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Phantom the Dog
This terse book records the efforts of one man, Lee Youde, who, out of sheer compassion for a homeless dog seeks to gain its trust, and either find its original home or give it a new one.
Phantom: Queen of the Road is a true account of how an abandoned German shepherd was rescued after living in the wild for over a year. The dog had touched the hearts of not only the people living in the rural area where the elusive dog roams, but also the commuters and motorists that travel the stretch of state highway where the dog is often seen.
In the course of events one man, Lee Youde, enlists the aid of others to capture the dog, thus saving it from high-speed highway traffic and a sheriff's “shoot-to-kill” order.
A bond is established between Youde and the dog that even to this day is bringing the dog – who had acquired the name Phantom – into closer connection with more and more people who are touched by Phantom’s story and are reminded of the deep, age-old connection that exists between humans and dogs.
Phantom: Queen of the Road is based on a true story of how And, while the events surrounding the main characters are facts, some of the characters are fictitious – a thoughtful mixture of fact and fiction.
It’s a modern-day myth that happens to be true. It’s a story in which strangers leave food and blankets for a dog no one can catch, and how traveler's on a state highway reach out to help one solitary, beautiful animal survive one of Iowa’s coldest and longest winters.
The story of Phantom started sometime in late 2008 or early 2009 when the owner of a female German shepherd either purposely abandoned or accidentally lost their pet on the lonely stretch of prairie in northwest Iowa 2 1/2 miles south of the rural community of Spencer in Clay County.
Over the next year this brave and resourceful dog took shelter under a US Highway 71 bridge, and became known as the phantom dog of Clay County; so it was appropriate that she ultimately be named Phantom.
No one knows exactly where, when or why the phantom dog was left alone, abandoned without food or water, to survive the elements in an area of the Midwest where temperatures can often drop to 30 degrees below zero.
Without the kindness and compassion of Highway 71 commuters and local residents, the dog would not have made it through the winter 2009-2010, which was one of the worst in Iowa history.