Andrea Duwe of Greenwood has scoured the pastures near her property and the town of Greenwood in search of her dog known by hundreds of local children and their families for his therapeutic demeanor.
Cowboy, a 4-year-old blue heeler mix, has been missing since last Friday.
The canine was last seen around 7 a.m. March 9 running through the Duwes’ pasture with a stray dog.
“I didn’t think much of it because he doesn’t run away,” Duwe said. “But it’s been (eight) whole days (as of Friday).”
Cowboy has a black coat with gray on his underside and a tip on the end of his tail. There is a white mark on his face between his eyes.
Although he is not certified, Duwe contends he is a great therapy dog, especially for the special-needs children that frequent her property.
“Cowboy has always had a special relationship with children and has a special intuition with children with disabilities,” she said. “He always made sure the kids had a good time and was always where the children were.”
Jeri Kay Kao, the mother of a special-needs child, agrees.
“We’ve been out to the Duwes’ place several times, and every time, Cowboy would greet us at the gate,” she said. “When I would open the door to the van to let the kids out, he would play with them all the way to the cabin. It was really sweet. He’s a famous little dog. He’s been a special dog to a lot of people.”
That includes her 8-year-old son, Malachi.
“He always listens to me,” he said. “He’s playful, and he likes to play fetch.”
Jeri Kay said her 13-year-old, Zachary, who is deaf and autistic, would agree.
“(Cowboy) is his good friend,” she said. “He’s on his own a lot, but Cowboy hangs around him. Unlike most humans, Cowboy doesn’t expect anything from him. Dogs have a patience that no human does, but that dog was especially sweet.”
For that reason, Duwe is fervent in her efforts to find him, posting signs all over Greenwood and in Decatur.
“We saw the dog he ran away with (Wednesday), so we have hope that we’ll be able to find our Cowboy,” Duwe said. “We’re just waiting with bated breath. He’s everybody’s favorite dog. He’s irreplaceable.”
Duwe is offering a reward for the dog’s return. Call her at (940) 466-3622.