The Brazier family lived in Silverton, Oregon with their dog Bobbie, a Scotch Collie, English Shepherd mix. In August 1923 Frank and Elizabeth loaded their two daughters into their car for a cross country trip to visit family in Indiana. Two-year-old Bobbie rode outside on the trunk. While in Indiana, Bobbie was chased away by a pack of local dogs. After several days of calling, posting flyers and newspaper ads, the family had to return to Oregon without their loyal companion. They were heartbroken.
Six months later, back in Silverton, one of the daughters stepped outside of the family-owned café and was amazed to see a bedraggled Bobbie shuffling down Main Street. His fur was matted, he was extremely skinny, and his toenails were worn down to nothing. Somehow, Bobbie had managed to traverse over 2,550 miles of plains, deserts, and mountains to reunite with his family. He would have had to swim rivers and cross the Continental Divide, all during the dead of winter.
After a meal of sirloin steak and a big bowl of cream. Bobbie was so tired, exhausted, and worn down, he didn’t move for three days. His story was chronicled by the local paper and then rebroadcast across the country. He was featured in “Ripley’s Believe it or not” and three months later, starred in a silent film called. “The call of the west.” His fame earned him several “keys to the city” and numerous appearances, including the Portland Home Show, where over 40,000 people came to see the intrepid traveler.
Bobbie even went on to sire a litter of 15 puppies, all of which were males, before his death in 1927. He was buried with honors at the Oregon Humane Society’s Animal Cemetery and the famous movie dog Rin Tin Tin traveled to Oregon to lay a wreath at his grave.
Bobbie’s demonstration of loyalty is celebrated during Silverton’s annual pet parade that serves as a reminder of the special place animals have in people’s lives. The event was started several years after Bobbie’s death and the first parade was led by his son, Pal. A 70-foot-long outdoor painting featuring Bobbie’s story is part of a series of murals that decorate Silverton.