PITEA , Sweden, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A Swedish sled dog was able to win a gold medal in the national championships despite taking time to relieve itself seconds before crossing the finish line.
Video posted to Instagram shows Norton the short-haired German pointer pulling owner Cajsa Grape to the side of the track just before completing the race.
"He really, really needed a poo," Grape, 24, told The Local. "At first I tried to make him run, but I know that when he runs, he poos very quickly, and he was a long way ahead of the next racer, so I just let him do it. It was lucky that it wasn't a neck-and-neck race."
Norton, who Grape said is one of the best competitive sled dogs in the country, held a significant lead over the other racers and ultimately finished the race in first place despite the brief detour.
His performance in the race caught the eye of sled dog expert Christer Ornby, who told Swedish broadcaster SVT that the race was the best he'd ever seen.
"I have not seen such an impressive run ever before," he said.
Grape said that the racers usually use matchsticks to encourage the dogs to defecate before the race, but stress prevented Norton from doing so before the race.
"He wanted to run so much that he didn't have time," she said.