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The saying goes that a dog is a man's best friend – but in Charlie Riley's case, a pooch is an even better pal to a boy.
For 10-year-old Charlie owes his life to his pet German Shepherd-Collie cross, Geo, who pushed Charlie out of the way as a hit-and-run pick-up truck mounted the kerb and hurtled towards him.
The daredevil dog took the full force of the vehicle, but is expected to make a full recovery despite a broken leg, fractured spine and severe bruising.
The crash happened as Charlie walked seven-month-old Geo with his mum Carly, 28, and brothers, Josh, seven, and four-year-old Ben near their home in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.
Carly told The Sun: "We were waiting to cross the road, when I just heard a car going really fast.
"Then a pick-up truck mounted the kerb, and the next thing I know is Geo has pushed Charlie out the way.
"Geo took the full force - then the truck hit him again and just drove off. I have no doubt Geo saved Charlie."
The couple are now struggling to pay Geo's £8,000 vet bills, but Carly said: "It wasn't a question of getting him put down, we want him fixed no matter what it costs. He's family."
Police are investigating the incident.
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