The love of a lady – and a community – brings dog home on Marco Island

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Jackie Winchester
Marco and Lilly

Sometimes love shows up when you least expect it. A little stray dog roamed the streets of Marco Island for months and nobody could catch him – until a lot of community support and a little bit of romance made it happen.

The dog, named “Marco,” is safe now with a loving foster family, but it didn’t come without months of chasing and a love story. It all started online.

“Like everyone else, I heard about him on Facebook and Next Door and all the apps,” said Colleen Schaefer, Marco’s foster mom.

“People posting ‘lost dog,’ ‘lost dog,’ ‘who lost a dog?’ And there were sightings all over the place,” said resident Cathy Ahern.

You could snap a photo of the little guy, but you certainly couldn’t snatch him up.

“He was on the run, there was no catching him,” Ahern said.

“He was too afraid and was running away all the time,” Schaefer said.

Three months later, no man or woman could do the trick, but remember – this is a love story. Two weeks ago, Marco saw Lilly on a walk with her mom, Laura Croscenco.

“He was coming running toward her, but as soon as we turn to look at him or trying to catch him, he was running away and barking,” Croscenco said.

Like any good suiter, Marco didn’t give up.

“He kept showing up in the middle of the night, waking up mommy of Lilly,” said pet sitter Pam Dooley.

“Every night he was coming to pay a visit to her, but that happened at like 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock a.m.,” Croscenco said.

Like Cinderella’s slipper at the bottom of the steps, the trap was set – by Lilly’s front steps.

“The downfall of every man is a beautiful woman,” Ahern said, laughing.

“It’s just like the Disney story,” Croscenco said.

“Boys will be boys. Little lady and the tramp story,” Schaefer said. “He didn’t want to be on the run alone.”

Thanks to Lilly and everyone who cared to find Marco, he’ll never be alone again.

This love story isn’t just about puppy love; it’s also about community love.

In addition to the women mentioned here, a dog trapper from a Cape Coral, a husband and wife from Naples, and dozens of other people dedicated weeks of their lives to making sure Marco got home safe.

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