BY JANET McAFEE
Remote rural areas are sometimes “dumping grounds” for unwanted dogs. Callous humans abandon pets they no longer want. Sometimes while the discarded dogs attempt to chase after their humans’ cars as long as their strength holds out. Sometimes these animals form packs with other stray or abandoned animals, surviving on small prey. Some of them perish from starvation or injuries. One brown Lab mix dog was more fortunate than most abandoned and lost strays.
On July 10, 2018, mountain biker Jarrett Little was riding with a group of cyclists through the woods near Columbus, Georgia. Suddenly Jarrett spotted a dog coming out from behind the trees. The dog was limping, and Jarrett suspected he was hit by a car.
Jarrett recalls, “We stopped to regroup, the dog came out of the woods to greet us. He ran up to us at the roundabout near Oxbow. We could tell he was starving. He was really thin, his ribs were showing, and he had a lot of road rash and a broken leg. He gobbled down an entire pack of energy chews and drank the water we gave him.”
The group of cyclists had no automobile, and there were none in sight on the rural route. Jarrett picked the dog up, and the animal clung to his back. The photograph of the dog clinging to the bicyclist’s back went viral on social media. We animal lovers believe that dogs know our intent, and this pup seemed to instinctively know he was being rescued from his long ordeal.
The group arrived in Columbus, and their first stop was a bicycle shop for more water and supplies. Jarrett began talking with a woman named Andrea Shaw who was there on a business trip. Andrea was fascinated by the injured brown dog and his amazing cycling trip.
Jarrett recalls, “Right when arrived in town, we instantly ran into Miss Andrea who was in town from Maine. She decided to keep the dog and get him checked out medically after he gave her a sweet welcoming hug.”
Andrea took the pup to a local vet where they discovered he had a broken hind leg and a broken toe on a front foot. Canine Freedom Transportation transported him back to Maine to live with Andrea on her horse farm once he was able to travel. He traveled with 25 staples in his hind leg with four pins to stabilize the fractures and a full cast on a front leg. Andrea named him Columbo, nicknamed “Bo,” after the city where he was found.
When so many people saw the amazing photo of the cyclist carrying the dog and learned of Columbo’s story, Andrea got so many fans that she decided to start a Facebook page for her new dog. The Adventures of Columbo Facebook page not only provides updates on the lucky pup on his new horse farm, but also spreads awareness for other dogs in need.
One of his Facebook postings tells Columbo’s rescue experience from his point of view. “I’m so lucky that Jarrett Little likes to bike! He and his friends found me. They gave me snacks and water. Then Jarrett gave me a lift into town. Normally, I would have loved the walk, but my left hind leg was broken and a toe on my right foot was also broken. We found Andrea Shaw once we arrived downtown. I hugged her because she spoke so nice to me. I bled on her new shirt. She must have liked it though because she called her husband Joel and said ‘I’m saving this dog, he’s bleeding and broken and I’m not leaving him.’”