cover image Finding Gobi: A Little Dog with a Very Big Heart

Finding Gobi: A Little Dog with a Very Big Heart

Dion Leonard. Thomas Nelson, $16.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-7180-9857-5

Leonard, a marathon runner, narrates the heartwarming story of Gobi, a stray dog he found on a race across the eponymous desert: how they formed their bond, her subsequent disappearance, and the global effort to reunite her with her owner. The race, a 155-mile ultramarathon, brings Leonard to Urumqi, China, where he battles high altitudes, excessive heat, and a sandstorm to come in second place. This feat is even more remarkable given that he repeatedly doubles back to help the charming stray that has become his shadow. After Gobi’s story goes viral, she disappears in suspicious circumstances from her caretaker’s home in China. What follows is a suspenseful mission to find Gobi conducted by Leonard and a loyal team of dog lovers. They are forced to contend with Chinese government operatives and shady potential dognappers looking for a payout, among others, to find and rescue the “little ball of sandy-brown fluff.” Leonard also recounts (somewhat extraneously) his difficult childhood in order to explain his struggle with building close bonds and to demonstrate the significance of his relationship with Gobi. Leonard and Gobi’s story represents the power of people working together and the profound depth of feeling possible between a man and his dog. (June)