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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!"

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.