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Bud: America’s First Cross Country Dog

Back in the year 1903 nobody ever thought a person would make it across the entire US by car, let alone a dog. But, what started out as a 50$ bet between a married couple soon transpired into the first man and canine to cross the entire United States by car. Seems like a dog’s ultimate dream right?

Keep in mind, at the time this was no small feat to be attempting. Back in 1903, only a small number of automobiles were available and most of them were owned by the rich. While the major cities had paved roads to accommodate their wealthy citizens, the majority of Americans still got around by foot, horse, or train. However, Horatio Jackson was confident that the vast American frontier could be conquered with the use of a good car.

The Crew | Ken Burns | Horatio's Drive | Ken Burns | PBS

So, he hired a mechanic named Sewall Crocker to travel with him and went on his way later that year. Instead of heading directly east through the dangerous desert of California, they went north toward Oregon, then east to Idaho and the rest of the country. Soon into the drive, Crocker and Jackson felt that something was deeply missing in the trip. Jackson concluded that they needed a canine partner to join them for the duration of the trip. And to their surprise, they were offered a dog to be their mascot outside a hotel in Idaho one morning.

First Dog Crosses U.S. by Auto

15 dollars and a handshake later a pitbull named Bud joined the expedition! Over the next 63 days, the group would make their way across the country through dirt roads and open prairies in a car with no roof. Soon into the trip, Jackson bought Bud his famous goggles that he would become well known for wearing for the rest of the trip.

After battling weather conditions, incorrect directions, and faulty car parts they finally reached their final destination in New York City on their 63d day of travel. The men were the first people to cross the US purely by car and Bud was the first dog to do so!

Coastal Canine Magazine: Special Feature

After the accomplishment, Jackson donated the car and all of the newspaper clippings, along with Bud’s goggles to the Smithsonian. As for Bud, he would live out the rest of his happy days with Jackson and his family where he was loved deeply.

https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/horatios-drive/the-crew/

https://www.biography.com/video/bud-the-cross-country-dog-biography-video

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