Stray Dog's Incredible Journey with Chinese Cyclists
In May of this year cyclists in China went on a daunting trip of more than 1100 miles (1700km) through the mountainous Tibetan Plateau from China's Sichuan Province to Lhasa, Tibet. Few racers can complete this overwhelming cycling challenge, but this year, one did it without a bike... or even shoes. What took place is a tribute to the love and loyalty of dogs around the world.
This love story all started when 22-year-old Zhang Heng made a pit stop with his cycling group at the start of the trek from China to Tibet. He had no idea what the consequences of a simple action of sharing would be. He saw a small stray dog lying in the street, exhausted and hungry. Zhang Heng felt compassion for her and tossed her a piece of his food. After this simple act, the little dog then joined the bikers for three days before they decided to make her an official part of the team. At first they thought she was just following them for the food, but as cyclist Xiao Yong, remarked," I can now see a bond between us from the way she looks at me. I think we have definitely moved beyond food."
She ran with the cyclists, sometimes taking the lead as they trudged up and down a grand total of 10 mountains, each mountain higher than the next for 24 days. The cyclists rode 30 to 40 miles a day, up and down mountains as high as 14,700 feet, and sometimes through heavy storms. The little dog, now known as Xiao Sa, kept up, and sometimes even led. She once ran 37 miles in one day, going uphill. The cyclists were all very impressed by Xiao Sa's persistence and she inspired them all the way to their destination. Sometimes she would even run back down the road to round up the stragglers. Some of Xiao Sa's followers in China began calling her 'Forrest Gump'.
Of course, sometimes she also got a ride in a makeshift box on the back of Zhang Heng's bike at certain times like when the group was about to cruise down a steep hill, much faster than a dog could run, or if she was exhausted. Once they were chased by a pack of big dogs, so Xiao Sa rode safely in her little box on the bike until they got away from the dogs.
Now that their trip to Tibet is over, their journey together is only just beginning. Zhang Heng has decided to adopt her and give her a permanent home. He has also taken her to a vet where she was declared healthy and about 2 years old. Xiao Sa has also become a celebrity in China, dubbed, "The dog with determination," as Chinese bloggers have described her. She now has more than 82,000 followers on Weibo, China's version of Twitter. But little Xiao Sa doesn't know about that or would care if she did. All she cares about is that she now has a home and someone to love which she well deserves. She is an amazing little dog with a huge heart and a great spirit.
VIDEO Stray dog runs to Tibet with Chinese cyclists