Monday, June 19, 2017

GOBI AND COCKLES


Don't know about you but today's headlines have put a chill in the cockles of my heart. The division, the anger, the meanness and the violence had really turned down my internal thermostat. Then I found something that warmed those cockles right up once more.

It was a heartwarming news story about an ultramarathoner who had his own cockles warmed and life changed.

An ultramarathoner is one who often runs roughly 150 miles in back to back stages through some of the roughest terrain in the world. Kind of makes regular marathons look tame. Not only the distance is daunting but the temperatures can be wet and cold or scalding hot along with challenging terrain. It takes a special breed to do this.  Dion Leonard was such a man.

Dion ran not just to finish and say he did it, he ran to win. This was serious business for him.  He was married to a long distance runner also who not only understood but she had turned him on to the sport.

In 2016 he signed up to run the 7 day Gobi Desert race in China. On the second day of the race, a very small stray dog ignored all the other runners and  attached her self to Dion.  He did nothing to encourage her for while he loved dogs, this little creature was filthy and stinky. He wouldn't even touch her for fear she carried disease. Ignored, she still ran doggedly at his heals that day.

Coming down from the hills towards the desert floor, he had to cross a shallow river. Not hesitating he plunged in only to hear plaintiff screaming from the little dog who was afraid to try the crossing but desperate not to be left behind. Against his better judgment, he went back and carried her across. The bond was formed.

That little dog ran 77 of the 150 miles with him and was only put in a car during the last stages due to the 125 degree heat. Also since Dion ran fast and finished second overall, she really had to scoot on her stubby little legs covering those 77 miles.



Why did she pick him and why such total devotion and loyalty?  Dion wrote a book about the experience, "Finding Gobi" , that I just finished and actually paid full price for. Usually I prefer free books and three bucks is usually my top dollar limit but I sprung for the $9.99 Kindle price without hesitation. I needed to know more.

Dion knew he had to take Gobi home with him to Scotland but the process was brutal. The red tape from both countries, a language barrier and then the devastating loss of Gobi when she disappeared from the couple watching her while he was making arrangements. Her being lost in a Chinese city of 3.5 million made it all seem impossible. However, I promised you warm cockles so there was a happy ending.

Dion's life has been greatly affected by this little dog. He carried a lot of the hurt and distrust from his early years.  Gobi and the many people she inspired softened or removed that distrust.

Gobi's tale introduced him to some amazingly kind and caring people who eagerly jumped in to help a total stranger and his small dog financially, emotionally and physically. Reading that was just what these ole cockles needed in our tense world.

The sweet article about Gobi  you can find at this site along with some adorable pictures.

Hope this story lights a warm glow in your cockles.


The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude. --Robert Brault

46 comments :

  1. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it. I'm still amazed such a small dog could run so far. And it is curious why she attached to him out of all the runners. Glad he gave her a forever home.

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    Replies
    1. Jean,
      He said the Chinese believe he and Gobi had a past life relationship. Who knows?

      Delete
  2. I cried reading your summary. Can you imagine what I would be like reading the book? Thanks for the review.

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    Replies
    1. Annie,
      Hope they were happy tears. That is what I felt.

      Delete
  3. The world needs more warmed cockles!

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    Replies
    1. Olga,
      Yes, these are sad, cold times. Warming is welcome.

      Delete
  4. I love warm cockles. Cold cockles.....not good.

    What a precious story. There's nothing like a good dog
    story to make me turn to Lily and tell her what a good
    and lucky dog she is.
    Sounds like a great book . Thanks for the tip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Belva,
      I know, stories like these make me look at my dog with new eyes. They give us so much.

      Delete
  5. You write so beautifully about this. I need to get me that book. Thanks. And I may even opt for a small mutt from rescue as I sense we could use a new loveable soul to cheer us up and keep us moving. Our cat is sweet but not affectionate in any way. I think being a rescue cat she prefers her space her way.

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    Replies
    1. Heidrun,
      Oh I hope you do adopt a dog. Nothing will love nor give you more with no stings.I think Buddy would like that too.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for starting my week with a warm glow.

