Meet Xiao Sa, the Internet’s newest darling.
Weighing less than 30 pounds, Xiao Sa was a stray dog who, upon being shown kindness, returned the gesture in full — by accompanying the cyclists who fed her on a 1,100-mile trip to Lhasa, Tibet.
Xiao Sa’s incredible journey began in Yajiang, Sichuan Province, when 22-year-old Zhang Heng, a student on a graduation bike tour across China, took pity on the little white street dog and decided to feed her. The small, simple gesture meant a lot to Xiao Sa, who proceeded to follow Heng and his team. They thought that after a few days the dog would give up, but she defied all expectations and ended up making the thousand-mile journey running alongside the cyclists.
For 20 days, Xiao Sa ran up and down mountainsides, braving rough terrain and fierce weather conditions, to complete a journey totaling 1,138 miles and climbing more than 13,000 feet in elevation. The only portion she did not run was a slope in Litang, where downhill speeds reach over 43 miles per hour. There Heng and his group constructed a cage for her to ride safely in. Apart from that, however, Xiao did it all on her own four paws.
Inspired by Xiao Sa’s determination, Heng and his companions created a blog for her, which quickly garnered the attention of the Internet.
Upon arriving in Lhasa and posing with little Xiao Sa, Heng expressed delight that the former stray now has a home with him.