This is the moment an adventurer introduced his little daughter to the devoted animal who has captivated the world’s interest after adopting a stray dog who joined him during a race through the Ecuadorian jungle.
Mikael Lindnor was leading his four-man long-distance trekking team through the last two stages of the 430-mile Adventure Racing World Championship when they observed a tired-looking dog skulking around them.
Mikael, feeling terrible for the bereaved stray, offered him a meatball, forming an enduring relationship between the two for the duration of the arduous race.
The dog refused to leave Mikael’s side from then on, swimming following the crew as they kayaked down rivers, dragging himself up hills and tugging through knee-deep muck.
They were so pleased with his dedication and endurance that they gave him the name Arthur and made him an honorary member of their Peak Performance Adventure Racing team. Mikael and Arthur were fast friends at the end, and Mikael decided to adopt the dog and bring him home.
Mikael and his crew decided to take Arthur to a vet while still in South America after they finished the race after six days of hiking through the jungle together.
During that time, Mikael realized that they couldn’t leave Arthur after their experience, so he chose to adopt him and bring him back to Sweden. He applied to the Jordbruksverket (the Swedish Board of Agriculture) and was told he would have to wait to see if he was successful.
After a few nervous days, the team met Arthur at the airport and boarded the jet back home.
However, according to Europe’s long quarantine restrictions, Arthur must now wait in an animal isolation center while doctors check he is disease-free.
Arthur will not only have lots of outside area to run about in, but he will also have access to a dog dentist, according to Mikael. Philippa, his little daughter, can’t wait to welcome him to his new home, he says.
‘She was just chanting “doggy, doggy, doggy,”‘ Mikael said. ‘I suppose she was hesitant to pat him, but that will be OK when he arrives to our house.’ He’s a lovely dog.’
Mikael informed me today that he had no clue Arthur was so unwell when they first met.
‘When we took him in, he was in pretty horrible state,’ he told MailOnline. ‘He had large, severe bleeding sores on his back, with parasites crawling around inside.’ The vet said Arthur probably got those wounds three to six months ago and has been carrying them ever since.
‘We kept those scars hidden for a while so nothing would jeopardize his prospects of going home with me.’ But things went swimmingly following his appointment to the vet in Quito. He was up and running in no time after the vet gave him medication and stitched all of his wounds together.’
‘Of course, having to say goodbye to Arthur at the airport makes me very sad,’ Mikael continued. ‘But when we agreed to bring him here, we understood these were the conditions.’ Jordbruksverket was extremely explicit about the restrictions, and I knew I couldn’t go around them.’
‘There is snow on the high tops of Ecuador, so I think he is very acclimated to that type of weather,’ Mikael said when asked how Arthur will cope with the colder climes of Sweden. When he is released from quarantine, he will dwell in our home. At home, he will enjoy a warm and friendly environment.’
Adventure Racing is a type of extreme sport that incorporates many days of continuous hiking, trekking, mountain biking, and paddling.
The world championships in Ecuador were contested in three distinct geographical areas: the Andes, the Pacific, and the Amazon jungle.
‘I had just opened a food bag when I spotted a scruffy forlorn dog in the corner of my eye,’ Mikael told Swedish news site Aftonbladet.
‘I assumed he was hungry and served him a meatball.’ Then I stopped thinking about it.
‘At one point, we had to take a break, and the dog was completely damaged,’ he continued. We opened two cans of food and fed him because he couldn’t locate any in the forest.’
Before one of the race’s phases, a 36-mile paddle along the coast, officials cautioned the crew that bringing Arthur along would jeopardize his and their safety.
They attempted to go without him, but as they were leaving, he leapt into the water beside them and began feverishly paddling. Mikael, moved by the sight of Arthur struggling in the water, pulled him up, placed him in the kayak, and allowed him to accompany them for the rest of the voyage.
The move drew a standing ovation and shouts from onlookers on the banks.
The team’s Facebook page recounted the process of getting him back to Sweden. Mikael noted in one post, “I almost sobbed in front of the computer while getting the judgment from Jordbruksverket (Sweden’s Board of Agriculture!”
‘The team is overjoyed and relieved that Jordbruksverket has granted Mikaels application to bring Arthur to Sweden.’ A significant portion of the effort to get Arhur aboard the plane has been completed. Thus far, so good. But there is still one paper to go. The team is now working hard to solve the final puzzle [sic].’
Mikael concluded, ‘I came to Ecuador to win the World Championship.’ Instead, I gained a new companion.’