Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: Arthur Made Me Cry

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Arthur Made Me Cry

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Not Arthur the Movie, but Arthur the Dog 

While reading about Arthur, the stray dog adopted by Swedish trekkers in the Amazon, I cried (like a little baby). 

Arthur Amazon Dog

It's a normal evening, like any other weeknight, I am on my couch eating gourmet licorice candy, drinking valerian root tea, watching Dancing With The Stars and reading the internets before bed. As I scroll past the maddening headlines on Facebook, I stop for a second and decide to click on a link I had noticed floating around earlier. It is a story about an extreme endurance team from Sweden and their unexpected canine companion.

The story starts with a couple of crazy Swedes getting into some shenanigans in the Amazon. I read on to find that they were competing in a 430-mile "extreme endurance" race - Adventure World Racing Champion. It appears that these cooky kids were on Day 4 or 5 of this absurd race, they were tired from all the hiking, biking, trekking and kayaking when a yellow dog approached their camp and started to beg for food. So they fed the little guy.

Arthur and Team Peak Peformance
Photo courtesy of Team Peak Performance

The yellow dog followed the Swedes, they felt sorry for the unkempt fella, so the Swedes continued to feed the dog whatever food they had left. He kept following, naturally. All this seems normal for a stray, but what's not normal is that this stray followed the Swedish endurance team for 20 more miles! 

At this point in the story, I was interested, I was engaged, I was touched... but I had not cried. I was yet to be moved to tears by this story of pain, suffering and the undying love an animal has for food. 

The team advances and reaches the river, they never expected yellow dog to follow along, and are now faced with a 36-mile kayak down the river and nightfall is closing in. The team tries to leave yellow dog behind, but as they push their kayaks off from the shore, yellow dog JUMPS into the river and paddles furiously to catch up - like any (dumb) dog with a big heart would. This is the point where my my eyes water up. 

One of the Swedes helps yellow dog into his kayak and goes against the advice of the race organizers who warned that kayaking with yellow dog could be dangerous. I think to myself, "How hard could it be to paddle down river?" Then the article quotes one of the Swedes, "It was not easy paddling with Arthur, he was shivering and I was shivering, but I had a Gore-tex jacket, so I put my Gore-tex jacket over him." Apparently, harder than I suspected. 

Despite the cold waters, yellow dog is happy. He doesn't realize that his new keepers are in some sort of a race! Yellow dog thinks this is a fun new game and occasionally jumps into the river to catch fish (dumb dog). The team must stop each time to retrieve yellow dog and get him back into the kayak. At this point, I am sobbing as I think about yellow dog shivering... and laughing as I think about yellow dog happily catching fish. I am also thinking, "There is no way this team stands a chance of 'winning' this extreme competition with some unruly yellow dog on their heels." He's kind of a burden, but he's so cute! 

Finish Line Swedish Team and Arthur

The team approaches the finish line, yellow dog looks as determined as they do. Look at the expression they've captured in this photo, as if he was meant to be on that trek with the team - maybe even more so. I'm completely crying at this point... and then I read that one of the Swedes decides to take Arthur home with him to Sweden and adopt him! I lose it. 

And the name? How did they come to name yellow dog Arthur? He was named after King Arthur - the legendary British leader fabled for his bravery and leadership. And... let the waterworks flow! 

Oh, and by the way... 
I think I also cried in the movie Arthur, one of my favorite movies. I like both versions of the movie Arthur - the original, with Dudley Moore, and the remake with Russell Brand. I watched the remake on a plane once and the guy next to me thought I was insane because I was laughing and sobbing simultaneously. So, I made him watch it too. It was an 11 hour flight, he had no choice but to do what I asked. 

Oh, and also...
All photos shot by Krister Goransson who happens to live in Sweden, he is a pike fisherman, he likes extreme sports, tattoos and Bad Religion. It's amazing what breadcrumbs people leave on the internet. Give me 10 more minutes and I'll be able to tell you where he had dinner last night. 

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