Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Stray dog sensation in China!

 Stray dog "Xiaosa" winds her way up to Lhasa

● Xiaosa experienced a variety of inclement weather and completed the trip
● Xiaosa gave cyclists great fun and encouragement
● Xiao Yong started a blog to broadcast Xiaosa’s journey
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A stray dog nicknamed "Xiaosa" has been following a team of cyclists for 20 days along Sichuan-Tibet Highway. The cyclists said she has given them encouragement all the way to Tibet, and are planning to bring her to their hometown in Central China’s Hubei Province.



It’s more than 1,800 kilometers from Sichuan to Tibet. Xiaosa and her new masters made their way all by themselves. During the 20-day trip, Xiaosa ran 50 to 60 kilometers every day and never fell behind.

A stray dog nicknamed "Xiaosa" has been following a team of cyclists for 20 days along
Sichuan-Tibet Highway.

Xiao Yong, a cyclist, said, "At present it runs 60 km by the farthest, just uphill."

On May 4th, Xiao Yong with his cyclist friends came across the stray dog basking in the sun. They threw her a drumstick. To their surprise, the homeless dog latched on to them and would not let go.

Xiao Yong, a cyclist, said, "At first we didn’t consider keeping her and thought she just wanted to follow us for a while. But she showed a very strong willpower and followed us all the way here."

A stray dog nicknamed "Xiaosa" has been following a team of
cyclists for 20 days along Sichuan-Tibet Highway.

Throughout the journey, the dog climbed over 12 mountains higher than 4,000 meters and experienced a variety of inclement weather.

There were about 300 cyclists on the highway, but most of them could not complete the trip. Many of them hitchhiked or took buses along the way. Only Xiaosa and another three cyclists made it.

Mr Heng, a student in Wuhan, Hubei province, had decided to cycle to Llasa as a graduation
trip with friends when he met a lonely dog.
Lu Bo, a cyclist, said, "The dog was very important to us. She brought us a lot of fun and also gave us a lot of encouragement. For example, when some of us fell behind, it would run down the mountain and bark encouragement to follow. It really gave us great strength."

Xiao Yong decided to pick the dog up. He started a blog to broadcast Xiaosa’s journey, drawing about 40,000 fans.

The dog and his friends have built up a massive following online after word got out about
their trip.

As many netizens are concerned about Xiaosa’s health condition after the long trip, her new master took her to the vet.

Yang Bo, vet, said, "Everything is fine with her, including her nose, teeth. She’s not affected by altitude sickness."

With such a successful journey under her belt, Xiaoyong decided to send Xiaosa back to Wuhan, his own hometown, by plane. Xiaoyong said he would bring the dog on journeys in the future. With a dream as the direction, he hopes the dog can run her way like Forrest Gump.

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A dog with "a heart on road" to Lhasa

 Stray dog becomes a sensation in China after following cyclists for more than 1600 kilometres over 20 days 

When a group of Chinese cyclists threw a stray dog a bone, little did they know that they were at the start of an epic journey that makes Lassie Come Home look like a walk in the park.

The cyclists, on a 1000-mile (1600-kilometre) expedition from Chengdu to Lhasa, came across the small white mongrel in the mountains around Yajiang, a Tibetan area of Sichuan, five days after starting out.
One of the riders, 22-year-old Xiao Yong, tossed the dog a chicken drumstick. To his surprise, it began to follow them - and stayed the course for 20 days to become a sensation in China.

The dog - since named Xiao Sa, or Little Sa - climbed 12 mountains higher than 13,000ft, and stuck with the group during heavy storms. Indeed, as cyclist after cyclist dropped out, exhausted by the steep mountains and the thin air of the Tibetan plateau, the dog kept him and his colleagues going, said Mr Xiao.

"There was one day when we climbed the 14,700ft-tall peak of Anjiala mountain," he said.

"We did more than 40 miles uphill and at the end I had to get off my bike and push. The dog ran ahead of me and stopped at a crossroads.

"She waited for a while, but got bored because I took so long, so ran back, put her paws on my calves, and started licking me."

He said the dog had enough energy to run with the cyclists for at least 30 to 40 miles a day, although he would occasionally carry it in a box on the back of his bike. At night, Xiao Sa slept on the cyclists' raincoats - and would share in their rations, being fed custard tarts, boiled eggs and sausages.

There were some fierce encounters with other dogs along the way. "Once, a large dog started chasing us along a series of dark tunnels and his barking drew a whole pack of others," said Mr Xiao.

"I put Xiao Sa on my bike and started peddling desperately.

"One of my bags was ripped, but otherwise we got away."

Mr Xiao said at first he suspected the dog of following them only for food, "but I can now see a bond between us from the way she looks at me. I think we have definitely moved beyond food".

He has since adopted the dog. Yesterday, Xiao Sa was travelling in a manner more befitting its celebrity: after being given a full medical by a vet in Lhasa, it was returning to Chengdu by passenger plane.


The Daily Telegraph, London
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