How a retired cop’s three-legged dog adopted an orphaned baby llama.

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Tricycle the golden retriever keeps an eye on Macchiato the baby llama. Photo: Courtesy of Lester Aradi

Lester Aradi wore a badge for 36 years. When he retired as chief of the Largo, Fla. police department in 2010, he and his wife, Diane, thought they might like to live in Tennessee or North Carolina, spending time with their kids and grandchildren.

“I want to ride my horse,” he told the Tampa Bay Times.

The Aradis and their horse, Haggis, ended up in north Georgia. Over the years they added another horse, nine chickens who cluck around like they own the place, about a dozen dogs, many aging or with special needs, and a miniature donkey named Buckaroo. Why not add some llamas to the mix?

Life on their slice of Heaven was clicking along pretty peacefully. Then a horribly traumatized animal joined them. She delivered a newborn without complications, but what happened next was harrowing. Read the story of love, hope and unusual friendships on myAJC.


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