They say a dog is man’s best friend – and for good reason!

One stray dog followed an extreme Swedish sports team through a grueling race in the Amazon, becoming an unlikely and lifelong friend.

Members of “Team Peak Performance” were deep in the jungle in Ecuador, preparing for another leg of the 430-mile World Adventure Racing World Championship, when they met Arthur the stray dog.

One team member gave him a meatball, and the bond was sealed. He loyally followed them until the trek was complete.

Read more about this heartwarming story below from the team’s website:

The team first encountered Arthur on the muddy trekking – the second last stage. They tried to send him off a few times but he always showed up beside the team again as they made their way through the trekking. In the beginning it went well, but when it became muddy he was having problems and the team had to help Arthur through some of the deepest mud.

Arthur followed the team all the way to TA9 and waited with the team. But then he suddenly got very worried and stressed as he realized the team would get out on the water. The organization gave the advice not to bring dog Arthur out on the last leg – a dog in the kayak didn’t seem like a great idea – and the team was going to follow this advice.

Mike, Simon, Staffan and Karen put their kayaks down in the water and set off, but Arthur refused to be left and started swimming. This was too heartbreaking for the team, and Mikael helped Arthur up in the kayak. This led to standing ovations from everyone on the shore, seeing the five (!) team mates set off.

And yes, Dog Arthur was with the team all the way across the finish line. He took a few swims along the way of the paddling, but there was no doubt about him returning to the team. The story of the dog has become big in Equador – the race director told the team it was the “best story ever” and a TV team was at the finish to meet the team with their new team mate.

See more photos below: