Injured Dog Hitched Ride on the Back of a Cyclist

"We couldn’t leave him. Out there where he was next to Oxbow, he was going to end up alligator food. ... In my head, it was, 'We’re saving you from that now, we will figure out the rest later.'"
Natalie Krawczyk August 16, 2018

Even when everything in life seems to be going wrong, keep going because one day, it will get better.

A 5-month-old Great Dane mix had been living a rough life on the streets in Columbus, Georgia, when he encountered a group of cyclists on July 10, 2018. The hungry and injured stray dog had no way of knowing it, but he was about to start a new life.

“He’s literally the luckiest dog alive,” Chris Dixon, one of the cyclists who helped rescue the puppy, told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

Portrait of a dog on a boat
Columbo enjoys a day out on a boat with his new adopted family in Maine. (Courtesy of Adventures of Columbo)

The rescue

Dixon and Jarrett Little were riding with a group of cyclists when they stopped for other members to catch up. While they took a short break Dixon noticed something moving along the tree line.

“At first, I thought it was a fox,” Dixon said. “Then this dog started running across the road toward us. He looked terrible. He was hungry. He was in bad shape, but he seemed happy to see us.”

Injured stray dog on a leash
Columbo shortly after he was rescued from the side of a path in Columbus, Georgia. (Courtesy of Adventures of Columbo)

Through their observations they guessed the poor pooch had been hit by a car.

The cyclists gave the puppy an entire package of energy chews, and it was after the dog ate them all that they decided they couldn’t leave him behind.

“We couldn’t leave him,” Little said. “Out there where he was next to Oxbow, he was going to end up alligator food. … In my head, it was, ‘We’re saving you from that now, we will figure out the rest later.'”

Transportation

The cyclists quickly discovered they had a problem: they didn’t have a car to transport the dog the seven miles to downtown.

Dixon attempted to balance the dog, which had been named Sprocket, on her handlebars, but realized it was a challenge. Little took a turn, but he too was unable to carry the dog on his handlebars.

“I just picked him up like I would my little girl when I put her on my shoulders,” Little said. “He was injured, so he wasn’t trying to fight a lot. He was also happy that we were there, touching him and hadn’t taken off on him.”

The dog’s legs fit perfectly into the back pockets of Little’s cycling jersey.

Injured stray dog riding on the back of a cyclist
Columbo, formerly known as Sprocket, rides on Jarrett Little’s back after Little struggled to balance the injured stray dog on his handlebars. (Courtesy of Adventures of Columbo)

“I think everyone assumed he was my dog,” Little said. “People would wave, and I was thinking in my head, ‘Do you want him?'”

The reality was that both Dixon and Little were preparing for the possibility of having to take Sprocket home with them.

Once they arrived in town, Sprocket made it clear that while he appreciated their help, he didn’t want to go home with either. Luckily, they crossed paths with just the right person at just the right time.

“I saw this puppy and he just came up to me,” said Andrea Shaw, a corporate attorney visiting from Maine.

“She walked by the instant we pulled up,” Little said. “Had I been 5 minutes later or 5 minutes earlier they might now have crossed paths.”

Woman holding stray dog's leash
Andrea Shaw stands with Sprocket, who she renamed Columbo, shortly after Little brought the dog into town. (Courtesy of Adventures of Columbo)

A new home

After contacting her husband, who was back at home, to let him know about the latest addition to their family, she took Sprocket, now known as Columbo, get his injuries treated.

“She paid for him to have his leg repaired with surgery and found an organization that could help get him back to Maine to live on her horse farm,” Little told CBS News.

Woman sits with dog
Shaw sits with Columbo as he awaits treatment. (Courtesy of Adventures of Columbo)

Columbo, or Bo for short, is currently recovering at his new home in Maine where he’s receiving enough love to make up for all that he missed while he lived on the streets.

He’s also become quite popular online. Shortly after Shaw decided to bring Bo home, she created a Facebook page for him, Adventures of Columbo, for those who wanted to stay up to date with his latest escapade—although no adventure will probably ever be as great of a story as his rescue.

Injured dog lies on floor
Columbo rests on the floor after receiving surgery on a broken toe and fractured hind leg. (Courtesy of Adventures of Columbo)

“He saw her and he knew,” Little told the Ledger-Enquirer. “He ran right up to her. This is where I am supposed to be going. It stopped her in her tracks. She was like, ‘He is broken and bleeding, and I have to keep him.'”

Dog sits in grass
Columbo lounges in the grass while recovering from his injuries. (Courtesy of Adventures with Columbo)

“Any little dog that’s going to fight that hard to live, I am going to help him,” Shaw said. “I have the means to give him a shot, and that’s what I did.”