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The Sunnybank Collies

Lad, Bruce, Wolf, Bobby, and Gray Dawn | Fair Ellen, Jean, Lady, Beth, Andeen, and Bunty | Sigurdson, Explorer, Chaeroplane, and King Coal
Treve 
| Sandy | Thane | Jock

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Treve
CH Sunnybank Sigurd

(June 10, 1919 - June 24, 1922)

 

"He was red-gold-and-snow of coat; a big slender youngster, with the true 'look of eagles' in his deepset dark eyes. In those eyes, too, burned an eternal imp of mischief."

"Gloriously beautiful, madly alive in every inch of him, he combined the widest and most irreconcilable range of traits."

"He was the livest dog I have known. Wolf alone was his chum among all the Sunnybank collies."



 

"He was the strangest dog, in many ways, I have known. He was a collie, as are all my Sunnybank dogs. Sunnybank Sigurd was his 'registration name,' and later I was able to tack the coveted prefix 'Champion' on to it. But when you call 'Sigurd!' and a number of excitable dogs are present, the word has an unlucky resemblance to 'sick 'im!' and misunderstandings are likely to follow. So we gave him the 'kennel name' of Treve."


"Just then Robert Friend, standing outside the ring, called loudly, "Wolf! I'll give the meat to Wolf, if you won't eat it!"

"At this familiar cry Treve braced up to galvanized eagerness, raising his head and his tulip ears and scanning the crowd with the true "look of eagles" in search of his chum, Wolf. It was at that moment that the eyes of Cooper, the judge, fell on him. With scarcely a second's delay, Judge Cooper gave him the blue ribbon of his class. Twenty minutes later, the same ruse led the judge to award to Treve the purple Winners Rosette, which made our dog a full Champion."

 

"Always when I gave him an order which he did not want to obey, he would growl in that menacing way and make a lunge at me with his teeth. But always the bite was feather-soft. And always he obeyed. He was the most utterly obedient dog I owned."

"Perhaps someone, reading, may like the name, even if not the stories; and may call his or her next collie, 'Treve'; in memory of a gallant dog that was dear to Sunnybank."

Champion Sunnybank Sigurd

From My Friend the Dog, Grosset and Dunlap, New York, 1926, "The Dogs of Sunnybank," Pp. 313

Then there was Treve (Champion Sunnybank Sigurd), a prize-winner of note and a thing of perfect beauty. He was a flyaway, excitable mass of gold-white. He was the only dog on the Place that did not love to be petted. He drew impatiently away from the touch of my outstretched hand. Yet whenever I chanced to be absent from home for the day, Sigurd would go dejectedly to the hall table, take my cap between his teeth, slouch into my study, and lay it on the floor beside my desk. Then he would lie down, with one forepaw and his nose on the cap, and remain thus all day, growling if anyone ventured near. On my return in the evening he showed no special interest in me.

His one rare form of demonstrativeness consisted in coming up to me, putting his head on my knee, and growling ferociously for perhaps three minutes. I gather that was meant as a sign of affection.

From Treve, George H. Doran Company, New York, 1924: "Afterword," Pp. 290-312

Treve's pedigree name was "Sunnybank Sigurd." And in time he won his right to the hardsought and harder-earned prefix of 'CHAMPION"; — the supreme crown of dogdom.

We named him Sigurd—the Mistress and I—in honor of the collie of Katherine Lee Bates; a dog made famous the world over by his owner's exquisite book, Sigurd, Our Golden Collie.

It is all very well to shout, "Sigurd!" to a collie when he is the only dog in sight. But when there is a rackety and swirling and excited throng of them, the call of "Sigurd!" has an unlucky sibilant resemblance to the exhortation, "Sic 'im!" And misunderstandings—not to say strife—are prone to follow. So we sought a one-syllable kennel name for our golden collie pup. My English superintendent, Robert Friend, suggested "Treve."

The pup took to it at once.

