Bobbie, The Wonder Dog Who Walked 2,500 Miles to Home

Aug 4, 2021 1 comments

In August 1923, Bobbie—an average-looking collie puppy—accompanied his owners, the Braizer family, on a cross-country summer road trip from their home in Silverton, Oregon, to Wolcott, Indiana, where they were visiting some relatives. While filling up gas at a station in Wolcott, Bobbie was chased away by some street dogs. The family waited for Bobbie to return, but he did not. They placed ads on newspapers and after a week of intense searching, the Brazier family gave up hope. Heartbroken, they continued their trip before returning home to Oregon, expecting never to see their dog again.

Bobbie, The Wonder Dog

A statue of Bobbie the Wonder Dog at Silverton. Photo: Rick Obst/Flickr

To everyone’s surprise, Bobbie did return, six months after he had disappeared. He hobbled back into Silverton one February day in 1924, ragged, dirty and scrawny with his toenails worn down to nothing. Unbelievable as it may seem, the two-year old puppy had walked 2,550 miles all by himself to get home.

The news of Bobbie’s incredible feat soon spread across the nation, and the Braizer family was flooded with fan mail, some addressed to Bobbie himself. Some people claimed they had seen Bobbie at various places and were able to identify him by his distinguishing features.

Officials from the Oregon Humane Society was skeptical at first, and launched an investigation into the Braziers' claims. By talking with people who claimed to have fed and sheltered Bobbie on his journey, the Humane Society was able to confirm that Bobbie had indeed traveled 2,550 miles, and perhaps more, in the dead of winter swimming across rivers and walking through deserts to return home. The society was even able to assemble a relatively precise description of the route Bobbie took.

Bobbie, The Wonder Dog

Bobbie’s journey. Image credit:

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.

Bobbie, The Wonder Dog

Bobbie the Wonder Dog perches on the trunk of the Braziers' touring car in Silverton. Photo: Offbeat Oregon

After a happy reunion, Bobbie became a celebrity. He was featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not. He even starred in a silent movie called The Call of the West, where he played himself. Bobbie was showered with fan mails, he received medals from various societies, and he was the guest of honor at the Portland Home Show, where over 40,000 people came to view him, and he was presented with his own dog-sized bungalow.

Bobbie died in 1927. Doctors suggested that his early demise was as a result of the strain of his journey catching up with him. He was buried at the Humane Society’s pet cemetery in Portland. Rin Tin Tin, a German shepherd who was a Hollywood film star, later laid a wreath at his grave.

Decades later, a 70-foot-long mural of his life was painted on a wall facing the busiest street in Silverton. A life-size statue of Bobbie was also erected on one end, and next o the statue is a replica of Bobbie's fancy dog house.

Bobbie, The Wonder Dog

A replica of Bobbie’s elaborate bungalow. Photo: Debra Jane Seltzer/Flickr

Bobbie, The Wonder Dog

Murals at Silverton. Photo: Thomas Schrantz/Flickr

Bobbie, The Wonder Dog

Murals at Silverton. Photo: Thomas Schrantz/Flickr

Bobbie, The Wonder Dog

Murals at Silverton. Photo: Thomas Schrantz/Flickr


  1. Good Dog! I am sorry that you died so young after your magnificent journey.


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