A stray dog in China latched on to a group of cyclists last month and kept pace with them for more than 1,100 miles in the country’s Tibetan Plateau.
The fluffy white mutt followed the bikers for 24 days from China’s Sichuan Province to Lhasa, ending her journey on May 24. The homeless pup’s trek began when 22-year-old cyclist Xiao Yong tossed the dog a chicken leg and the pup decided to stick around for the trip.
“We were shocked by her perseverance,” Xia Yong told China Central TV. “She followed us [from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province] to Litang [a town in Sichuan Province]. We then decided to make a cage for her when we had a steep road going downhill.”
The cyclists nicknamed the dog “Xiao Sa,” combining “xiao,” which means “little,” with the end of Lhasa, Tibet’s capital and the bikers’ final destination.
The stray ran along the cyclists over 12 mountains — some with elevations as high as 13,000 feet — and logged many miles a day on her short puppy legs.
“She once ran 37 miles in one day, going uphill. We were very impressed by Xiao Sa’s persistence, that inspired us all the way till our destination,” said Xiao Yong. “I’ll take Xiao Sa back home. I think she’s taking me as her owner now.”
Lu Bo, another cyclist, said Xiao Sa was a motivation to the team. The dog “made us so happy. Once a few of our team members lagged behind, she ran from hill top to the bottom, to bring these guys to the rest of the team. She injected power into us,” said Lu.
Xiao Sa is now taking a well-deserved rest with her new owner, Xiao Yong, and she even has her own account on Weibo, China’s micro-blogging service, which is similar to Twitter.
Check out some video footage of Xiao Sa's journey below.