October 2, 2023

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Bobbie The Collie: The Real Lassie Come-Home

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Silverton Bobbie the Question Dog is the actual-everyday living Lassie Appear-Household. As the activities of his extraordinary journey occurred far more than 15 many years prior to the publication of Eric Knight’s legendary work, some speculate Bobbie’s homing trek encouraged the fictional Lassie’s. Relating to the rumor that Knight’s Lassie was modeled just after Bobbie, there appears to be to be no concrete proof Eric Knight was aware of Silverton Bobbie. On the other hand, it is a persuasive conjecture. Bobbie the American Collie did acquire admirer mail from many international locations together with England, Eric Knight’s birthplace, while he put in much of his life in The united states. Bobbie was quite the communicate of the English-speaking world for a time, and for that reason “Bobbie” became a well known Collie title. (In the 1930s, my grandma grew up with a Collie named Bobbie on the relatives farm.) It would be additional stunning if Eric Knight had by some means escaped knowledge of Bobbie the Question Puppy.


A book illustration of a painted sable (tan) and white Collie with a white muzzle. The accompanying caption says "My dog Bobby is a collie. He is the smartest dog I know. I think he understands all I tell him."
A collie named Bobby from a children’s e book of pet dog tales, 1937


This tale is however appropriate currently, due to the fact it stands as a testomony to the devotion pet dogs display screen for their people. Bobbie was determined to get to his grasp no issue the impediment. Like Lassie the come-household collie, he crossed bridges when they ended up offered, swam rivers when there had been no bridges useful, and had lots of adventures together the way – equally good and undesirable – with individuals and animals. Offered the timeline of Bobbie’s journey, he must have crossed the Rocky Mountains in the throes of wintertime. That is a thing Lassie herself hardly ever experienced to encounter! Based on his route trajectory, Bobbie also traversed additional territory than Lassie did, with estimates placing the complete distance in between 2,500 to 3,000 miles (4,000 to 5,000 kilometers).

Bobbie is also particular in that he is a pet of the men and women, if you will. In his early existence, he was a doing the job farm canine who transitioned to city doggy when his homeowners moved to run a cafe. (Bobbie was at first bought together with the farm, but he did not consider himself marketed and saved returning to his relatives in the city right until they purchased him again.) He has been variously claimed to be a Scotch sheepdog, an Australian shepherd combine, and a Scottish collie. In truth, Bobbie’s dam was a registered collie, and his sire experienced a registered collie father or mother and an English shepherd guardian. Getting three-quarters collie and a person-quarter English shepherd, Bobbie was no blue-blooded tough collie. It might be that his combined heritage gave him advantages (suitable down to the un-collie-like hind dewclaws!) necessary to endure on his journey.


A black and white photo of a sable and white Collie with hind dewclaws, standing on a bench. The caption says "Bobbie was not beatable, because of his reach, his powerful shoulders, and his rending fangs.
One particular of the authentic images bundled in the reprint of Bobbie: A Terrific Collie


This 1926 guide deserved a reprint for a lot more than just the content material of the tale alone. In supply, its style is reminiscent of the survival tales of Jack London or the operates of Albert Payson Terhune in which he extolled his Sunnybank collies. Charles Dewey Alexander made use of what he understood of Bobbie’s early existence and vacation ordeals, then fictionalized the pieces throughout which Bobby had no human conversation and there were no witnesses to his adventures. In that this book is the two a function of nonfiction and fiction, it is one of a kind. Readers are encouraged to read the appendix just after the summary of Chapter 11, in which the writer provided excerpts of letters and significantly data about Bobbie’s authentic lifetime story.

Bobbie turned an worldwide feeling after the conclusion of his journey, so considerably so that he even starred in his have silent movie, The Simply call of the West. (Unfortunately, reel amount two was damaged and has not survived, but the Oregon Historical Culture produced general public the initially 50 percent of the film.) At his demise, the country grieved, and Rin Tin Tin laid a wreath of flowers on his grave. But that has unquestionably not been the stop of his legacy. Bobbie was identified to have at the very least 15 puppies with Mrs. Bobbie, and the idea that some of his descendants are with us today is not far-fetched, considering that schedule spay and neuter were being not prevalent in the 1920s. Whilst alive, Bobbie was the darling of Silverton, Oregon, and the city continue to preserves a monument and mural to their incredibly possess Silverton Bobbie that encompasses 50 % a town block. Every single calendar year, puppy fans from all about prevent to make the tour and take photographs, some with their possess beloved pups. Soon after reading through this guide, you might locate by yourself organizing a highway journey, too.


A mural painted on a wall depicts a sable and white Collie over a map, with a smaller painting of the same Collie with a man in a hat
Element of the Bobbie mural in Silverton, Oregon Computer: Thomas Schantz on Flickr


This is Emily’s introduction composed for the e-book reprint version of the beforehand out-of-print book Bobbie: A Good Collie. Simply click this backlink or the picture down below if you would like to purchase the full ebook.

To request a paperback or hardback copy, depart a message in the feedback below or through our make contact with sort. 


A book cover with an old grayscale photo of a sable and white Collie with a facial blaze. The title reads "Bobbie, A Great Collie"
Reprint e-e-book version now out there on Amazon


If anybody has manufactured a pilgrimage to the Bobbie “shrine” in Silverton, Oregon, let us know in the feedback!


Additional looking at:

Ponder Pet dog, The Tale of Silverton Bobbie

Silverton’s Bobbie: His Remarkable Journey

Bobbie The Question Doggy: A True Story (children’s image e-book)