Rowdy the blue tick pup is back home with his family the Stubblefields after a brief disappearance.
But as the Grateful Dead used to sing, “What a long strange trip it’s been.”
Rowdy went missing last Sunday. On Monday, the Stubblefields picked him up at an animal shelter in Bowling Green, Kentucky, of all places. That’s more than 200 miles away.
The Stubblefields are parents Kevin and Mary Grace and children John Ross, 8, and Abby, 11. They lives on Leslie Road of Highway 79-N (the Scottsboro Highway).
“Our house is 1,000 feet or more from the highway and Rowdy usually doesn’t go down there," Kevin said.
But the family thinks the pup might have followed Kevin and John Ross that way when they went fishing Sunday afternoon.
Rowdy – who is part blue tick hound – wasn’t home when they got back. He didn’t come home Sunday night and he wasn’t back Monday morning.
“We didn’t see him and we didn’t hear him barking,” Kevin said. “Sometimes he chases deer behind the house and we can hear him.”
Kevin also heard a gunshot Sunday night and he feared the worst.
“My son was bent out of shape,” Kevin said. “Rowdy is his buddy. My daughter was upset too.”
Mom Mary Grace started posting about the missing pooch on Facebook.
“I don’t care anything about Facebook,” Kevin said. “I don’t have an account and I don’t get on there. This time, it made a difference.”
Mary Grace’s cousin Hannah Champion O’Donnell got married at the State Park Saturday. One of the guests was Jamie Booth of Bowling Green, Kentucky. She spent the night at the lodge and headed home Sunday.
It turns out she found a dog in the edge of the highway, was afraid it was going to get run over and picked it up. She did the things you’re supposed to do. She asked neighbors if anyone knew whose dog it might be. She tried to call the local animal shelters but it was Sunday and she didn’t have a lot of luck finding any open.
So she did the next best thing and really the only thing she could do. She took the dog home with her and put him in a shelter in Bowling Green.
When Mary Grace Stubblefield posted about their missing dog, the newly married cousin Hannah shared it. And Jamie Booth saw the post and soon got in contact with the Stubblefields and told them about having their dog in Bowling Green.
The family had to go to Nashville this week on a little family business. Kevin dropped the family in Nashville and he trucked it on up to Bowling Green.
The folks at the shelter had already nicknamed Rowdy “Domino.”
“I walked in and told them I thought they had my dog,” he said. “They said, ‘The Alabama dog?’ And I said ‘Yes.’ They couldn’t believe it.”
Rowdy was just as glad to see Kevin as he was to see Rowdy.
“I walked in and Rowdy just about tore the cage down,” Kevin said. “He was in jail and he wanted out.”
It’s about 200 miles from Guntersville to Bowling Green.
Before he left the shelter, Kevin had the staff microchip Rowdy so maybe if he gets lost again he can be found quicker.
“I’m probably going to get on of those perimeter fences to keep him in the yard,” Kevin said. “I’ve got a little land of my own and I lease a little and he likes to chase deer.”
John Ross and Abby are tickled to have the high energy pup back. They’re spending more time at home now that schools have gone virtual. He is a 3rd grader and she a 6th grader at DAR.
They got Rowdy from Tony Simmons, the County School Board member.
“I’m surprised Tony hasn’t called me about all this,” Mary Grace said. “He will as soon as he hears about it.”