to pull him out of the mud so he could keep up with them. There were also times that Arthur needed food so they would open up their food and feed and him. He was part of their team. Arthur would stand guard whenever another member of the team needed medical attention throughout the race. He was loyal to no end. It seems as Arthur felt a sense of gratitude for them saving his life that he would never be able to fully pay back.
There came a point in the race where the team was to kayak up an Ecuadorian river. As they prepared to bring Arthur with them, a race official standing by said they could not take him along. They begrudgingly loaded the kayaks and started on their journey saying a tearful goodbye to Arthur. Moments later they heard a splash and saw Arthur trying to swim, hurt and freezing, along beside them. The team reached out and pulled him into the kayak with them. Admittedly, it was hard for the team. Arthur would get in and out of the kayak, and at times was freezing so he would wear a teammates jacket. On day six they would cross the finish line with Arthur next to them. Arthur was seen by a vet after the race’s end, and later released to his new Swedish home.
This is a heartwarming story of a man and his best friend and teammate. There is something to be said about the unbreakable bond between an owner and his dog. This is a story that even a not-dog person can get behind. We all can learn a lot from this story and the ability of Lindnord to put aside his agenda and change his priorities for the betterment of lives around him.
Featured image via screenshot from YouTube video