What a pup!
When the Swedish Peak Performance team started the final leg of the Adventure Racing World Series, they had no idea that they would face a situation very unlikely in the tough world of adventure racing (which is basically the hardest thing any hooman can do. It’s like a triatholan but way longer and through insane terrains, like jungles and deserts and mountains).
Instead of finishing a team member down, they ended up adding one. And this one had four legs and a tail.
Yes, that’s right, the fifth unexpected Swedish Peak Performance team member is a pup. And it all happened because of a Swedish meatball (and yes, we do think this pup should now be the mascot for Ikea).
As team leader team captain Mikael Lindnord explained to a Swedish news source, “I saw a scruffy miserable dog in the corner of my eye. I thought he was hungry and gave him a meatball. Then I thought no more of it.”
However, to this stray Ecuadorian doge, it was a meatball of love. The pup followed the team as they trekked and kayaked through the wilds of Ecuador, braving knee-high mud, filth and rushing waters to stay with them. He stood by them when one of his hooman teammates needed medical assistance, and when he got stuck in the mud, they pulled him out.
Many times the team thought he would leave, but he always returned. He even dove into coastal waters and swam after them when they kayaked through the dead of night. The team couldn’t bear to let him swim in the cold, so they pulled him onto the kayak with them.
“When we set off in the kayaks, he started swimming after us,” Lindnord said. “It was too heartbreaking and we felt we couldn’t leave him, so we picked him up. We could hear the people cheer on the shore as we set off.”
In the end, all five finished the race in an extremely respectable 12th place, and the team worked to bring him back to Sweden.
They were successful, and the pup, now named Arthur, has a furever home with them!
For more updates on Arthur and his full adventure with the team, check out the Team Peak Performance Facebook Page!