Bobbie The Collie: The Real Lassie Come-Home

Silverton Bobbie the Speculate Puppy is the true-everyday living Lassie Arrive-Residence. As the events of his exceptional journey happened a lot more than 15 years before the publication of Eric Knight’s legendary operate, some speculate Bobbie’s homing trek encouraged the fictional Lassie’s. Concerning the rumor that Knight’s Lassie was modeled immediately after Bobbie, there seems to be no concrete evidence Eric Knight was aware of Silverton Bobbie. Nevertheless, it is a powerful conjecture. Bobbie the American Collie did receive enthusiast mail from quite a few international locations which include England, Eric Knight’s birthplace, although he used significantly of his existence in The usa. Bobbie was quite the converse of the English-talking entire world for a time, and consequently “Bobbie” became a preferred Collie identify. (In the 1930s, my grandma grew up with a Collie named Bobbie on the family members farm.) It would be much more surprising if Eric Knight experienced in some way escaped awareness of Bobbie the Wonder Dog.


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 ebook of dog tales, 1937


This story is still relevant right now, since it stands as a testament to the devotion canines display screen for their humans. Bobbie was identified to arrive at his learn no make a difference the impediment. Like Lassie the arrive-dwelling collie, he crossed bridges when they were offered, swam rivers when there ended up no bridges handy, and had lots of adventures along the way – equally great and poor – with individuals and animals. Presented the timeline of Bobbie’s journey, he must have crossed the Rocky Mountains in the throes of wintertime. That is something Lassie herself in no way had to face! Based on his route trajectory, Bobbie also traversed a lot more territory than Lassie did, with estimates putting the complete distance involving 2,500 to 3,000 miles (4,000 to 5,000 kilometers).

Bobbie is also distinctive in that he is a doggy of the people today, if you will. In his early life, he was a doing the job farm pet dog who transitioned to town dog when his entrepreneurs moved to run a cafe. (Bobbie was initially procured along with the farm, but he did not think about himself bought and kept 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 mix, and a Scottish collie. In reality, Bobbie’s dam was a registered collie, and his sire had a registered collie mum or dad and an English shepherd father or mother. Becoming a few-quarters collie and a single-quarter English shepherd, Bobbie was no blue-blooded rough collie. It might be that his combined heritage gave him rewards (correct down to the un-collie-like hind dewclaws!) necessary to survive 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.
A single of the original photographs involved in the reprint of Bobbie: A Terrific Collie


This 1926 e-book deserved a reprint for far more than just the information of the story by itself. 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 knew of Bobbie’s early lifestyle and journey ordeals, then fictionalized the pieces for the duration of which Bobby experienced no human conversation and there had been no witnesses to his adventures. In that this book is equally a function of nonfiction and fiction, it is one of a kind. Audience are inspired to read the appendix immediately after the conclusion of Chapter 11, in which the writer bundled excerpts of letters and significantly info about Bobbie’s genuine existence story.

Bobbie grew to become an intercontinental sensation following the conclusion of his journey, so substantially so that he even starred in his very own silent film, The Contact of the West. (Unfortunately, reel number two was ruined and has not survived, but the Oregon Historical Modern society built public the initially 50 percent of the film.) At his demise, the nation grieved, and Rin Tin Tin laid a wreath of flowers on his grave. But that has certainly not been the conclusion of his legacy. Bobbie was acknowledged to have at the very least 15 puppies with Mrs. Bobbie, and the notion that some of his descendants are with us today is not far-fetched, due to the fact regime spay and neuter were not frequent in the 1920s. Whilst alive, Bobbie was the darling of Silverton, Oregon, and the town continue to preserves a monument and mural to their very own Silverton Bobbie that encompasses 50 percent a city block. Each and every calendar year, dog enthusiasts from all about prevent to make the tour and get pictures, some with their individual beloved pups. Immediately after looking at this e book, you may well uncover your self preparing a road vacation, as well.


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
Section of the Bobbie mural in Silverton, Oregon Laptop: Thomas Schantz on Flickr


This is Emily’s introduction composed for the e-e book reprint version of the beforehand out-of-print ebook Bobbie: A Terrific Collie. Click on this connection or the picture underneath if you would like to obtain the finish guide.

To request a paperback or hardback copy, depart a information in the reviews beneath or as a result of our speak to kind. 


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-guide edition now readily available on Amazon


If everyone has created a pilgrimage to the Bobbie “shrine” in Silverton, Oregon, allow us know in the reviews!


Further more looking at:

Marvel Puppy, The Story of Silverton Bobbie

Silverton’s Bobbie: His Awesome Journey

Bobbie The Wonder Dog: A Real Tale (children’s photograph ebook)

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