Bud Nelson the Cross-Country Dog

bud nelson

Image credit: Mariordo (Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz)  | CC BY-SA 3.0 | Wikimedia Commons

For this week’s true Saturday dog story we’re heading back to the start of the 20th century to a pit bull named Bud Nelson. Back in 1903, an American physician called Horatio Nelson Jackson who was also a motoring enthusiast made a wager that a four-wheeled automobile could be driven across the country. At the time automobiles were seen as a passing fad, and he wanted to prove their usefulness.

Lacking any mechanical experience himself, Horatio decided to recruit a mechanic called Sewall K. Crocker to assist him on the journey, as well as pit bull named Bud. With his team in place, Horatio set out on the journey.

By all means there was nothing glamorous about their journey. The automobile had no roof, limited suspension and let out noxious fumes and smoke. Back then the roads were far dustier than today, and without a roof or windshield on the automobile Bud’s eyes were badly affected by the dust. To combat this, Horatio purchased him some googles, which Bud wore everyday as they continued on their journey.

Within a few weeks of their journey the three of them had become celebrities, with journalists commonly stopping them for pictures and interviews. Bud particularly stood out as the goggle-wearing dog.

There were several mishaps, breakdowns and other adventures along the journey, but after 63 days the trio finally arrived at their destination on the other side of the country. After their successful arrival, Bud’s fame as the dog with goggles grew and grew, and he found himself on the front cover of newspapers and magazines. After his death, Bud’s famous goggles were placed into a museum.

Read more Saturday Stories HERE.

Chris Green

About the Author: Chris Green manages the office at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs, using his technical expertise to assist wherever needed. In his spare time he likes playing guitar and bass, and hiking around Dartmoor.

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