He was red-gold-and-snow of coat; a big slender youngster, with the true "look of eagles" in his deepset dark eyes. In those eyes, too, burned an eternal imp of mischief

I have bread or otherwise acquired hundreds of collies in my time. No two of them were alike. That is the joy of collies. But most of them had certain well-defined collie characteristics in common with their blood-brethren. Treve had practically none. He was not like other collies or like a dog of any breed.

Gloriously beautiful, madly alive in every inch of him, he combined the widest and most irreconcilable range of traits.

In brief, he was the naughtiest and at the same time the most unfailingly obedient dog I have owned

No expert trainer has worked more skillfully and tirelessly over a Derby winner than did Robert Friend over that dog's shimmering red-gold coat. For an hour or more every day, he groomed Treve, until the burnished fur stood out like a Circassian beauty's coiffure and glowed like molten gold.

He was the livest dog I have known. Wolf alone was his chum among all the Sunnybank collies. Wolf alone, with his mighty heart and vast wisdom and his elfin sense of fun and his love for frolic. Wolf and Treve used to play a complicated game whose chief move consisted of a sweeping breakneck gallop for perhaps a half-mile, to the accompaniment of a fanfare of barking. Across the green lawns they would flash, like red-gold meteors; and at a pace none of their fleet-footed brethren could maintain.

One morning they started as usual on this whirlwind dash. But at the end of the first few yards, Treve swayed in his flying stride, faltered to a stop and came slowly back to me. He thrust his muzzle into my cupped hand—for the first time in his undemonstrative life—then stood wearily beside me.

A strange transformation had come over him. The best way I can describe it is to say that the glowing inward fire which always had seemed to shine through him—even to the flaming bright mass of coat—was gone. He was all at once old and sedate and massive; a dog of elderly dignity—a dignity oddly majestic. The mischief imp had fled from his eyes; the sheen and sunlight had vanished from his coat. He had ceased to be Treve.

I sent in a rush for the nearest good vet. The doctor examined the invalid with all the skilled attention due a dog whose cash value runs into four figures. Then he gave verdict.

It was the heart; —the heart that had been flighty in puppyhood days, but which two competent vets had since pronounced as sound as the traditional bell.

For a day longer the collie lived; —at least a gravely gentile and majestic collie lived in the marvelous body that had been Treve's. He did not suffer—or so the doctor told us—and he was content to stay very close to me; his paw or his head on my foot.

At last, stretching himself drowsily to sleep, he died.

It seemed impossible that such a swirl of glad life and mischief and beauty could have been wiped out in twenty-four little hours.

Treve's entertaining badnesses had woven themselves into the very life of the Place. Their passing left a keen hurt. The more so because, under them, lay bedrock of staunch loyalty and gentleness.

I have not the skill to paint our eccentrically lovable chum's word picture, except in this clumsily written sketch.

But I have tried at least to make his name remembered by a few readers; by giving it to the hero of this collection of stories (Treve). Perhaps someone, reading, may like the name, even if not the stories; and may call his or her next collie, "Treve"; in memory of a gallant dog that was dear to Sunnybank.

We buried him in the woods, near the house, here. A granite boulder serves as his headstone.

Alongside that boulder, a few days ago, we buried the Mistress's hero collie, Wolf; close to his old-time playmate, Treve.

From TRUE DOG STORIES: Treve, The Strangest Dog

HE WAS the strangest dog, in many ways, I have known. He was a collie, as are all my Sunnybank dogs. Sunnybank Sigurd was his "registration name," and later I was able to tack the coveted prefix "Champion" on to it. But when you call "Sigurd!" and a number of excitable dogs are present, the word has an unlucky resemblance to "sick 'im!" and misunderstandings are likely to follow. So we gave him the "kennel name" of Treve.

He was a golden collie of rare beauty. But he had a queer twist of character. Some of his near ancestors had been savage brutes. Others of them had been gentle. Treve seemed to combine the two sets of traits. It was his life ambition to be as mean and fierce and treacherous as possible. But he never could achieve this. For at heart he had a sweetness and docility that I have not seen excelled.