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    Replies
    1. Stephen,
      I needed it and was delighted to pass it on.

      Delete
  7. I needed this story, Patti. Thank you for warming my cockles.

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    Replies
    1. robin,
      I know, with all that is ugly today, it is nice to see a bit of brightness.

      Delete
  8. Oh. I love this story. I miss having a dog. After our last dog died, I knew that we could no longer have a dog, for a variety of reasons. My hubby and I still get to enjoy the friendly lab next door. Loyal, loving companions. If only humans were this esteemed :-)

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    Replies
    1. Carole,
      Sometimes a neighbor's dog is just the thing. You get to enjoy all the love with little of the worry. Spoil that Lab.

      Delete
  9. I heard a little bit about this and would like to know more. Thank you so much for the link sweet Patti. This story has warmed my heart. Hugs

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    Replies
    1. Maggie,
      I'm so glad. I knew this one would get to you.

      Delete
  10. Awesome story... Amazing how dogs (who love unconditionally) can change one's life... In these days of so much hatred between humans, what better way to find happiness can one have than to have a doggie or kitty in their lives...... Pets don't hate others; pets don't hurt or kill others; Pets don't try to change others; Pets don't say ugly things about others; etc. etc. etc.....

    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Betsy,
      You are so right. Oh if we were all more like dogs and just lived and loved.

      Delete
  11. Very touching story Patti, the love and loyalty of a dog is unconditional, and that's what he had here.

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    1. Jimmy,
      I think also that she chose him over so many made it all the sweeter.

      Delete
  12. Thank you for this heart-warming story. Does indeed warm the cockles.

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    Replies
    1. Carolyn,
      Sadly, most of our cockles can stand a bit of a warm up these days.

      Delete
  13. I remember hearing about that guy and the dog who adopted him. I think I'll have to spring for the ten bucks, too. Thanks, Patti. You have turned me on to some really good books so far. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Djan,
      Hope you like it. Besides the sweet story, I learned some interesting and heartwarming facts about the Chinese people also that you probably saw first hand.

      Delete
  14. What an incredible story of perseverance and tenacity. It brought tears to my eyes. I'll definitely look for this book.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Eileen

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    Replies
    1. Eileen,
      Think you will fall for this little dog like I did. She is adorable and the story rewarding.

      Delete
  15. What a great story, and so much better that it is true! Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Linda R,
      I think if it weren't true it would be hard to believe.

      Delete
  16. Dear Patti, thank you for sharing this inspiring and poignant story. I so look forward to the children's book and the movie that was mentioned in the link you sent us to.

    I'm going to buy the book also. The stories of animal companionship and also of a past life that Dion and Gobi might have spent together is amazing and intriguing. Peace.

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    Replies
    1. Dee,
      The children's book should be fun for it is written from Gobi's point of view. Dion said the little dog was obsessed with him over all others. Maybe there was a past connection.

      Delete
  17. Intriguing story in many ways. Dogs, especially, make unique people connections, I think.

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    Replies
    1. joared,
      If only we humans were so open and uncomplicated in our feelings.

      Delete
  18. What a beautiful story! If only humans were as loving as our pets. It's also amazing that those little legs could cover that many miles in keeping up with Dion! Loved this, Patti. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Cheryl,
      I too was amazed that the little dog could keep up under grueling conditions. Hey, I get tired driving 77 miles.

      Delete
  19. I just read a page or two & ordered it. Thanks for the heads up!!

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    1. Fran,
      Think you will enjoy it. Besides the sweet story, I learned about that very difficult sport but also a lot about China I did not know.

      Delete
  20. Oh my! This really sounds like such a heartwarming story. There's so much negative these days that this warms your heart.

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  21. Heartwarming indeed. I needed that...:)

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  22. Sounds wonderful. Can't wait to read.

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    1. Barbara,
      I really think you will like it. Enjoy.

      Delete
  23. That Chinese belief of Gobi and the past life could be true.
    77 miles is not a joke.

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    Replies
    1. Haddock,
      I tend to agree. It would explain a lot. And yes, 77 miles is amazing. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      Delete