I remember as a kid, my mom constantly telling me not to feed stray dogs.

“If you feed them, they’ll keep coming around and they’ll never leave,” she’d say, time and time again.

Obviously I didn’t listen since she had to say it more than once.

It just seemed the right thing to do to share a little leftover grub with a golden retriever pup that followed me home.  I gave him a little piece of bologna and he was really appreciative.

 As was I, the pup got fed and I had one fewer day’s inventory of bologna. But he overstayed his welcome when he dug up my mom’s strawberries while I was at school.

Mom said he ran away, but I have a suspicion she gave him a lift and some bologna for the trip.

A similar thing happened recently when the Swedish Adventure World Racing team was in South America. No. My mom didn’t leave the gate open and chase them away frm the house with a broom, team members fed a stray dog and he followed them.

Really followed them.

The stray, named Arthur, was offered a meatball by one of the Swedes, so he decided to take up with the team and he followed them 430 miles through the Amazon jungle.

The Adventure World Racing Team competes in harrowing events, like trekking, adventure running, mountain biking, paddling and climbing. Members were getting ready for a 20-mile race stage though unbelievably rough terrain in Ecuador when the meatball-infused canine insisted on joining them.

Arthur went every step with the team, even taking to the water, dog-paddling, I presume, when the team began a 36-mile kayaking stage. Team members lifted the pooch into their kayak so he could compete with them and, more importantly  wouldn’t drown.

These guys’ new best friend trailed them through muddy, hot jungles, and across huge expanses of the Amazon river.  For a meatball.

Mikeal Lindnord, the Swedish racer who offered Arthur the meatball, in the first place, adopted the dog after the race and took him home to Sweden after gaining governmental approval.

“I almost cried at my computer when I received the decision (to allow him to take the dog to Sweden),” Lindnord told Mother Nature Network. “I came to Ecuador to win the World Championship. Instead, I got a new friend.”

I have two questions.

Do the pair realize how lucky they are to have found each other?

And…

I wonder if Arthur likes Swedish meatballs?