Indeed, the incredible story of Bobbie the Wonder Dog walks 2500 miles in search of a home. A Braizer family was visiting relatives near Wolcott, Indiana, in August 1923. Bobbie, a Scottish collie puppy with average looks, accompanied his owners on a cross-country summer road trip. During his trip to fill up at a gas station in Wolcott, Bobbie was chased away by street dogs.
However, when chased away, he lost his way. Ultimately, Bobbie failed to return when the family was waiting for him. Therefore, the Brazier family placed ads in newspapers and gave up hope after a week of searching. As they returned home, they expected to never see their dog again after being heartbroken.
It was a surprise to everyone when Bobbie returned after six months away. On February 19, 1924, a ragged, dirty, and scrawny animal with toenails worn down to nothing hobbled back into Silverton. Even though it may seem impossible, the two-year-old puppy had walked 2,550 miles alone to get home.
For the love and loyalty of their family, Bobbie traveled approximately 14 miles (23 km) per day. A meteoric rise to fame followed his return to Silverton. Once Bobbie returned, all leading newspapers across the country covered his incredible story.
It didn’t take long for the Braizer family to receive fan mail, even though some were addressed directly to Bobbie the Wonder Dog, following his incredible feat. It has been reported that some people saw Bobbie in various places and were able to identify him by his distinguishing features.
In response to the Braziers’ claims, officials from the Oregon Humane Society launched an investigation. Humane Society researchers confirmed that Bobbie had indeed walked and swam across rivers and crossed deserts to return home in the dead of winter by talking to people who fed and sheltered him. In fact, society was able to reconstruct a relatively precise route Bobbie took. Bobbie became a celebrity following a happy reunion.
According to the humane society, Bobbie followed his owners’ further travels into northeast Indiana after returning to Wolcott and not being able to locate them. Apparently seeking their scent, he traveled in several directions. However, the West was the direction he ultimately took.
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A feature about him appeared in Ripley’s Believe It or Not. His role as himself was even featured in a silent film called The Call of the West. Over 40,000 people attended the Portland Home Show, in which Bobbie was presented with his own dog-sized bungalow. He was showered with fan mail and received medals from various societies. As a result of serious injuries to his legs and paws, an Irish woman took care of him for a period of time in Portland.
Unfortunately, he didn’t live too long. Bobbie passed away in 1927. That was the possibility of his journey catching up with him; doctors suggested that he suffered an early death. He was buried in the Portland pet cemetery run by the Humane Society. A wreath was laid at his grave by Rin Tin Tin, a German shepherd who was a Hollywood film star.
Silverton’s busiest street was painted with a 70-foot mural depicting his life decades later. Bobbie’s fancy dog house is also a replica, and a life-size statue of her is erected next to the statue. Indeed, this is an incredible story of a brave wonder dog, which inspires many to never give up.
Offbeat Oregon reports:
After coming back to Wolcott and finding the Braziers gone, Bobbie first followed them northeast, farther into Indiana. Then he started striking out on what must have been exploratory journeys in various directions — perhaps trying to pick up a familiar scent to give him a sense of the direction to take. Eventually, he found what he was looking for, and struck out for the West Coast.
On their trip, the Braziers had left their car in service stations each night. Bobbie visited each of these on the way, along with a number of private homes. He also spent some time in a hobo camp. In Portland, he stayed for some time with an Irish woman, who nursed him back to health after some sort of accident left his legs and paws gashed up. About two weeks later, Bobbie was back in Silverton.