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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Historical Hounds-Bobbie The Wonder Dog

These days responsible pet owners all have their dogs leashed or under tight verbal control, an off leash dog wandering alone would, at least in most parts of the country, elicit concerned calls to animal control.  Such was not the case in the 1920s when many farm dogs wandered unaccompanied.  One such free-wheeling canine was Bobbie the Wonder dog

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Bobbie was a collie mix farm dog who belonged to the Braziers, a typical 1920s family: mom, dad and kids.   Bobbie loved  country life and was, according to Mr. Brazier, a natural heeler, able to coral horses, cats, chickens, and cows with ease.   Well loved by his family and enjoying the freedom of country life he lead an idealized existence for his first year.  Then the Braziers bought a café in an Oregon town and feeling city life was not a good match for Bobbie they reluctantly sold him to some farm owning friends.   Bobbie, however, had different ideas.  He escaped his new home repeatedly and would turn up at his old owners café.  Eventually the Braziers realized Bobbie was meant to be with them.  They decided to take a trip back east and to take Bobbie with them.  After buying Bobbie back from the family they had sold him too they set off on their journey, with Bobbie riding on the back of their car on top of the luggage.

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Bobbie purportedly had a lovely time on the trip but while Mr. Brazier was filling the car at a gas station Bobbie jumped off the running board to chase some wild animals.  At first Mr. Brazier was unconcerned, since Bobbie frequently had such adventures and always returned.  However, by the next day there was still no sign of the dog.  The family searched but to no avail.  Mr. Brazier took an add out in the local paper asking Bobbie to be shipped back to them if he was found and the dejected family continued on their journey.

Six months later the Braziers, now back in Oregon, had given Bobbie up for lost or dead, when an amazing thing happened. While walking down the street the youngest daughter spotted a dirty, limping dog coming towards her and was shocked to discover that the dog was in fact Bobbie.   An investigation of several distinguishing scars on Bobbie's body proved he was in fact the same dog.  He had walked 2500 miles to return to  his family.   The Braziers set busy spoiling Bobbie, who had became emaciated during his journey,  with steaks and cream.  Amazed by Bobbie's voyage and wanting to confirm his route, Mr. Brazier contacted several filling station attendants and restaurant owners and was able to confirm that many had seen, and fed, Bobbie during his journey.  Though his research Mr. Brazier was able to chart Bobbie's route, he followed the route taken by the Brazier car and stopped at many of the same rest stations as they had, until finally making his way home.  Word  of   Bobbie's amazing journey made him a local legend and briefly a national canine celebrity in the 1920s:

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Bobbie was given a silver medal  by the Oregon humane society. The town of Silverton also built him a fancy dog house and presented to him in a ceremony.  When Bobbie died at the too early age of 6 the town marked his grave site with a testament to his famous journey.
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  The dog house, complete with a monument and plaque honoring Bobbie and his journey still stands in Silverton and is a popular roadside tourist attraction.

I really like Bobbie's pink flamingo
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13 comments:

  1. Great story!
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Greta

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  2. What an amazing story! It hurts to think about his long journey, hunger and how he missed his family. But I'm so glad he was reunited to them eventually!

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  3. What an amazing tale. I had never heard of Bobby and his journey. I wonder if that is the inspiration for the movie from a while back. It's incredible how bonded he was to his family.

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  4. Hi Y'all!

    I love, love, feel good stories like this one.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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  5. That is a great story. What an amazing journey to get back home. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  6. That was an awesome story. Dogs really are amazing creatures.

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  7. Oh what a lovely story. I have read of dogs being lost and returning home years after going missing.
    Lynne x

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  8. That was very very good. And what a well written and researched post. So enjoyed this one.

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  9. Animals are truly amazing! What a gorgeous story.

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  10. What an incredible tale! This is proof positive of just how incredibly smart and intuitive dogs (and most animals, for that matter) are.

    ♥ Jessica

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  11. What an amazing story! I'm so glad I stopped by to read it. Talk about Lassie come home lol

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