He had also an elfin sense of humor that took unexpected turns. He was forever inventing and playing some game of his own. For instance, as a puppy, he would hunt eagerly and hungrily in the straw for a bone. If I joined in the hunt and found the bone for him, he was utterly crestfallen. Hastily he would bury it again and go on with his eager search.

Again, from puppyhood until the day of his death, he would never eat a single meal of his own accord. His principal daily ration apart from a little bread and milk which he detested was two raw eggs and a pound of steak. The eggs could be fed forcibly. Indeed, they had to be. There was no other way of making him touch them. But the meat was a more difficult matter.

My superintendent would have the steak cooked and then cut up into small bits and put on a plate. I had this done, instead of doing it myself, for my patience had worn thin over the fruitless efforts to make Treve eat, and I was afraid of losing my none too-mild temper if I kept on with the drearily tiresome attempts.

Treve was fed late in the afternoon. Usually I was writing at my hammock desk, under the lawn trees, at the time. Robert Friend, my superintendent, would bring out of the kitchen the steak which he or another man had cooked for the dog. Then he would sharpen a knife and begin to cut up the meat.

At the first sound of that knife-sharpening process Treve would invariably dash over to me and jump into my lap with all four feet he weighed sixty pounds and bury his head under a pillow in the hammock's corner. There he would crouch, with only the violently wagging tip of his plumed tail showing above the hammock.

When he was lured at last to where his plate of cut-up steak awaited him, the real game began. If Robert turned away his head for a half-minute, all the meat disappeared. But none of it found its way down Treve's furry throat. Brief search would reveal every piece of it carefully hidden under the edges of the plate or under any board or straw that chanced to be near.

There was one way and only one way of making him eat his dinner. Robert would summon Wolf, who would stroll lazily over and stand near the dish. That was enough. Instantly, Treve would set up a roaring growl of terrific ferocity, bark fiercely at Wolf, and, between barks, snatch up and swallow one mouthful of food after another. Wolf got a piece of the meat as his reward for this silly performance.

In the ring at dog shows Treve was wont to play still another game. First glancing up sideways at me as I led him in the preliminary parade, he would deliberately turn one of his front feet inward as he walked, giving him the look of being bow-legged. At the same time he would arch his tail over his back. A show-collie's tail should never be carried high. Treve knew that, as well as I did. I would say: "Put that tail down and turn your foot out!"

Instantly he would obey. But instantly, too, he would growl horribly and bite my hand. Spectators and the judge looked in dread at the dangerously vicious dog. They did not know it was one of Treve's jokes. They did not know that the seemingly murderous bite was not hard enough to have crushed a mosquito. It did not even pinch the flesh of my hand, and barely tickled it.

Always when I gave him an order which he did not want to obey, he would growl in that menacing way and make a lunge at me with his teeth. But always the bite was feather-soft. And always he obeyed. He was the most utterly obedient dog I owned. Similarly, if I started to pat him, he would toss his head and move out of reach. But at my word of command, he would come to me and stand as still as a statue while I, or one of the men, worked over him.

It was at the Huntington Valley dog show, at Noble, Pennsylvania, that he won the final points which gave him his championship. Into the ring he came with me, tired from a hundred-mile motor trip in the heat of a June day. He walked and stood like an elderly plow horse, and without an atom of snap or dash or style to him. He was unhappy.

The presence of the crowd thronging around the ring got on his nerves. He was in competition with great dogs. As he looked just then he did not have an off-chance to win in his class, to say nothing of the ultimate "winners class" that decided the points of the show.

Just then Robert Friend, standing outside the ring, called loudly, "Wolf! I'll give the meat to Wolf, if you won't eat it!"

At this familiar cry Treve braced up to galvanized eagerness, raising his head and his tulip ears and scanning the crowd with the true "look of eagles" in search of his chum, Wolf. It was at that moment that the eyes of Cooper, the judge, fell on him. With scarcely a second's delay, Judge Cooper gave him the blue ribbon of his class. Twenty minutes later, the same ruse led the judge to award to Treve the purple Winners Rosette, which made our dog a full Champion.

