Stray Dog Finishes Race Many Cyclists Don’t
A stray dog fed by a biker has won thousands of fans after following the man who fed him on a punishing 24 day, 1700 kilometer cross-country bicyclists’ journey.
Cyclist Zhang Heng, 22, was competing in a grueling, multi-day mountain bike race when he came upon a small, sad stray dog in Sichuan province on May 4th. Feeling terrible for the small hungry animal, he offered the only thing he had to give it: a chicken drumstick.
That simple act of kindness, offered without expectation, had a huge effect on the dog. From that second, it would not let Zhang Heng out of his sight. When the race resumed, the determined little canine joined the cyclists and ran beside them.
“She was lying tired on the street,” Heng told reporters. “So we fed her, and then she followed our team.”
Not only did the dog join the cyclists after that – she ran the remainder of the race, keeping pace with them for 24 days over 1200 miles, following them to the finish line in Tibet.
“At first we didn’t consider keeping it and thought she just wanted to follow us for a while. But it showed a very strong willpower and followed us all the way here,” said cyclist Xiao Yong.
Named ‘Xiao Sa’, the dog scaled over 10 mountains during the race without falling behind. Xiao Yong said there were about 300 cyclists in the race, but many of them burned out before the final stage and hopped buses to the finish line. Xiao Sa, on the other hand, sprinted to the end with no signs of letting up. She crossed the finish line with three other cyclists to deafening applause from her throngs of admirers.
Moved by her loyalty, Zhang Heng said he would take Xiao Sa back to his hometown and adopt her. After 24 days spent pursuing the man who had touched her so deeply, the once unwanted dog won him over.
“I would like to take the dog home and take care of her,” he said. ” She has been a stray on the road for a long time. She needs a home.”