Bobbie the Wonder Dog

Bobbie the Wonder Dog  

Written by Tricia Brown, illustrated by Cary Porter 

The story of Bobbie, who hailed from Silverton, Oregon in the ‘20s, has been told and retold countless times. In family homes, newspapers, books and more.

While the story is true, it only feels right to begin: Once upon a time . . .

There was a puppy named Bobbie, who at six weeks of age was selected by Frank and Elizabeth Brazier of Silverton to become part of their family and working farm. The Scotch Collie with the bobbed tail (hence his name), was a natural “heeler,” herding cows, horses, and even cats and people.

In his first months of life he was “hurt on the job”— first by a horse who didn’t appreciate Bobbie’s efforts, and then by a tractor, which accidentally ran over his leg. As was his nature, he healed quickly and returned to work straightaway.

In time the family decided to sell the farm and open a restaurant in town. They sold Bobbie to the new owners, thinking Bobbie would be happiest remaining on the farm. They learned differently though, when Bobbie showed up at the restaurant soon after.

At first agreeing to an arrangement where Bobbie spent weekdays at the farm and weekends in town, Bobbie soon made it known that he preferred his original family. They bought him back — for three times what they’d sold him for.

In August 1923, the family embarked on a cross-country vacation to visit family. Not wanting to reveal all here, suffice it to say that while Frank refueled in Indiana, Bobbie was chased by a pack of wild dogs. The family looked and lingered, placed an ad in the paper, but eventually had to return home without their beloved pet.

The family was heartbroken, but picked up their lives, as people must. Then, on February 15, exactly six months after becoming lost, Bobbie limped into downtown Silverton, to the shock, amazement and immeasurable joy of his family.

 The story spread, in town, throughout Oregon, and finally across the country. Letters to the family arrived, piecing together Bobbie’s incredible journey. Letter writers talked of trying to keep him, many saying he would accept a meal or a night’s stay, but would always move on.

The recurring line in this sweetly written and illustrated book will always ring true: Bobbie was unstoppable.

Bobbie the Wonder Dog — recommended for readers 4-8 years but a joy for readers of any age — is available wherever books are sold (Alaska Northwest Books, Graphic Arts Books, Westwinds Press). The book launched at the annual Silverton Oregon “Bobbie” Pet Parade in May.

Kristan Dael is a freelance writer and the alter ego of Jennifer Mccammon. She lives in Portland with her 4-pack, and strives to produce articles that inform, edify, engage and entertain.

Record-breaking animals steal the show

A sprinting tortoise, a coordinated canine, a set of barnyard dynamos, and the furriest rabbit around have made their way into the new Guinness Book of World Records. After researching and scouting the animal kingdom for over a year, the global authority on record-breaking achievement announced the new pet and animal records for the 2016 edition.

"Pet records are some of the most popular Guinness World Records titles, and readers can't wait to see the jaw-dropping new animal exploits year after year," says editor-in-chief Craig Glenday. "The 2016 edition features an impressive mix of talented household pets and barnyard behemoths from around the world.”

Check out animal achievements and more at this link or in the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2016 edition, available now where books are sold.

Get your Meow! on

History was made when Adam Ellis decided to place a fun little hat on his adopted feline friend Maxwell, then snapped and uploaded the photo to Instagram.

Now Ellis’ compilation of adorable photos of cats in hats with amusing anecdotes are available in a new book, Tiny Hats on Cats, available Oct. 20. The book also has a DIY element — step-by-step instructions for crafting your own colorful kitty headgear. Wondering what to get the cat lovers, crafters, and pop-culture fans on your list this holiday? This might be it. Pre-order at

Your Dog’s Love Language

Veterinarian and owner of Boyd’s Pet Resorts, Dr. John Boyd, has released a spin on the bestselling “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” to help people live their best “love” lives with their other best friend.  Following is a glimpse of  the tips and topics discussed in “Your Dog’s Love Language”: 

Words of Affirmation:  Your pooch perks up when you say, “Good girl!”  While dogs may not actually understand the words you’re saying, s/he understands your tone.  Words of affirmation (I love you.  You’re so smart.  Such a good dog!) can strongly effect your dog.  Likewise, harsh words and tones can have a profound negative impact.  Use your words for good, not harm. 

