Bobbie The Collie: The Real Lassie Come-Home

Silverton Bobbie the Ponder Dog is the true-daily life Lassie Appear-Home. As the functions of his exceptional journey transpired a lot more than 15 years ahead of the publication of Eric Knight’s iconic operate, some speculate Bobbie’s homing trek inspired the fictional Lassie’s. Regarding the rumor that Knight’s Lassie was modeled just after Bobbie, there seems to be no concrete proof Eric Knight was conscious of Silverton Bobbie. Nonetheless, it is a persuasive conjecture. Bobbie the American Collie did receive enthusiast mail from numerous international locations which include England, Eric Knight’s birthplace, nevertheless he used much of his lifetime in The usa. Bobbie was quite the communicate of the English-speaking environment for a time, and as a result “Bobbie” became a well-liked Collie identify. (In the 1930s, my grandma grew up with a Collie named Bobbie on the spouse and children farm.) It would be extra stunning if Eric Knight experienced by some means escaped expertise 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 e-book of doggy tales, 1937


This story is continue to relevant now, given that it stands as a testomony to the devotion canine display screen for their individuals. Bobbie was decided to access his learn no issue the obstacle. Like Lassie the appear-property collie, he crossed bridges when they have been accessible, swam rivers when there had been no bridges handy, and had quite a few adventures along the way – both superior and terrible – with humans and animals. Specified the timeline of Bobbie’s journey, he must have crossed the Rocky Mountains in the throes of wintertime. That’s some thing Lassie herself in no way experienced to deal with! Dependent on his route trajectory, Bobbie also traversed extra territory than Lassie did, with estimates putting the full distance involving 2,500 to 3,000 miles (4,000 to 5,000 kilometers).

Bobbie is also unique in that he is a dog of the persons, if you will. In his early daily life, he was a doing work farm puppy who transitioned to city canine when his house owners moved to operate a cafe. (Bobbie was initially purchased alongside with the farm, but he did not take into consideration himself offered and saved returning to his family in the city until they bought him back.) He has been variously claimed to be a Scotch sheepdog, an Australian shepherd mix, and a Scottish collie. In real truth, Bobbie’s dam was a registered collie, and his sire experienced a registered collie father or mother and an English shepherd parent. Remaining a few-quarters collie and one particular-quarter English shepherd, Bobbie was no blue-blooded tough collie. It might be that his combined heritage gave him pros (ideal down to the un-collie-like hind dewclaws!) required 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.
Just one of the authentic images integrated in the reprint of Bobbie: A Excellent Collie


This 1926 e book deserved a reprint for a lot more than just the information of the story itself. In shipping and delivery, its model is reminiscent of the survival tales of Jack London or the performs of Albert Payson Terhune in which he extolled his Sunnybank collies. Charles Dewey Alexander employed what he realized of Bobbie’s early existence and journey ordeals, then fictionalized the components through which Bobby experienced no human interaction and there were no witnesses to his adventures. In that this guide is both of those a do the job of nonfiction and fiction, it is exclusive. Viewers are encouraged to examine the appendix following the summary of Chapter 11, in which the author incorporated excerpts of letters and a great deal information and facts about Bobbie’s actual lifestyle tale.

Bobbie became an worldwide sensation immediately after the conclusion of his journey, so significantly so that he even starred in his very own silent film, The Simply call of the West. (Regretably, reel variety two was harmed and has not survived, but the Oregon Historical Culture designed general public the to start with 50 % of the movie.) At his demise, the nation grieved, and Rin Tin Tin laid a wreath of bouquets on his grave. But that has absolutely not been the close of his legacy. Bobbie was acknowledged to have at the very least 15 puppies with Mrs. Bobbie, and the idea that some of his descendants are with us right now is not much-fetched, considering that routine spay and neuter ended up not typical in the 1920s. While alive, Bobbie was the darling of Silverton, Oregon, and the city still preserves a monument and mural to their incredibly have Silverton Bobbie that encompasses 50 percent a town block. Every single year, puppy enthusiasts from all around end to make the tour and consider pictures, some with their have beloved pups. After studying this guide, you could discover you planning a road journey, 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
Part of the Bobbie mural in Silverton, Oregon Computer: Thomas Schantz on Flickr


This is Emily’s introduction created for the e-book reprint edition of the beforehand out-of-print guide Bobbie: A Excellent Collie. Click on this link or the image under if you would like to order the entire book.

To ask for a paperback or hardback duplicate, go away a information in the reviews under or via our speak to 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 available on Amazon


If everyone has built a pilgrimage to the Bobbie “shrine” in Silverton, Oregon, permit us know in the comments!


Even further looking through:

Question Puppy, The Tale of Silverton Bobbie

Silverton’s Bobbie: His Incredible Journey

Bobbie The Surprise Doggy: A Accurate Tale (children’s photo e book)

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