Dog’s Best Friend

Reader's Digest - - Contents - by andy sim­mons

Jar­rett lit­tle was road test­ing his moun­tain bike out­side of Colum­bus, Ge­or­gia, when his rid­ing part­ner, Chris Dixon, stopped sud­denly. Some­thing in the dis­tance mov­ing among the trees had caught her at­ten­tion. It turned out to be a sandy-colored five­month-old Great Dane mix.

“He was re­ally thin, ribs show­ing, and had a lot of road rash and a bro­ken leg,” Lit­tle told CBS News. The cy­clists fed the friendly pup and shared their wa­ter. They also quickly re­al­ized that the dog was com­ing with them, although they had no idea how. They were more than seven miles from down­town and rid­ing bikes. “We couldn’t leave him,” Lit­tle told the Ledger-en­quirer. “Out there next to the Oxbow Mead­ows, he was go­ing to end up as al­li­ga­tor food.”

Lit­tle, a 31-year-old brick and con­crete busi­ness owner, had an idea. He care­fully picked up his new friend and slipped the 38-pound dog’s hind legs into the back pock­ets of his cy­cling jer­sey. Then he draped the dog’s front paws over his shoul­ders.

“He was in­jured, so he wasn’t try­ing to fight,” Lit­tle says. “He was also happy that we were there, touch­ing him, and hadn’t taken off on him.”

The trio’s 30-minute ride into town ended at a bike store, where they got more wa­ter and food for the dog. That was when An­drea Shaw, a cor­po­rate at­tor­ney from Maine in town on busi­ness, hap­pened by. The dog made a bee­line for her, lick­ing and “lov­ing on her,” says Dixon. Shaw was smit­ten and, af­ter learn­ing what had tran­spired, de­clared her in­ten­tions: “I am keep­ing this dog.”

Shaw called him Columbo af­ter the town where they’d met and sched­uled an op­er­a­tion on his leg. To­day, Columbo is liv­ing the high life on a farm with a horse, a pony, a sixyear-old boy, and two coon­hounds to keep him com­pany. As Dixon told the Ledger-en­quirer, “He is lit­er­ally the luck­i­est dog alive.”

Jar­rett Lit­tle tried a few ways of car­ry­ing Columbo. This proved the eas­i­est.

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