Acts of Service:  Bathing your dog, cleaning his kennel and feeding are acts of service.  These acts confirm you are the alpha (pack leader/main caretaker), which puts your dog at ease because s/he trusts your companionship and understands s/he doesn’t have to assume that role.

Receiving Gifts:  Buying toys or treats shows affection.  Some dogs love this more than others. For best results, offer goodies when you’ve got his undivided attention and he’s not misbehaving.  

Quality Time:   Spending time with your dog shows love in a way nothing else does.  When you’re gone, your pup CAN’T WAIT for you to get home!  Laptime counts as QT, but better still are long walks, romps at the park with a ball or Frisbee, or one-on-one playtime at home.  The latter doesn’t have to last long, but it’s best if you can tune out the rest of the world and simply be attentive and present with your dog for however long you have. 

Physical Touch:  Most dogs love a belly rub, a scratch behind the ears, a simple loving touch.  Keep in mind though, some dogs can become anxious or defensive if approached too quickly, while others may actually become uncomfortable and stressed if you gaze directly into their eyes.  Pay attention to body language, and learn the cues so your message of love can be received loud and clear! 

How Dogs Express Affection to You

Dogs love their people and love to show it.  Five ways your dog might speak to you in his or her love language:

1.  Tail wagging.

2.  Soft whining, whimpering or barking – Their version of words of  affirmation!

3.  Licking – Some people love this, others don’t.  Licking is a way of grooming and is an instinctive act of service for dogs.

4.  Bringing you things.

5.  Sticking close – Simply being there, enjoying your company. Dogs have this one mastered.  Yep, man’s best friend!

Learn more about “Your Dog’s Love Languages,”  about the author, and Boyd’s Pet Resorts at

Pet First Aid (Cats & Dogs) for Kids

Pet First Aid (Cats & Dogs) for Kids 

by Denise Fleck and Sandrina Lee

Pet First Aid is a great read for any child or young adult.  It details practical knowledge about many potential emergencies, as well as less serious medical situations pets may encounter, including allergic reactions, choking, fractures, frostbite, seizure and poisoning.   

The book outlines basic steps in clear, concise language.  The detailed photographs in this attractive, 36-page reference guide will help prepare children to help identify issues and assess what steps may need to be taken.   

Children and parents may enjoy reading the book together to learn important skills like administering CPR and rescue breathing.  Reading this book also may also help kids develop empathy for animals as they consider things that can affect an animal’s health or well-being. 


Grey Horse Matters

Blue 3.jpg

I’m changing focus a bit this month to take a look at a blog focused on another kind of four-legged critter — horses.  The more blogs I peruse, the more I realize what I enjoy most.  Blogs that for me are fun, engaging, and draw me back are those with real stories that paint a mental picture and make me laugh.  I like pictures.  I like learning.  And I like feeling connected and engaged to the writer.  Grey Horse Matters has all that and more.

Take, for instance, the recent post, “Limitations” (Aug. 28, ’12).  How many of us get excited to do something we’ve always enjoyed only to find afterward we’re experiencing aches and pains, plus dismay that age is starting to take hold?  In author Arlene’s, post, “News Flash:  Dusty’s a Witch” (July 24, ’12) she shares a training challenge with one of her equine companions, reminding us that with pets there’s always something to be working on.  “Taking a Break” (May 14, ‘12) is a familiar sight — they’re all ears until the goodies are gone.

For a little variety, take a gander at more of Arlene’s May posts — you might spy something a little foxy!

All in all, I think you’ll find Grey Horse Matters a great blog to add to your ‘must reads.’  Head on over to check ‘em out at

Blog Report: House Panthers


This month we’re checking out another kitty blog, this one with a slightly different flair.  The House Panthers ( is authored by multiple people — and dedicated completely to black cats.  A delightful caption on the home page sums it up nicely:  “We are the wild and sleek hunters of the house.  In the night’s darkness, we lurk and stalk any who would disturb our peace.”

As usual, what appeals to this visual writer are the photos.  The captions, quips and kitty conversations are great, but the pictures make it all the more real — actual cats in their true environment doing their normal (or abnormal?) silly things.  Take for example Midnight Monday with Tillie (Jun. 25 ‘12).  How many times have you seen a cat (or even a dog) take a look at someone at rest and then pester them?  No rest for the wicked, I suppose.