(People laughed at me for bothering so much about his diet and for not letting him wait till he was hungry enough to eat of his own accord. But he paid, in solid cash, ten times over for his costly food. As wisely tell a horse trainer to let a Derby winner grow weak through starvation, on the eve of a race!)

Two weeks after this last triumphant show of his, our golden champion developed heart trouble and died. His death was like most of his actions in life, wholly out of any normal calculation or reason. In my book "Treve" I tried to depict his oddly delightful character, but I fear I made a botch of it. It would have been easier to get a snapshot of an oriole's song than to put that dog's elfin nature and lovable mischief down in black and white. But all over America today, scores of collies are named "Treve" in his honor.

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Sandy
(
Sunnybank Sandstorm)
Son of Gray Dawn and Sunnybank Victrix
(Aug 13, 1925 - May 30, 1938)

"But he has brain and he has pluck and he has heart and he has poise. Besides, he has a queer individuality that is all his own. He has more personality than the rest of them put together. Some day he's going to be our house dog. I'll have him registered as 'Sunnybank Sandstorm.' We'll call him 'Sandy,' for short."

 

"Sunnybank Sandstorm was qualifying at last to take his future place in the roster of the loved house dogs of SunnybankLad and Bruce and Wolf and Treve and Bobby and Gray Dawn."

 

Sandy

"There was an utter absence of fear, too, in Sandy and a lack of the crazy bumptiousness which marks the average lively pup of his age. Besides, he had a way of thinking things out for himself; and of devising games which he played with solemn ingenuity."
 

 

"Sandy was first of the five to catch scent or sound of such visitors. He it was that led the awkward gallop to the wire fence. He, too, it was that inherited most strongly of them all the battle-secrets of his wolf-ancestors."

 

 

"SANDY: For Thirteen Years My Chum"

 

 

"Sandy was not like any other dog I have owned. In the first place, from early puppyhood, he did not know the meaning of Fear. In the second, he had a lazy philosophy of life and an uncanny wisdom, which carried him far. In the third, he had an elfin originality and sense of fun that is unmatched in my experience of dogs."

 

 

"I've picked the dog I'm going to keep. I didn't plan to keep any of this litter, but I've found what I want. It's that little pinkish-yellow lop-eared chap; the one you call 'the pink puppy.' He wouldn't be worth a dollar to any professional breeder. But he has brain and he has pluck and he has heart and he has poise. Besides, he has a queer individuality that is all his own. He has more personality than the rest of them put together. Some day he's going to be our house dog. I'll have him registered as 'Sunnybank Sandstorm.' "

 

 

"In early puppyhood, too, he acquired an idea that I was starving to death. Every dayand this to the end of his lifehe would deposit bones and moldy crusts and gory newly-slain rats at my feet as I sat at my desk or at meals. He seemed genuinely unhappy that I would not eat them."

 

 

"He was the only one of the Sunnybank collies I left at large when such delegations came to see the Place and the dogs and the Mistress and me."
 

 

"His sire, as I have said, was our Sunnybank Gray Dawn, Of whose exploits you may have read. His dam was my big leafbrown Sunnybank Victrix. Both of them had a queer streak of originality. Sandy inherited this." streak, 100 percent from them.

 

"From birth, he was not in the least like his six litter brothers and sisters. All of them were of high show-quality type. Sandy was not. His eyes were a pale bright blue, not brown. His coat was of that 'wretched combination of color known as 'sable-merle.'"

 

 

"In old age, arthritis and heart trouble overtook him. Yet, crippled and weak as he was, he gleaned full enjoyment out of life. The only mental change was that never, of his own accord, would he stray an inch away from us two human deities of his."

