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News Information Detail

Stray dog adopted by the extreme sports team he followed through Ecuadorian jungle


This is the moment an explorer who adopted a stray dog that befriended him during a race through the Ecuadorian jungle introduced his young daughter to the loyal animal who has captured the imagination of the world.

Mikael Lindnor was leading his four-strong team of long-distance trekkers through the final two stages of the 430-mile Adventure Racing World Championship when they noticed a tired-looking hound skulking around them.

Feeling sorry for the mournful stray, Mikael gave him a meatball in an act of kindness that would create an unbreakable bond between the two for the rest of the gruelling race.

From that moment on, the dog refused to leave Mikael's side, swimming alongside the team while they kayaked down rivers, dragging himself up hills and pulling through knee-deep mud.

They were so impressed with his loyalty and stamina that they named him Arthur and made him an honorary member of their Peak Performance Adventure Racing team. By the end, Mikael and Arthur were best of friends and Mikael decided to adopt the dog and take him home.

When they finally completed the race after six days trekking through the jungle together, Mikael and his team decided to take Arthur to a vet while still in South America to have him checked out.

During that time Mikael thought to himself that after their experience, they could not leave Arthur, so he decided to adopt him and take him back to Sweden. He applied to the Jordbruksverket (the Swedish Board of Agriculture) and was made to wait to see if his application was successful.

After a tense few days, the team arrived at the airport with Arthur and boarded the plane with him back home.

However, because of the lengthy quarantine rules in Europe, Arthur must now wait in an animal isolation centre while vets ensure he is carrying no diseases.

Not only will Arthur have plenty of outdoor space in which to gambol, but he will also have access to a dog dentist, Mikael said. He added that his young daughter Philippa can't wait to welcome him to his new home.

'She was just saying “doggy, doggy, doggy” and seemed very interested,' Mikael added. 'I think she was a bit afraid to pat him, but that will work out nicely when he comes to our house. He is a sweet dog.'

Mikael today told how he had no idea quite how sick Arthur was when they first met.

'I thought he was hungry and gave him a meatball. Then I thought no more of it. He added: 'At one stage we had to take a break and the dog was totally wrecked. We opened two cans of food and let him eat, because he could find no food at all in the jungle.'

Before one of the segments of the race - a 36 mile kayak around the coast - organizers warned the team that taking Arthur along posed a risk to his and their safety.

They tried to set off without him, but as they left he jumped into the water beside them and started desperately paddling. Mikael, heartbroken by the site of Arthur struggling in the water, picked him up, put him in the kayak and let him stay for the rest of the journey.

The gesture prompted a standing ovation and cheers from spectators watching from the banks.

The ordeal to get him back to Sweden was documented on the team's Facebook page. In one post Mikael wrote: 'I almost cried in front of the computer, when receiving the decision from Jordbruksverket (Board of Agriculture) in Sweden!'

'The team is overwhelmed and happy knowing that Jordbruksverket has approved Mikaels application to bring Arthur to Sweden. A big important piece in the work to get Arhur on the plane, is done. So far so good. But, There are [sic] still one paper to go. The team are now working hard for the very last piece in this puzzel [sic].'

Mikael ended by saying: 'I came to Ecuador to win the World Championship. Instead, I got a new friend.'