The Tail of the Red Dog: Grady returns!

By: 
Eleanor Guerrero
CCN Senior Reporter

Jake hugs his little wanderer.

No words necessary. Little Jamey can’t contain his joy about Grady’s return.

Courtesy photos - Grady’s face says it all.

With all the craziness in the news, this world at times may make you lose faith. But just when things look dark, something comes along that restores your faith in the goodness of people, especially in Montana.
A week ago we wrote about a dog that has been missing for two months. He came all the way from Mound, Minnesota, (the birthplace of the Tonka truck and Tonka toys) only to run away. After desperately searching, the owners had to return. They posted flyers, they asked around, they called all the authorities that should be called. They did everything right but after two months, still no dog.
One of the owners, Danielle Sawinski, wrote to CCN saying she was hoping someone might write her story so they could make another effort to find their Vizsla, named Grady.
We wrote the story and what do you know, in a week, the news about Grady made it to the one ear we hoped it would reach.
A man had “fostered” the dog, thinking it was either a stray or mistreated because it was such an oddly skinny breed.
The story went out, was heard, and the connection was made as printed in the paper to call. We just heard the good words from Danielle herself. “Everything went smooth!! We have our boy home! We are so grateful to Carbon County News. It worked!”
How did this “tail” begin?
Grady was visiting with relatives for Thanksgiving, last November, at a house just off downtown Broadway in Red Lodge.
Danielle, her husband Jake and their baby, Jamey, had driven down with Grady from Minnesota for the holiday as they have done before.
The Sawinskis knew Grady is a jumper. Although the house had a fence, they made sure to reinforce it with another high layer of fencing. But Grady was not to be stymied. He flew over the fence in search of those wonderful wild smells of Red Lodge.
After all, he is a Hungarian hunting dog, the smallest of the pointer retriever breed. He followed his nose.
But the gypsy spirit must have been strong in Grady because he ended up outside the Phoenix Pearl Tea Room.
At that point, employee, Bradley James, was looking him over when a tall, mysterious Montanan in a cowboy hat stopped as well. He thought he was too skinny and apparently thought he needed some rescuing. He took him home, all the way to Fromberg.
At that point, the story gets interesting. The Sawinski family went home worried and wondering if they would ever see their dog again. Would he miss them? Was he hungry and scared? To their joy, they would discover that he was well treated. It’s the Montana way.
When Sawinski received the call she was informed that he had become a member of a doggy household, holding his own. “Actually, he’s on a diet now,” she said of the normally sleek breed. Apparently, he gained a few pounds with all that loving care.
She was so relieved that she did not even worry about his remaining there until she could retrieve him.
She said earlier, “(My local) Family did offer to get him but the main one was the same house he jumped from and the gentleman who has him said it was perfectly ok for Grady to stay there until we got there.”
In fact, he was being treated like an award winning Kennel Club King. “He was driving around with him, like his buddy!” she said.
“I feel like he would be less confused if he stayed in the guy’s house,” decided Sawinski a few days before getting him. “He has a few dogs and they all play, snuggles on the couch with him and he sent me a few pictures even! I feel pretty good about it, hopefully it all ends good! He’s in Fromberg. He had ended up in good hands. As true Montanans, they treated him like family."
The couple flew out to Montana this week in their own small plane. They met the man as arranged at Billings Airport.
Sawinski describes the scene. “I was excited! Grady was a little distracted at first-it’s so busy there. Then he saw me and it clicked-Wow! He was all whiny and very excited.”
The man said, “I’d better get going or I’m going to cry.”
Apparently, Grady had touched him over the weeks of fostering.
“When we got home and he saw the baby he was even more excited.” Their 18 month old, Jamey, started crying out, “Dog! Dog!” petting him, and when that wasn’t enough, cuddling with Grady. “There was lots of love” noted Sawinski.
Things are getting back to normal. Grady still gets a little alarmed if they want to leave the house. “He doesn’t want to be left alone!”
Later, Sawinski shared the good news with CCN as stated above, “Everything went smooth! We have our boy home!”
All “missing persons” tails should end so well!

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