Mover over Uggie, the world has a new favourite dog, Xiao Sa. The former stray female pup has become an unlikely internet star after apparently running across China alongside a bike race for an extraordinary 1,700km over 20 days.
The China Daily reports that she joined the race after one rider gave her food, and followed the team on the journey from Sichuan province to Tibet, including climbing 10 mountains over 4,000m high, and that she would climb on the back of one of the team's bikes during the quick descents. One of the riders, Zhang Heng, 22, set up the microblog "Go Go Xiao Sa," so that people could follow her progress. In just two weeks it drew nearly 40,000 followers.
Now that the race is over, Zhang says he wants to make an honest pet of the dog he calls "a buddy and a friend". "I would like to take the dog home and take care of her," he said. "She has been a stray on the road for a long time. She needs a home."