I was in Montana last week, enjoying some hiking, good family dinners, and cooler weather. I had to return to Texas, however, so I loaded Crusty up and headed out on Friday afternoon. On Friday evening, just as I was about to pull into Colorado for the night, this post came in on the Bridger Vet Facebook page:


I found a motel that accepted dogs as well as humans (more difficult than you might imagine) and then called the number provided in the post. It rang the dispatch for Cortez, Colorado, and the person on the other end of the line was a bit confused by my request to talk to the person that had found a red cow dog, but they did take down my phone number.

Two seconds later, my phone rang.

“This is Deputy Tisha Strawn of the Cortez Sheriff’s Department. I picked up this sweet red cow dog tonight, and she has one of of your rabies tags on her. She’s a good dog, and you can tell that someone loves her. I’d like to see her get home.”

“Oh wow, that is really nice of you. Unfortunately, Bridger Vet is closed for the evening, but if you can keep her for a bit, I’ll see if I can get Dad (Doc Randall the Elder) to head down there in the morning to see if he can track down that rabies tag. Will that work for you?” I asked.

“Yes, please do. She really is a nice dog.” said Deputy Strawn, and she then texted me the rabies tag number.

I immediately called home, woke Dad up, and told him about this missing cow dog with a Bridger Vet tag. “Wait, hold on,” he said. “Someone posted what on the Facebook page?”

“A lost dog with a Bridger Vet rabies tag,” I said. “That Facebook page is for more than tiny goats, you know.”

Dad chuckled and went back to bed.

Sure enough, Saturday morning rolled around, and Doc Randall headed to Bridger Vet. I can only imagine the amount of cursing that went on as he tried to get the computer to tell him just who had a dog with that tag number, but he did find the owner. He gave them a call, only to find out that the dog was under new ownership in Colorado. The previous owners then went on a hunt to find some contact information as to Red’s new home in Colorado. Once they dug that up, they called the Cortez Sheriff’s Department to talk to Deputy Strawn.

I got up very early on Saturday morning to continue my drive south, and I gave Deputy Strawn a call later that afternoon, just to check up on Red. And just like the night before, she was just as nice as could be. When I asked her if Red had made it home, she said that she would. “The owner lives a bit out of town, so his nephew that does insurance is trying to help me get a hold of him. I’m so glad that she belonged to that man. He’s just so good with his dogs. I should have known she belonged to them as I’d seen them hauling cattle and stopped to talk to them. She must have jumped off the truck then. But it’s good that she’s going home,” said Deputy Strawn.

It was Deputy Strawn’s daughter that did the actual delivery, and she snapped this photo of Red before leaving her with her cows and rightful family.

Red Cow Dog--Found!

And that, my friends, is why your dog should always have a current rabies tag (or better yet, a microchip). You never know when someone will go out of their way to make certain that your dog finds its way home. As for Deputy Strawn, she’s probably out keeping the wilds of Colorado safe for all, and that includes cow dogs that have lost their way.

Don’t you just love a happy ending?