When Ed Kostro and his rescue teammate Katie first heard reports of a Border Collie at a 24-hour hot dog stand, they hoped for a fairly rapid rescue. But what happens when the dog you’re saving seems to dematerialize every time you draw near?
It all began when the thin dog timidly approached a hot dog stand, gently taking each step as though she were walking on thin ice. She looked hungry, really hungry.
The owner of this establishment took pity on her, and he soon began giving her something to eat every time that she sat in front of his drive-thru window, crying for a hand out,” Ed said. “Numerous motorists and customers also began noticing her forlornly sitting there, and they began trying to catch her too; but she was too leery and she always raced away from them, often straight into heavy traffic.”
So Ed and Katie started taking shifts in the parking lot, yet they never caught even a glimpse of the dog.
“We both spent hours in this parking lot for two weeks, at different times of the day and night,” Ed recalls. “We never even spotted her. And of course, an hour or two after we would leave the restaurant parking lot, one of us would get a call that she had suddenly appeared once more.”
Seeking the Phantom by Moonlight
Ed began to question himself. As a seasoned rescuer who has saved the lives of countless difficult-to-catch dogs, he simply couldn’t explain this dog’s behavior. If he didn’t know any better, he would have sworn he was chasing a ghost. But Ed isn’t a quitter and he had an idea. He decided to set out early,very early. He baited his trap and left for the hot dog stand well before dawn. What better time to catch a phantom than under the glow of the moon.
This time, luck was with me, and my wait was not in vain,” Ed said. “I saw her standing there in the bitter cold, hungrily sniffing all around the enticing food in the trap. Within minutes she was inside my trap, and now on her way to a new and better life.”
Exhilarated, Ed headed for home. He couldn’t wait to get acquainted with his newest rescue whom he gave the name Maxine. He pulled straight into the garage and shut the door behind him. At first, things were going well as Ed and his wife tried to calm Maxine, giving her bits of food by hand. But as soon as Ed took out a leash, Maxine disappeared.
“She panicked and immediately dove under our car,” Ed said. “It took me an hour crawling around under the car to get the loop leash around her neck, and when I finally did, she really went ballistic and immediately started pulling, jerking, jumping in the air, trying to bite off the leash and violently banging her head and body into everything. I now feared that she would get hurt, so I placed a blanket in my trap and nudged her back into it.”
A few hours later, Katie, myself, and my spouse Rebecca constructed a make-shift kennel for Maxine in my garage, and then we gently nudged her into the kennel — complete with food, water and warm blankets. Katie had already made arrangements with a Border Collie rescue organization to take in poor Maxine, who would now temporarily reside in this make-shift garage kennel until the logistics were worked out.”
Love Is Patient, Love Is Kind…
The next morning, Ed and Rebeccas sat beside Maxine’s kennel for the longest time. They told her what a good girl she is. They told her how pretty she is. They told her that she is safe now and no one will ever hurt her.
When they reached the animal hospital, Maxine came out of the kennel to be examined. Ed learned that Maxine was a very young adult, not spayed, and that she had contracted Lyme Disease. Of course Maxine had no microchip or identification tags. But perhaps most worrying were the numerous wounds on her body.
“Our hearts always go out to these un-trusting street dogs, who have been forced to live their lives out on the mean streets in all types of weather,” Ed said. “When they are captured and taken to an overflowing animal shelter today, they are usually quickly deemed to be ‘unadoptable’ and are often placed on the top of the euthanasia list. We believe that every abandoned, abused, or homeless stray dog deserves a second chance in life, no matter what the circumstances of their prior lives have been. All three of us have seen some truly remarkable transformations in these unloved and untrusting street orphans, if they are only given their second chance. Thankfully, Maxine will now get hers with a Border Collie rescue organization.”