Rescue Rowdi: Family not giving up on dog, missing for nine months

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 11:17 PM CST
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TOFTE, MN. (KBJR) - Nine months ago, Cory Carlson, his wife, young daughter, and 10-year-old dog Rowdi were all together, vacationing at the Surfside Resort near Tofte.

One night before bed, Cory did something he’d done so many times before.

“I just opened up the door to let him go potty quick and come back in,” said Cory.

This time was different. Within seconds Rowdi was gone, disappearing into the night. Cory went out into the bitter cold to find him.

“I’m walking quickly and I’m saying ‘Rowdi Rowdi’. And then I start running.”

They found tracks leading through the parking lot, across Highway 61, vanishing into the Superior National Forest beyond.

It’s the last time Cory saw his boy.

“Can’t really rest from looking for him until I know something,” he said.

They’ve been searching ever since. The Minneapolis-based family extended their stay for weeks.

They made scent trails with their clothing, put out feeding stations and trail cams, and posted signs along the highway and at trailheads.

They had drones search and even sent up a pilot to take a look.

They checked with area trappers and the DNR.

They even put ads in newspapers and magazines and sent mailers to every home in the region, along with an extensive foot search.

“We weren’t just looking for a dog running around, we were looking for anything, even signs of his remains,” said Cory.

A small army of volunteers helped and some, like Louise Jenkins Trachta, are still helping.

“Yeah I used to be in rescue for 15 years so I’m used to helping people out,” she said.

Louise and her partner Dave regularly walk the trails around Tofte, always with an eye out for Rowdi.

“We used to take care of the trails around here so we know the area,” she said.

Louise recently had some success, finding and rescuing a little dog named Murphy who’d been lost in the forest for 30 days.

It gives her hope that someday Rowdi will come home too.

“I wouldn’t give up. I know Cory’s not giving up,” said Louise. “I’ll keep me eyes open and I’ll help as much as I can.”

Hoping to keep as many eyes open as possible, Cory is now trying something new.

He posted a billboard along the highway just outside Grand Marais.

Cory thinks someone found Rowdi, didn’t realize who he was, and took him home.

“The dog looks like he needs help of course and so they rescue the dog and my gut tells me what’s what happened here,” he said.

Cory said some people are convinced wolves killed Rowdi.

He acknowledges it’s possible, but thinks if that were the case, they would have found some remains or even Rowdi’s collar.

Nothing has ever turned up, which is why they think he’s still alive.

Dog rescue group The Retrievers also believes someone picked up Rowdi and possibly took him out of the area.

“Dogs can be found if you don’t give up and I’m not giving up on my boy,” said Cory.

Rowdi was with Cory in the beginning of his marriage, through struggles with fertility, then for the birth of his daughter.

“Rowdi was there through all of that and he’s our first,” said Cory. “He’s our first boy.”

After nine months and no sign, some would have given up. Not Cory.

“If there’s a chance that he’s alive, I’ll keep looking,” he said. “We just gotta believe he’s going to come home.”

You can help by keeping the awareness up.

If you see a dog that looks like Rowdi, take a picture.

You can message it to him on the Rescue Rowdi Facebook page.

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