Bobbie The Collie: The Actual Lassie Come-House

Silverton Bobbie the Marvel Canine is the real-life Lassie Come-House. Because the occasions of his outstanding adventure befell greater than 15 years ahead of the e-newsletter of Eric Knight’s iconic paintings, some speculate Bobbie’s homing trek impressed the fictitious Lassie’s. In regards to the rumor that Knight’s Lassie used to be modeled after Bobbie, there appears to be no concrete proof Eric Knight used to be acutely aware of Silverton Bobbie. Then again, this can be a compelling conjecture. Bobbie the American Collie did obtain fan mail from many nations together with England, Eric Knight’s birthplace, regardless that he spent a lot of his existence in The united states. Bobbie used to be moderately the debate of the English-speaking international for a time, and as a result “Bobbie” changed into a well-liked Collie title. (Within the Nineteen Thirties, my grandma grew up with a Collie named Bobbie at the circle of relatives farm.) It will be extra unexpected if Eric Knight had by some means escaped wisdom of Bobbie the Marvel Canine.


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 youngsters’s e book of canine tales, 1937


This tale continues to be related lately, because it stands as a testomony to the devotion canine show for his or her people. Bobbie used to be made up our minds to achieve his grasp regardless of the impediment. Like Lassie the come-home collie, he crossed bridges once they have been to be had, swam rivers when there have been no bridges at hand, and had many adventures alongside the way in which – each just right and unhealthy – with people and animals. Given the timeline of Bobbie’s adventure, he will have to have crossed the Rocky Mountains within the throes of wintry weather. That’s one thing Lassie herself by no means needed to face! Relying on his direction trajectory, Bobbie additionally traversed extra territory than Lassie did, with estimates striking the full distance between 2,500 to three,000 miles (4,000 to five,000 kilometers).

Bobbie may be particular in that he’s a canine of the folk, if you’re going to. In his early existence, he used to be a operating farm canine who transitioned to town canine when his homeowners moved to run a cafe. (Bobbie used to be at first bought in conjunction with the farm, however he didn’t imagine himself bought and stored returning to his circle of relatives within the town till they purchased him again.) He has been variously claimed to be a Scotch sheepdog, an Australian shepherd combine, and a Scottish collie. Actually, Bobbie’s dam used to be a registered collie, and his sire had a registered collie guardian and an English shepherd guardian. Being three-quarters collie and one-quarter English shepherd, Bobbie used to be no blue-blooded tough collie. It can be that his blended heritage gave him benefits (proper all the way down to the un-collie-like hind dewclaws!) important to live to tell the tale on his adventure.


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.
Some of the authentic pictures integrated within the reprint of Bobbie: A Nice Collie


This 1926 e book deserved a reprint for extra than simply the content material of the tale itself. In supply, its taste is paying homage to the survival stories of Jack London or the works of Albert Payson Terhune wherein he extolled his Sunnybank collies. Charles Dewey Alexander used what he knew of Bobbie’s early existence and go back and forth reports, then fictionalized the portions all through which Bobby had no human interplay and there have been no witnesses to his adventures. In that this e book is each a piece of nonfiction and fiction, it’s distinctive. Readers are inspired to learn the appendix after the belief of Bankruptcy 11, wherein the writer integrated excerpts of letters and far details about Bobbie’s genuine existence tale.

Bobbie changed into a global sensation after the belief of his adventure, such a lot in order that he even starred in his personal silent movie, The Name of the West. (Sadly, reel quantity two used to be broken and has no longer survived, however the Oregon Historic Society made public the primary part of the film.) At his loss of life, the country grieved, and Rin Tin Tin laid a wreath of plant life on his grave. However that has under no circumstances been the top of his legacy. Bobbie used to be identified to have a minimum of 15 domestic dogs with Mrs. Bobbie, and the perception that a few of his descendants are with us lately isn’t far-fetched, since regimen spay and neuter weren’t commonplace within the Twenties. Whilst alive, Bobbie used to be the darling of Silverton, Oregon, and the city nonetheless preserves a monument and mural to their own Silverton Bobbie that encompasses part a town block. Yearly, canine enthusiasts from all over the place forestall to make the excursion and take pictures, some with their very own loved puppies. After studying this e book, you could to find your self making plans a highway go back and forth, too.


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
A part of the Bobbie mural in Silverton, Oregon PC: Thomas Schantz on Flickr


That is Emily’s creation written for the book reprint version of the in the past out-of-print e book Bobbie: A Nice Collie. Click on this hyperlink or the image under if you need to buy the entire e book.

To request a paperback or hardback reproduction, depart a message within the feedback under or via our touch shape. 


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 book version now to be had on Amazon


If any individual has made a pilgrimage to the Bobbie “shrine” in Silverton, Oregon, tell us within the feedback!


Additional studying:

Marvel Canine, The Tale of Silverton Bobbie

Silverton’s Bobbie: His Superb Adventure

Bobbie The Marvel Canine: A True Tale (youngsters’s image e book)