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Young Explorer Learns Happiness Is a Warm Puppy

January 21, 1987|DEBORAH CHRISTENSEN

--If a dog is man's best friend, then surely a puppy must be a boy's. That was certainly the case when a barefoot toddler wandered away from his family's La Crosse, Wis., farm in 7-degree weather and was found two hours later cuddled up beneath his Labrador retriever puppy, Coco. Joe Stallman, 2 1/2, suffered cuts on his face and numb feet but otherwise was none the worse for wear after his adventure. About 150 people joined in the search for the little boy after his mother, Susan, said he wandered out of her sight while she was feeding calves near the barn. Coco and Joe, who had apparently discarded his clothes along the way, were found about a mile from home. "Coco the wonder dog was lying on the boy keeping him warm and did not move until the boy was picked up," La Crosse County sheriff's dispatcher Alan Tiedt said. Coco's reward was rare permission to come inside the house.

--Burt Reynolds' goose has gotten him into hot water with a woman who claims that the bird pecked at her when she visited his horse ranch in Jupiter, Fla., causing her to fall and fracture a vertebra in her lower back. A jury will determine whether Selma Binderman should collect damages for the alleged 1984 attack. Reynolds' lawyer, Alan Espy, disputes the accuracy of the word "attack." "It was acting like a normal goose," he said. Espy questioned prospective jurors closely about their feelings about geese. "It's the first time I ever thought about it," one woman replied. Goose experts and ranch hands are expected to be called to testify in the civil court suit. But spectators hoping to get a gander at the actor himself will be disappointed. "Burt Reynolds did not see this occur," Espy said. "He will not be in the courtroom."

--When Mable and David Dargin of Neola, Iowa, got lost in Omaha on their way to their daughter's house, they asked two young men if they would get in their car and drive them to their destination. The men offered the Dargins some advice: Never let strangers into your car. But the elderly couple insisted, and the men obliged them. They also pulled a large knife and stole the couple's car and $80 in cash.

--Britain's Princess Diana, more renowned for her beauty than her intellect, confessed to a 15-year-old boy at a London children's hospital who challenged her to a game of Trivial Pursuit that she is "thick as a plank." She had told another young patient during a previous hospital tour that she had "a brain the size of a pea."

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