By James Day
Silverton’s favorite collie/shepherd mix, Bobbie the Wonder Dog, who traveled on his own more than 2,500 miles to rejoin his family in the 1920s, has been on the move again. And cloned.
Silverton residents and his fans from out of town who were used to reading Bobbie’s story on the Water Street mural and then finding the statue and dog house at the end of the fence may have been a bit confused to find that in recent months Bobbie and doghouse have moved.
A dumpster now sits in Bobbie’s old spot.
Our Town set out to find the answers. First, we got in touch with the city.
“The city had nothing to do with the decision on where to put the Bobbie dog statue and mural. I would check with the Mural Society and the owner of the property,” said Travis Sperle, director of Public Works for Silverton.
“That was all Mo’s doing,” said Tonya Smithburg, the Silverton Mural Society’s acting secretary. ”I think it had to do with the garbage truck not being able to get to the trash since they redid the surface of the parking lot.”
Mo is Mohsen Salem, who owns the property. We left a message at his company, and got a return call from Manny Rodrigues, long-time owner of Creekside Grill and a fixture on the Silverton arts/development scenes.
“Yes, that’s right,” Manny said of the change. “The garbage trucks are too heavy to go up there so we pushed the statue and the house a few feet back.”
Flower boxes frame the dumpster, with Manny noting that they are planning to add a fence “to help conceal that dumpster.”
Bobbie and doghouse now occupy the back of the lot.
There was one more scare, at least for this reporter. When visiting the mural to confirm the details we found NO BOBBIE. The water dish was there, but no statue.
Were folks sprucing up Bobbie for his role in the May 15 Pet Parade, run by the Kiwanis Club? Board member Sarah Walling said the pooch was not in club custody, but Lance Kamstra of the Silverton Mural Society might have a clue. He did!
“Bobbie is resting well at my home and will appear as the Grand Marshall of the parade in full glory,” said Kamstra via email. And he did. But after the parade, Bobbie was found outside the Hartman Building AND back at his post outside the doghouse.
Again, it was Kamstra to the rescue. “Yes, Bobbie has been cloned for advertising the new (mural) store that is opening July 1 in the Hartman Building,” he said. No word on how long there have been two Bobbies.
“There was a rumor and it was confirmed by Lori Webb and she knew where he was!” Kamstra said. Webb created the Bobbie mural and illustrated a book on his adventures.
We’ll have more on the story as it develops.
BOBBIE DAY in Silverton
Saturday, June 18, 1 to 4 p.m.
Town Square Park, 111 Main St.
A celebration of Bobbie and his famous cross-country adventures
Activities: Live music, food and drink, hear Bobbie’s story, plus guided mural tours. Bobbie lookalike and best-dressed dog contests start at 2:30 p.m.
Silverton Mural Society 503-871-4434