Fans want 'wonder dog' moved to Silverton

Fans want 'wonder dog' moved to Silverton

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by Erica Heartquist

Bio | Email | Follow: @EricaHeartquist

kgw.com

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 27 at 1:17 PM

PORTLAND - There's a controversy brewing over what to do with a Silverton dog's remains.

"Bobbie the wonder dog" became a nationwide sensation in the 1920's. He was buried in Portland, but a movement has sprung up to move his remains back to Silverton.

Bobbie was a collie-mix from Silverton, Oregon with a story that goes back to 1924.That's when his owners took a road trip to Indiana. When they headed home, they couldn't find Bobbie and his heartbroken family had to leave without him.

Six months later, Bobbie appeared back on their door-step, hungry and tired. He had walked more than 2,500 miles back to Silverton.

"Wow, that's a long ways to walk," said Bill Moser with a laugh. Moser and friends were visiting Silverton Wednesday.

There's a mural in downtown Silverton telling Bobbie's story along with a replica dog house. There is even a "Bobbie Day" in Silverton every February 15th, celebrating the day Bobbie came home.

Slideshow: Bobbie the Wonder Dog

When he died, Bobbie was buried at the Oregon Humane Society in Portland. Portland's mayor gave the eulogy and a week later, television's Rin Tin Tin laid a wreath on his grave.

When he learned Bobbie wasn't buried in Silverton, long-time Silverton resident Chris Linn and his friends Greg Griffin and Micah Kassell started the movement "Bring Bobbie Back."

"At some point in the last 85 years, Bobbie stopped belonging to the brazier family as it was, and started belonging to the community as it is," said Linn.

Linn said since the dog tried so hard to get to Silverton, that's where he should stay for good.

"Bobbie's entire journey was to get back to Silverton, to get back home and home in this context was yes, a family, but home was also a community. And in either version of those truths, home was not Portland," said Linn.

David Lytle with the Oregon Humane Society said it's not that easy.

"I think we'd be betraying the trust of Bobbie if we were to move him and betray the wishes of his family," said Lytle.

A fire in 1930 burned whatever paper records there were of the family's actual burial request. But, the family wanted the Oregon Humane Society to be Bobbie's final resting place, said Lytle.

"The family chose this resting place as his final resting place and kind of like if I chose my pet to be here forever, I'd want my pet to stay here. I wouldn't want someone coming along 85 years later and taking that pet away," he said.

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