Written By Ed Kostro of Illinois
“Turn on your TV! There’s a terrified little dog racing down the expressway in rush hour traffic,”¯ came the early morning call on July 3rd when days of early fireworks had already led to many frightened pets running away from home.
I immediately turned on my television, and I soon saw the heart wrenching story unfolding on the morning news.
“A small white dog was first spotted around 6:45 AM on one of Chicago’s busy expressways, and he’s still out there dodging traffic, and running for his life,” the broadcaster said. “This dog has completely snarled rush hour traffic, and he has managed to avoid being cornered by the State Police and the Department of Transportation crews that have been attempting to corral him. Our helicopter crew has been following this tiny orphan on his morning-long odyssey, and he just ran up an entrance ramp to the expressway. He has now exited the highway, and he’s now racing south down an extremely busy city street.”
I quickly realized that the street that this terrified little dog was now racing down was fairly close to my home so I immediately jumped in my truck to help in his rescue if I could. I quickly found many Good Samaritans already out on this busy street, already compassionately attempting to capture him before he was run down in traffic.
In Danger of Heat Stroke – We Had to Catch Him
This poor dog had already run well over five miles in the terrible July heat and humidity, and he finally took some refuge in a patch of extremely high weeds adjacent to the street he was now racing down.
Several of us soon encircled this patch of high weeds and an extremely determined young man named Jose was eventually able to grab this now terrified, injured and extremely dehydrated little dog. As he held on to this little street waif, I managed to get a loop leash around his neck, and this poor lost dog’s terrifying ordeal was now finally over.
As I carried him back to my truck, I didn’t realize that several helicopters and reporters were following us. Very soon, the animal hospital where I took him was crammed with media personnel wanting to know the status of this rescued little street orphan. Dr. Stan, the veterinarian on duty who was examining him, soon answered all of their many questions.
“He’s got a cut on one of his paws and he’s very dehydrated,” Dr. Stan explains. “Otherwise this dog is in pretty good shape considering the ordeal that he just went through.”
Rags to Riches Story – See Photos Taken By Helicopter
I named him Rags and we soon sadly discovered that, like so many street orphans that we find these days, little Rags had no collar, no tags and no microchip. And while Rags spent the next several days in the animal hospital receiving the tender loving care that he needed, we received more than 300 requests from people wanting to adopt him just because they had seen him on television.
Many of them were calling and e-mailing us from all over the country, wanting us to put little Rags on an airplane and ship him to them. “We really want this dog! We saw him on the news!”
I found myself answering these numerous cross country adoption requests with the following: “I would never ship a dog that I helped rescue to another part of the country to someone that I don’t know. There are so many homeless dogs just like little Rags, all over the country right now, just about every animal shelter in the U.S. is overflowing with them. Please visit your local shelter, and please adopt another homeless dog just like little Rags.”
So who eventually did adopt little Rags? To my immense delight, Dr. Stan the Veterinarian and his wife quickly fell in love with this little street orphan, and they decided to give little Rags the loving home that he and every other homeless dog in America today truly deserves.