 

 

Sunnybank Sandstorm

From His Dogs, by Kristina T. Marshall, The Collie Health Foundation, 2001, Pp. 84-86

The pups arrived on August 13th. Their early days are captured for all time in "The Biography of a Puppy," which you can find in The Way of a Dog. Terhune wasn't planning on keeping any of the pups, but as he watched them play, he noticed one of them over and over again.

That one pup was particularly noticeable. He was the only sable merle in the litter, a "chromatic misfit," in Terhune's term, and "with all the physical faults of both his parents, without the physical perfections of either." His blue merle father had been fortunate enough to inherit brown eyes, but this puppy's eyes "were a brilliant pale blue, shot with occasional brown splotches." His coat was a strange mix of colors, too. It was "more yellow than gray, giving it a ludicrous pinkish tinge. Years later it was to be mahogany brown, flecked with silver-luxuriant, glorious. But in puppyhood it gave no sign of its future beauty."

The pup stood out in other ways. He was the first to hear the visitors that came to the puppy pen, and the first over to the fence to meet them. In his play fights with the other pups, he used the ancestral secrets of his wild ancestors to knock his assailants off their feet. "He was not in the least quarrelsome," Terhune remembered. "Never did he start any of the occasional hot little fights with which the pups punctuated their play. But, once attacked, he put into active use every inherited trick he knew. Always he won. Never, after the battle, did he bully his victim or hold a grudge."

The other pups were sold, but this one stayed. "He wouldn't be worth a dollar to any professional breeder," admitted his Master when he explained his choice to his wife. "But he has brain and he has pluck and he has heart and he has poise. Besides, he has a queer individuality that is all his own." The pup was registered as SUNNYBANK SANDSTORM, Sandy for short, and began to learn how to be a housedog.

What made up that "queer individuality" that set Sandy apart? "In the first place," said Terhune, "from early puppyhood, he did not know the meaning of Fear." Bert claimed that when a gun was fired five times above the puppy's head, Sandy ignored it, and on the third report he laid down with a yawn. Bruce and Gray Dawn had been terrified of thunder, but Sandy was not. And later, "when a giant mongrel dog invaded Sunnybank and bit one of the half-grown puppies, Sandy sailed into the invader and gave him a most satisfactory thrashing and drove him howling off."

But Sandy was generally not the noble knight. "He had a lazy philosophy of life," Terhune wrote, and "an elfin originality and sense of fun that is unmatched in my experience of dogs."

Wolf had sacrificed himself to save another animal. Explorer had traveled miles in an effort to get home. Sandy was not destined for such drama. His worst enemy was Sunnybank's lawn sprinkler.

It was new to The Place when he was a puppy. The other dogs were interested in ituntil it sprayed them in the face. "Then, in offended disgust, they would with draw," Terhune remembered. But Sandy had a different reaction. His Master wrote:

To Sandy the sprinkler was a blend of plaything and mortal foe. He would charge it gaily, undaunted by the pounds of cold water which its high-powered hose hurled against him. Half-drowned, he remained for minutes at a time close to it, biting the sparkling water jets and trying to shake them to pieces. The harder he shook, the more heavily was his head deluged.

 

One day the hose was running, just before its adjustment to the sprinkler. An inch-thick stream of water gushed from its nozzle for something like twenty five feet. Here was Sandy's chance to tackle the enemy-plaything at its liveliest. He rushed at it from every conceivable angle, while it drenched him to the skin and all but knocked him over.

 

Then he stepped back and studied the water, with his head contemplatively on one side. He was thinking as logically as any six-year-old child. He saw that the strong stream of water all issued from a single small hole at the end of the snake-like hose. Very good. That, then, was the source of the stream. That was the point whence to attack it if he wanted to put it out of business. Sandy went into action.

 

With a leap he was at the foe. He caught the nozzle of the hose firmly between his jaws and shook it. The nozzle was pointing straight down his throat. An inch-thick stream, powerful enough to travel twenty-five feet, was banging against his gullet. Gallons and gallons of harddriven water were tearing their way down his throat.

