Bobbie the Wonderdog


Also known as Silverton Bobbie, this Scotch Collie-English Shepherd mix gained worldwide fame in 1923 when he walked from Indiana to Oregon— a journey of 2551 miles—to reunite with his owner, six months after getting lost in the Hoosier State while on a family road trip. In 1924, a silent film, The Call of the West was made about Bobbie; the pup played himself.


Dogs are a digitigrade species: they walk on their digits. Paws have four digits that make contact with the ground, but sometimes their is an inside digit higher up that doesn’t connect with the ground. That is a dewclaw. Most dogs have dewclaws on their front paws only, it’s rare to have a rare dewclaw. There are a few breeds where a rear dewclaw is a breed standard, such as the Great Pyrnees or Briard. What is/was the purpose of a dewclaw?

The Great Pyrenees was bred to be a guard livestock and the ground they walked on was rough and uneven. The dewclaw on the rear feet functioned to give the dogs greater stability. (This is much the same purpose of front dewclaws.) Since most dogs aren’t used for herding, hunting or guarding anymore, essentially the dewclaw (rear or front) is now a non functional extra “appendage,” that is expendable, which they often are.

Many breeders will often have dewclaws removed between 3 to 5 days of age. At this age, the dewclaw is so loose, it’s easy for a veterinarian to remove.

If your dog’s breeder didn’t remove the dewclaw, you can make the decision. Consider where your dog will be spending much of his time and how much the dewclaw is “in the way.” Any dewclaw that is loose regardless of your dog’s lifestyle, should be removed by your veterinarian immediately. A loose dewclaw can get caught on anything and will cause your dog tremendous pain.

The easiest (and most preferred time by veterinarians) time to remove dewclaws are during your dog’s spay/neuter procedure as your dog will be under general anesthesia anyway. This anesthesia doesn’t carry the same risks as other types and the older a dog is, the more risks are associated with using any kind of anesthesia.

If you choose to keep your dog’s dewclaw (especially in the front) because it’s held so close to your dog’s skin, you will need to pay as much attention to it as you do to his normal claws. Since dewclaws don’t make contact with the ground, they don’t have a chance to get worn down like regular claws. These dewclaws will grow in a “curlier” fashion and can grow into your dog’s skin and, if not trimmed, can cause your dog pain. Once a dewclaw curls in that much, trimming it is extremely difficult; so trim dewclaws often.

If you have any questions about your dog’s dewclaws, consult your vet. Between the two of you, you’ll be able to make a completely informed decision about what’s the best course of action to take for both you and your dog.

Do Dogs Experience Guilt?

This is an argument that has long raged on. Owners say, of course a dog feels guilty — look at him! but experts disagree –vehemently; your dog is simply reacting to you.

Dogs experience many emotions (it’s a proven fact), all the major ones like love, happiness and fear. Secondary emotions like pride, jealousy or guilt — not so much. The reason, experts claim, is these secondary emotions require a level of self-awareness that dogs just don’t have.

Many experts have performed many tests to determine whether dogs experience guilt. The tests usually go like this: An owner leaves the room after telling the dog not to eat a treat. While gone, the tester gives the dog a treat. The owner comes back into the room. The tester will say either that the dog ate the treat or didn’t and may not necessarily correspond to whether the dog actually ate it. Nevertheless, the dogs most exhibit “guilty” looks when the owner scolds them, but not necessarily when the owner was told they ate it when they really didn’t. Therefore, experts conclude that the guilty look is merely a response to the owner (and the owner’s tones and behavior) than to committing a forbidden act itself. Experts feel the guilty look really means, “Don’t punish me for whatever you think I did.”

Why do dogs act guilty if they don’t feel it? It’s a learned association. When you get mad, your dog learns very quickly that if he tucks his tail in and lowers his head, you’ll stop yelling or stop being/sounding/acting angry. (For the rest of us not involved in the situation, when you see a dog looking guilty, you just want to hug him and say “aww.” Look cute and he’ll soon be loved again.)

An Iowa Miniature Schnauzer Proves the Power of Love

This week, Sissy, a miniature schnauzer in Iowa proved just how strong the bonds of love are.

Her human mom Nancy had to go into a Cedar Rapids hospital for some medical treatment and Sissy was missing her. She made the four hour journey to the hospital and walked right in the double doors of the lobby. How Sissy had known how to get there or where she even was is a complete mystery. When Nancy was dropped off at the hospital, Sissy wasn’t in the car. Sissy had never run away before.  The closest possible explanation could be that Nancy works next to the hospital.

What an amazing story! Click the link below for more information and videos.

Iowa dog walks to hospital to find owner.