This adorable stray dog found a new home after following a runner into a race.

You never know where you'll find your next best friend. For 41-year-old Dion Leonard, it was on a hot, desolate desert in China.

The Australian ultramarathon runner was in the Gobi desert on June 18, 2016, when he noticed the cute little stray dog he had seen at camp the night before.

He says the pooch seemed to like the bright yellow color of his shoes and kept up with him on the run.


Image by 4Deserts.com/Omni Cai, used with permission.

"I thought to myself, 'This little dog isn’t going to last very long at my side' as we raced off," Dion tells Upworthy. "But she ended up running the whole day."

By the end of the second day of the Gobi March , the pair had run 23 miles together.

The seven-day, 155-mile race was difficult; the heat was unforgiving, with temperatures reaching 125 degrees. But Dion and Gobi finished it together ... well, almost.

Gobi kept up with Dion for 78 miles — half of the race, through the hot desert sand and rough mountainous terrain — though he carried her across rivers when they came to them.

"When she came into camp, she followed me straight into my tent, laid down next to me, and that was that – a bond had been developed," Dion says.

The small dog wasn't allowed to run in two of the six stages of the race (because of the extreme heat), but she did run toward the finish line alongside Dion, who finished second in the race.

Image by 4Deserts.com/Omni Cai, used with permission.

With the race behind him and a trip back to his home in Scotland ahead of him, Dion knew he couldn't leave Gobi behind. He decided to adopt the little dog.

A Crowdfunder campaign was launched to help cover Gobi's travel expenses. And just 24 hours later, the $10,000 goal was met. The campaign actually raised just over $12,000, with the extra money being donated to local animal charities.

The process to get Gobi home will take about four months, including her being quarantined before she is approved for entry into the U.K. to her first fur-ever home.

Gobi will be going from a hot, lonely desert in China to a nice, loving home with a family in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Image by 4Deserts.com/Omni Cai, used with permission.

The powerful connection between Dion and Gobi proves there's no rhyme or reason when it comes to forming unbreakable bonds — even with dogs.

When you feel it, you just know it. Dion felt it, and he went to great lengths to make sure Gobi never spent another day alone in this world.

"I didn’t [adopt her]. Gobi seemed to adopt me!"

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

Keep Reading Show less
True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

A teacher's message has gone viral after he let his student sleep in class — for the kindest reason.

Teachers spend time preparing lesson plans and trying to engage students in learning. The least a kid can do is stay awake in class, right?

But high school English teacher Monte Syrie sees things differently. In a Twitter thread, he explained why he didn't take it personally when his student Meg fell asleep — and why he didn't wake her up.

Keep Reading Show less
via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

Keep Reading Show less