Midnight Mondays are the most consistent posting so you can count on a weekly fix of feisty felines.  Or freaked ones, as the case may be (May 28 ’12).  Don’t cats usually like spiders?  Aside from the routine antics of Tillie and brother JJ, you’ll meet Roy Sr. from MikiCato (Mar. 22 ‘12), whose furless family in true fur-loving fashion has a houseful (and cat porch-full) of kitty love.  It seems some other critters are jealous of all the love lavished on the kitties; a squirrel busted his way into Tillie’s house to help himself to the seed bag (Mar. 12 ‘12).

Meet Cocoa (Jul. 6 ‘06), Grr (Jul. 27 ‘06), and Midnight (Jul. 29 ‘06), in addition to Merlin and Rascal in the archives.  Photos aplenty, this blog will have you captivated from the word “Meow,” spoken from between black furred ears and bright eyes.  Check ‘em out and say hello.  Tell them Spot sent you!

Blog Report: Meet the Meowers from Missouri

L-R: Nitro S Pierce, Igmu Sapa, Edmund Percival Hillary and Xing Lu    Photo credit: Jan Price of   Jan's Funny Farm

L-R: Nitro S Pierce, Igmu Sapa, Edmund Percival Hillary and Xing Lu

Photo credit: Jan Price of Jan's Funny Farm

Four felines and a Lab. 

This poor pup is outnumbered by the feline contingent!  Meet the Meowers from Missouri (; they’re funny, adorable, and relatable.  No, really, they are!  Read the hilarious (insert eye roll here) story about “A little night music” (May 30, ‘12).  Almost every cat owner has experienced something similar at one time or another – those nocturnal instincts can sure kick in at the wrong time!

If you’re visual like me, you’ll enjoy “Toezie Tuesday” (May 22, ‘12), and love the photo “Makin’ air biscuits.”  Putting himself in the spotlight doing the dinnertime dance, Nitro almost took out the camera! (Apr. 4, ‘12).

Here’s the kicker:  this blog is written in Catspeak.  You heard me right – Catspeak.  What?  You’ve not heard of it?  Well, Catspeak is the voice in your cat’s head and finally someone (perhaps Dr. Doolittle is their typist?) has figured it out, so now you can learn Catspeak, too!  Want an example?  Pop on over to Xing Lu’s report (Feb. 21, ‘12) and see for yourself.

Here’s your random factoid for the day:  the Meowers are responsible for bringing “Talk Like a Pirate Day” to all of catdom; check out the last several years of September 9 posts to see what I mean.

Naturally, the pics and video make this blog all the more enjoyable.  And a new criterion we’ve found is consistency.  How often a blog gets updated is often akin to a good book – you can’t put it down and you’re always looking for more.  These Meowers have all that paws down.  So what’re you waiting for?  Click on over! 

Edmund & Nitro

Edmund & Nitro

Blog Report: Love Meow


A blog for ultimate cat lovers

Meow-meow here, meow-meow there, here a puppy, there a raccoon — wait a minute!  Yeehaw, this blog has it all!  Kittens and cats, puppers and ‘coons.  Who says we can’t all live together in harmony?  See it all at  In this delightful blog you’ll enjoy touching stories of rescue, animal kingdom wonder, and cool stuff like the post, ‘Mama Cat Adopts Rescue Baby Raccoon’ (Apr. 4, ‘12).

Videos and pictures abound.  For anyone who has witnessed the incredible bond that can grow between former canine and feline enemies, you won’t want to miss out on the “vlog,” ‘Foster Kittens Bathe Big Dog’ (Jan. 20, ’12).

Since a picture says a thousand words, you’ll more than get your fill when you click on the Gallery link.  Contest entries and winners, memorials and themed albums are abundant.  One thing we really love is the rescue stories and tales of good deeds on behalf of the many four-legged innocents who depend on us for food, shelter, medical care and love.  

Whether you’re having a day of doldrums or sunshine and daisies, you can’t help but feel warm from the inside out when you read about Bridget in ‘Litter of Kittens Adopted by Yorkie Mom’ (May 14, ’12)  and ‘Cat Mama Adopts and Nurses Orphan Squirrel’ (May 11, ‘12).

Visit Love Meow at or on Facebook.  They’re sure to be a favorite.