Bobbie's - History Con't

seemed logical to reward Bobbie’s loyalty by taking him along. They bought him back from the friend and soon set off, with Bobbie finding a comfortable spot perched on top of the car with the luggage or riding on the running board.

The family was stopped at a gas station in Wolcott, Indiana, 2,500 miles from home, when Bobbie attracted the attention of a group of angry, wild dogs. The pack proceeded to chase him around a corner and out of sight. Mr. Brazier expected the self-reliant dog to make his way back to the family, but after several hours and much searching, when they were not able to find the lost dog, they realized they had to continue on without him. The Braziers spent 3 weeks traveling around Indiana and Ohio and then returned to Wolcott hoping to find Bobbie waiting for them. No one had seen him, so, leaving word on how to contact them, the heartsick couple returned to Silverton.

Exactly 6 months later, the Brazier’s youngest daughter Nova was walking down a Silverton street with a friend, when to her amazement she saw a scrawny, bedraggled dog come limping toward them. The miraculous reunion was joyous for everyone and for the next three days the exhausted dog did nothing but sleep and eat. His matted fur and sore, worn paws were evidence of the long journey he had endured, crossing rivers, deserts, mountains.

After word of his return made the news, the Braziers began receiving letters from people all over the country, either asking how he was doing, or relating how they had befriended Bobbie as he worked his way homeward, how they had fed him and tried to offer him a place to stay. But nothing could keep Bobbie from his determination to find his family.

Before long, Bobbie’s fame spread even more. He was treated like a hero, receiving the key to the city. The Oregon Humane Society presented him with a silver medal and practically every major newspaper and magazine in the country ran an account of his 3,000-mile journey. His story inspired a movie, “The Call of the West,” and several books; even Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not” featured his story.

Bobbie died in April 1927 at the age of 6 years. He was buried in the Oregon Humane Society animal cemetery in Portland following a funeral attended by over 200 people. Movie star dog, Rin Tin Tin, came from Hollywood to lay a wreath on Bobbie’s grave. In 1932, Silverton honored Bobbie’s memory with a parade of children and their pets, a tradition that is still carried on each May, making Silverton’s Pet Parade the oldest continuous parade of its kind in the United States. Bobbie’s story is vividly memorialized today on a mural located on South Water Street near the footbridge that crosses Silver Creek and close to the original site of the Reo Café.

Sources: “Legend of Bobbie, the wonder dog, lives on,” by G.F. Brazier; notes on file at the SCHS Museum

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