Better known as Bobbie the Wonder Dog, the Scotch collie was separated from his family on a road trip in Indiana way back in 1923. Incredibly, the dedicated pooch made the solo voyage back to Silverton, east of Salem, several months later.
In 1927, Bobbie took ill and died at a Portland veterinarian’s office, and he was buried in the Oregon Humane Society pet cemetery on Northeast Columbia Boulevard.
He lies there today. But not for long, if a new movement, Bring Bobbie Home, has its way.
The group is using social media to build a campaign to have Bobbie dug up and transplanted back in his hometown. Their motto? “Some dead dogs we should not let lie!”
“The problem with the story is, in the end of it all, Bobbie never really made it home,” said Chris Linn, 40, who lives in Silverton and is one of three co-founders of the movement.
If any of Bobbie’s remains are left to exhume after 85 years underground—the Oregon Humane Society isn’t willing to roll over and send him back to Silverton.
The humane society has a mini dog house and a plaque commemorating Bobbie’s grave site, and countless tours and visitors keep his memory alive, spokesman David Lytle tells WW. Rin Tin Tin even attended Bobbie’s funeral there, and laid a wreath on his canine comrade’s grave.
“His family chose this as his resting place,” Lytle said. “Our position right now is we’ve been very good stewards of Bobbie for 85 years and we’re honoring the wishes of his family. We’re looking forward to being stewards for as long as OHS is here.”
Lytle said he had no idea about how laws governing dog exhumation would work in this case, and added he’s never run into anything like this before.
Linn, who works as a catering manager in Salem, said they’re hoping to start the movement on Facebook and Twitter and address roadblocks as they come. And while the whole story sounds like a bizarre hoax, he assured WW that their intentions to memorialize the dog in his hometown are true.
“When you grow up in a small town like Silverton, there’s not really many local heroes,” Linn said. “To find a genuine local hero, you have to go the canine world. He’s Silverton’s canine hero, if you will.”