Becky Jo is an attentive five-year-old Australian shepherd/border collie cross from Edmonton, Alberta who is a loyal companion to her owner Tracy Matkea. Every year, Tracy and her husband Butch spend the winter at their ranch in Morristown, Arizona – where they raise and train horses for barrel racing. Tracy, who has long been active on the rodeo circuit, often brings Becky Jo with her while out training on horseback in the desert terrain. One morning Becky Jo proved to be much more than her trusted sidekick.
January 10, 2016 began just like any other day. Tracy embarked on a test ride with a young horse and ventured down a dry riverbed 500 yards from her home, with Becky Jo following closely behind.
During the ride, the horse suddenly got spooked and threw Tracy from the saddle and onto the ground, knocking her unconscious instantly. Adding to the already perilous situation, Tracy’s foot was caught in the stirrup of the saddle and the horse dragged her unconscious body along the rough and rocky desert terrain for almost a kilometer. Eventually Tracy’s foot came loose and the horse returned to the ranch house without her.
When the horse arrived home without Tracy Butch was very confused, but only realized that something much more alarming had happened when Becky Jo also returned alone. Upon her arrival, Becky Jo started circling the driveway and barking repeatedly to alert him that something was terribly wrong. In a panic, Butch hopped onto an ATV and followed Becky Jo almost five kilometers from the family home to find Tracy lying motionless on the ground and bleeding profusely.
Butch immediately took Tracy to the nearest hospital. There they determined that based on the extent of her injuries she needed to be airlifted to Phoenix. There she received lifesaving treatment for the serious injuries she endured, including extreme facial and head lacerations, a broken orbital bone and a major concussion.
More than 100 stitches and staples later, Tracy has made a full recovery and truly owes her life to Becky Jo. Without Becky Jo’s quick thinking and fast action, Tracy could very well have lost her life that day. According to doctors, had she been left bleeding for 10 minutes longer she wouldn’t have survived. Tracy always knew in her heart that Becky Jo was a smart dog and now knows that it was this intelligence that ultimately saved her life.