Cowboy had a long and decorated career as an explosives detection officer, including presidential detail. In 2016, Cowboy and handler Jacksboro Police Chief Jeremy Goins (above) were assigned to then Presidential Candidate Donald Trump’s detail when he came to Knoxville. They were also assigned to Capital Police in Scott County when Vice President Biden visited.

By Charlotte Underwood   

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – A memorial ceremony was held at the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday morning to honor K-9 Sgt. Cowboy, who passed away in February.

Cowboy was a United States Marine Veteran who pulled two tours of duty in Afghanistan. Afterwards, when he was about 4 -years- old, he began working with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department as an explosives detection dog.    

The monument for Cowboy was donated by Jellico Monument and Cox and Son Funeral Home.
George Hackler II with Jellico Monument spoke at the memorial dedication for K-9 Cowboy. Jellico Monument and Cox and Son Funeral Home donated the memorial stone.

A memorial marker stone was placed outside the sheriff’s department beside the American flag to commemorate Cowboy’s service to both the United States Marine Corps and to Campbell County as an explosives detection officer. The stone was donated by George Hackler of Jellico Monument and Kenny Huddleston of Cox and Son Funeral Home. “We are pleased to be able to offer this marker as a token of appreciation of Cowboy and other dogs like him who have served the county and the nation so well for so many years,” Hackler said, adding that they felt it fitting to do the marker dedication on the birthday of the Marine Corps and the day before Veteran’s Day.

A memorial marker was placed at the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department in honor of K-9 Cowboy, who passed in February. (Left to right) K-9 trainer with Clinton Police Department Bob Suarez, Jacksboro Police Chief Jeremy Goins and Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins stand at Cowboy’s memorial.

SSGT. Cowboy was a highly decorated veteran and was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal with 4 stars, Global War on Terrorism, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, National Defense Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Ribbon, and NATO ISAF Medal.    

A ceremony to honor K-9 Sgt. Cowboy was held at the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday morning. Cowboy was retired from the United States Marines before serving as an explosives detection officer in Campbell County. Sheriff Robbie Goins is pictured speaking.

Cowboy’s handler Jacksboro Police Chief Jeremy Goins, as well his trainer Bob Suarez with the Clinton Police Department both spoke of how skilled Cowboy was at his job. “His nose was phenomenal; he knew right what he was doing,” Chief Goins said. Goins was with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department at the time he went to get Cowboy in North Carolina. He picked him out of 60 other dogs. “Everyone wanted Cowboy because he was so good at his job,” Chief Goins said. Goins said he felt an instant bond with Cowboy and knew it was meant to be. 

Jacksboro Police Chief Jeremy Goins shared fond memories of working with K-9 Sgt. Cowboy over the last seven years.

“The dog’s demeanor was astounding, but it was the team of the handler and the dog that showed the incredible dedication of both; the team never failed,” Suarez said. 

Cowboy was honored in 2018.

Police Chief Goins said it was wonderful that the marker had been donated and he felt “fortunate” to be able to visit Cowboy’s monument. The two shared a very special bond. “It was like he had been with me his whole life; there will never be another like him,” Chief Goins said.

Cowboy could always count on a treat when Sheriff Robbie Goins was around.

Cowboy touched many lives in the community. One of which was Sheriff Goins, who had “a soft spot” for giving him treats in his office. “He was the most unique dog and if ever there was a person or dog who deserves this marker it was Cowboy,” Sheriff Goins said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/11/2020-6AM)