Here’s one more reason to keep a close eye on your surroundings during a ride: You might come across an injured puppy just begging to be saved.
That’s what happened about seven miles outside Columbus, Georgia, when a group of cyclists noticed an abandoned puppy in pretty bad shape in the distance, as the Ledger-Enquirer reported.
The puppy, a 5-month-old male Great Dane mix, had apparently been hit by a vehicle . He had road rash, a broken hind leg, a broken toe in its paw, and was obviously malnourished, with his ribs visible under his coat.
Cyclists Chris Dixon and Jarrett Little, who were on the group ride, tempted the puppy with a handful of energy chews, which he gobbled right up.
“We couldn’t leave him,” Little told theLedger-Enquirer. “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.’”
The logistics of getting the dog back to safety were tough. At first, Dixon, who’s relatively new to cycling, tried to carry the puppy on her handlebars, but that didn’t work too well. So Little tried the piggyback method: He hoisted the dog on his shoulders, put its legs in his jersey’s back pockets, and braced the dog with one hand.
That worked for most of the ride, but for the last two miles, Little had to shift the dog around his neck and hold him—and ride the rest of the way with no hands, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.
When the group reached Columbus, the dog’s luck got even better: They walked right by Andrea Shaw, a Maine native in town on business. The dog went right to her and licked her, bleeding all over her new shirt.
“It was immediate,” Dixon said to the paper. “She said, ‘I am keeping this dog.’”
That was the beginning of a forever home for the dog, who Shaw named Columbo. She created a Facebook page for the injured pup, the Adventures of Columbo, which details his journey after his rescue: first surgery, then a trip to Shaw’s horse farm in Maine .
Thanks to the quick thinking of the cyclists, the dog is recovering and adjusting well to his new home. And it’s not the first time we’ve been so heart-warmed by a ride: Last year, a Brazilian cyclist found an abandoned kitten on a training ride and tucked him into his jersey to transport him safely.