Stray dog Arthur joins Swedish Adventure Racing team

A Swedish team taking part in the Adventure Racing World Championships in Ecuador has made an unusual recruitment. "Arthur" was a homeless dog that joined the team in a mountain village in the Andes - he will now be returning with them to Sweden.

The tabloid Aftonbladet has been following the story, that started with a meatball chucked to a scruffy canine, and ended up with him following the team for several days as they were running through deep mud and almost impenetrable jungle, cycling and white-water rafting.

"It was pretty difficult, technically, to paddle with a big dog in your lap. Sometimes he jumped into the water to chase fish. Then he got cold and I lent him my coat," said the team's captain Mikael Lindnord.

"If we lost a few points because we brought a dog on a 70 kilometre kayak trip, then so be it. It was worth it," said Lindnord.

At the end of the race, the team contacted the authorities in Sweden to see if they could bring Arthur with them home. The initial response was no. The Swedish Board of Agriculture said the dog was in too bad condition.

But, after visiting a vet in Quito, who gave him a health check, and ID chip and a vaccination against rabies, Arthur is now in the clear. After 120 days in quarantine, he will be free to join his new master in Sweden.

"I was almost crying in front of the computer, when I got the news," Mikael Nordlind told Aftonbladet. "This is fantastic!"