Adam Burns, David Bewick, Pete Johnston and Ben Olsen planned to walk to the 2014 Soccer World Cup to be hosted in Brazil, on June 12 through July 14 of this year. Their goal is to arrive on foot, after walking all the way there from Mendoza, Argentina (they started this past March). What they never expected was a black, mixed breed dog from Uruguay to join their journey.
The four British men took off on their odyssey crossing many cities and country border lines while documenting it all on their Facebook page Walk to the World Cup. When they arrived at Solís, Uruguay, the fifth and four-legged member of this group joined in.
At first the British men thought the dog would just accompany them a few miles. They fed the dog, pet him, and even played with him, but soon realized the dog joined their group for good and had no desire to leave them.
The soccer aficionados felt that if they stopped feeding the canine, he would stop following them, but this plan didn’t work out. By then, the English men were attached to the pet and decided to officially make him the fifth member of the group – they even named him Jefferson, gave him a soccer jersey and documented the dog’s journey on Facebook as well.
In the end, Jefferson walked 463 miles from Solís, Uruguay, to Porto Alegre, Brazil (distance based on Google maps).
To everyone’s surprise, Jefferson is not a stray dog. The black dog’s actual name is Negro (Spanish for Black) and he has an owner that had been worried sick about his missing pet.
Ignacio Etchetchury, Negro’s owner, is accustomed to his dog disappearing one or two days, whenever the canine goes after a female dog in heat, but this time Etchetchury found it strange that his dog had not come back.
Fortunately, one of Etchetchury’s friends had seen a news article about the four British men and the dog, and informed the worried pet owner about the whereabouts of his pet.
Immediately, the pet owner contacted the soccer fans through Facebook and informed them that Jefferson, whose actual name is Negro was his. By then, the men had already reached Porto Alegre and were looking for a local family willing to care for the dog, but when they learned that Jefferson or Negro had already an owner, they made plans to wait for Etchetchury to come retrieve his beloved dog.
Burns, Bewick, Johnston and Olsen will wait for Etchetchury in Porto Alegre until Monday, June 9, when the pet owner will arrive at the Brazilian city and be reunited with his dog.
For now Negro is enjoying his international walkathon odyssey along his British friends, while his owner currently travels by bus and will soon meet the four men that have cared and love his dog all this time.
The pet owner bought a bus ticket and is currently traveling to Brazil to be reunited with his dog and bring him back home.