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!"

More

A new Harriet Tubman statue sculpted by Emmy and Academy award-winner Wesley Wofford has been revealed, and its symbolism is moving to say the least.

Harriet Tubman was the best known "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses that helped thousands of enslaved black Americans make their way to freedom in the north in the early-to-mid 1800s. Tubman herself escaped slavery in 1849, then kept returning to the Underground Railroad, risking her life to help lead others to freedom. She worked as a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War, and after the war dedicated her life to helping formerly enslaved people try to escape poverty.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Kenneth Goldsmith / Twitter

The Hillary Clinton email scandal was a major right-wing talking point during the 2016 election that aimed to create an air of suspicion around the candidate.

The media played right into it turning Clinton — one of the most qualified candidates to ever run for the office — appear just as unworthy of the presidency as Trump, a vulgar, politically-inexperienced pathological liar.

The controversy surrounded Clinton's use of a private email account in which over 30,000 emails were sent during her time as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. An FBI interrogation found there were 110 confidential emails sent from her private account.

Clinton was never criminally charged, however FBI director James Comey said she was "extremely careless."

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens