Colin Baxter doesn't know how he ended up in a ditch near his Oxford Mills, Ont., home, with his leg and ankle broken. But he knows who helped make sure he didn't stay there: his dog Ozzy.

On Friday night Baxter and Ozzy — a two-year-old male black Labrador retriever — were walking along Bolton Road to a neighbour's house in Oxford Mills, the small community about 65 kilometres south of Ottawa. But he didn't make it. 


Ozzy, a two-year-old black Labrador retriever, stayed by his owner's side after he appared to have been struck in a hit-and-run. (CBC)

Baxter suspects he was the victim of a hit-and-run, but doesn't remember what happened.

He was unconscious, with his head bleeding and his left leg femur and ankle broken, and his right knee dislocated. Ozzy stayed close, said Baxter.

"He would have been traumatized just by the fact that I was non-responsive on the ground, but he did stay with me," he said.

Nephew spots dog by road

Baxter's nephew was driving by, spotted the dog, stopped the car, and only then noticed his uncle in the ditch. 


Colin Baxter broke his femur and ankle in his left leg and dislocated his right knee. He doesn't remember what happened. (CBC)

He was taken to hospital, where his doctors said they suspected he was the victim of a hit-and-run.

"Both of them say I had to have been hit by something... because the femur is a big bone. You're not likely to break a femur falling into a ditch," said Baxter.

Police looking for witnesses

Police in North Grenville are investigating the collision and are looking for witnesses, particularly anyone who may have been travelling along Bolton between 8 and 9 p.m. on Nov. 30.

Baxter remains in hospital, where he's scheduled for more surgery this week.

Colin's son Rob said his father was lucky to survive.

"He had a lot of things going for him in terms of luck that night, but the big one was if the dog wasn't there — if he got hit or scared and ran off — I don't think anybody would have noticed or seen him," he said.