One Year After Fire, Longhorn Cow Returns To Santa Rosa Ranch, Heals 89-Year-Old Cowboy's Heart

The fire that, one year ago, destroyed Glyn Evans' Santa Rosa ranch was insatiable, unstoppable and unfailingly cruel.

Not only did it take the life of Evans' wife, Valerie, but it also consumed any and all possessions that might help Glyn remember their 45 years together.

Well, almost all.

Spared in the fire was Valerie's favorite animal: a 16-year-old, 1,600-pound Texas Longhorn cow named Angel.

"She means the world to me right now," Glyn said.

The fire left Glyn's property with no power, no water, no fences, and no barn to house Angel so, for the past year, the cow has been living on a ranch in the city of Penngrove, 15 miles away.

In spite of the distance, Glyn visited Angel every single day, bonding with his last tangible connection to his wife and looking forward to the day he could return Angel to her favorite pasture alongside Highway 101.

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"If I did that, it would make me feel like at least one thing was normal again," Glyn said.

The property, however, needed a lot of work before that could happen; too much work right now for Glyn to handle.

Good thing, then, that unbeknownst to Glyn, Angel already had a fan club.

Standing alongside 101 for the past 15 years, Angel had become a fixture to the thousands of commuters who passed her every single day. When they learned via social media that Angel survived the fire but needed help to come home, many jumped at the chance.

"Yea, they have lined up in droves to help us get her home," Glyn said.

A GoFundMe page was started and volunteers restored water, fencing, and a small barn for Angel.

It all made Angel's return possible.

On Sunday, Angel was loaded into a trailer and driven form Penngrove back to her old home and took her place in her old field.

"This is great, just dynamite," Glyn said. "I am happier today than I have been since the fire, like things are finally going to be normal for a while."

Jocelyn Augustino | FEMA Photo Library via Flickr

There is still much work to be done on the ranch, and in the region, before anything resembles normal again. But one step at a time, one cow at a time, they are getting it done.

"She made it home," Glyn said, "and Sonoma County is strong."

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