ADORABLE images show Gobi the “marathon dog” starting the first stage of her move to Scotland – with just her owner’s socks for company.
The adorable pooch took her first flight to Beijing this morning where she will spend a month in quarantine before flying to the UK.
Athlete Dion Leonard struck up an unlikely friendship with the pup in June when the pair were spotted running alongside each other during a gruelling 250km marathon across the Gobi desert.
The 41-year-old Australian instantly took a shining to the dog and launched a crowdfunding page to adopt Gobi and bring her back home to Edinburgh with him.
But two weeks ago disaster almost struck when Gobi ran out of an open door in Urumqi, China – prompting a £10,000 search campaign.
Fortunately the lovable pooch was found a week later by a dog walker who recognised Gobi from campaign posters.
Now photographs have been shared showing Gobi beginning the first stages of moving to Scotland – boarding her first ever flight to Beijing where she will begin quarantine.
Another heartwarming image show Dion and Gobi stood outside the airport just moments before the pair are separated once more.
Several other snaps shows the pooch nuzzling into her new companion and sitting patiently in her travel cage alongside Dion’s socks – which she has been filmed stealing on a regular basis.
Posted on the official Bring Gobi Home Facebook page, the photographs were shared along with the caption: “I’m off on a new adventure now. Flying to Beijing to start the official process.
“It’s been great to spend time with Dad in Urumqi so I know what it’s like to be together.
“It’s my first time flying so I’m a bit nervous but I’m acting tough because dad is a real bundle of nerves, I can tell because he’s a bit quieter than normal.
“It’s only a short flight so don’t worry about me.”
The adorable snaps show the whole process of Gobi taking his first flight to Beijing where he will stay for 30 days before jetting off to the UK for further 120 days.
Hundreds of Gobi fans from across the world took to the post to wish him a safe journey.
Molly Maureen Jones said: “Sending my love to you Gobi. This will be very hard for her. She will be so afraid and confused.
“We all know it will be good again but at the moment she doesn’t. So Gobi needs everyone to send her good feelings while she is on this difficult part of her journey. Picture her in your minds back with her Dion and happy while she is going through it.”
Kristin Estela Villaruel-Azucena wrote: “I saw Dion’s socks. Be safe little one.”
And Pauline McIntyre said: “Wooooo Gobi’s coming to Scotland. Hope to meet you one day Gobi.”
Gobi won hearts all over the world after deciding to follow an Australian runner for several days during an ultramarathon through China’s Gobi desert.
Dion Leonard fell in love with the dog, named her Gobi, and launched a Crowdfunder page to raise £5,000 to help pay for travel costs back to the UK.
Within 24 hours, the target was smashed and is currently sitting at £23,000.
After going missing two weeks ago, just before she was due to travel to Beijing to enter quarantine, the dog ran off after running out an open door in the Chinese city of Urumqi, where she was being looked after.
Leonard flew back to China to launch a media and social media campaign before putting posters up all around the city.
Finally she was found by a local dog walker who recognised Gobi and contacted Dion.
Since they they have become inseparable since with Dion posting numerous photographs of the pair out for walks in Urumqi – with Gobi wearing a leash for the very first time.