 

Strangled and hay-blinded, Sandy let go. Back he went, out of reach; coughing and spluttering. There he sat down and continued his studies of hydraulics, from a point of safety. The thing had not thrashed him. He wasn't anywhere nearly through with it. But it had caught him at an irresistible angle and he had had to withdraw for further planning.

 

Inside of a minute he had worked the problem out. He could not quell the stream by biting it, nor by catching the tip of the nozzle. Both of those methods had been tried. But there were other ways. He approached the stream again, tail awag, eyes glinting. As he neared it, he feinted, then darted to one side and caught up the hose six inches behind the nozzle.

 

Here the water could neither dowse nor strangle him. He was safe from it. He had seized upon the serpentine thing which caused the mystifying spray. Having caught it, he set about demolishing it. His scissor-sharp teeth were half through the stout rubber before the Master called him off.

Sandy was used to putting his teeth to work. He "had a morbid love for destructiveness which never before have I found in a grown Collie," wrote Terhune. His chief victims were newspapers and magazines, which he spread like confetti across the lawn, but once, when he was two, he nearly spoiled Christmas. Anice told a reporter how on that Christmas Eve, "he got into the living room here after we had retired. In the toe of one of the stockings there was a choice biscuit for Gray Dawnone of the little jokes, you know. When we came down in the morning we found every stocking pulled down and their contents strewn about the room. The one containing the biscuit was chewed off at the toe, and I do not have to tell you that the biscuit had disappeared, nor who did it. Sandy had made his escape as we entered, and as we surveyed the ruins he stood out on the veranda looking in at us, his mouth wide open and his tongue out as if he were laughing."

Sandy made up for his sins with his loyalty. He would comb the grounds to find offerings for the man who was his god. He brought dead fish from the lake edge and once a slain rat from stables, draping his prizes across his Master's shoes (preferably during meals on the veranda). So, just as Gray Dawn had been given a flannel elephant, Sandy was bought a stuffed toy of his own. "Gladly he accepted this substitute for the carrion he favored," wrote Terhune. "He carried it around, by the hour; shaking it and growling at it. Ten times a day he laid it across one of my boots; or at the threshold of my study."

He was so attached to Bert and Anice that he wanted to be near them even when he ate. He was fed down at the kennels each afternoon with the rest of the Collies, but Terhune described how "he will not taste a mouthful of the meal, no matter how hungry he may be; if the Mistress or myself is anywhere within reach. Instead, he picks up the big tin dish of food and carries it carefully in his teeth (the opposite edge of the dish braced against his chest to keep it from spilling) and carries it to us. Then, putting it on the ground in front of us, he proceeds to eat his dinner. Once he carried the dish, thus, for at least a quarter-mile, to the woods where I chanced to be at work. Apparently he prefers to eat his dinner in human companionship; not with the other dogs."

Sandy was no show dog and Bert knew it. But at least twice he went along on show days, perhaps to help fill out an entry. He was also regularly on the bench at Westminster, not in competition, but "for exhibition only."

The Way of a Dog, Grosset and Dunlap, New York, 1932, "The Biography Of A Puppy," P.269

For days thereafter he did not make any particular use of his new gift of sight. His acute sense of smell was enough for him. It told him, in pitchest darkness, just how and where to find his mournful-eyed red-brown mother, Sunnybank Victrix. Her crooning little call was all his flattened ratlike ears troubled to hear.

His days and nights were taken up in eating and in sleeping. Nature was putting growth and strength into him in this immemorial way of hers. For he had an incredible lot of growing to do. A normal-sized man, making such proportionate increase in a single year, would become taller and broader than the Statue of Liberty.

Long before Sandy made the least use of his beady eyes they had caught the troubled attention of the humans at Sunnybank. For Sandy's eyes were a brilliant pale blue, shot with occasional brown splotches-the eyes of the typical blue merle collie. His sire, Sunnybank Gray Dawn, was a gigantic blue merle; yet he had dark-brown eyes. In this, his baby son, the merle traits cropped out in the blue eyes as well as in a tendency toward the silver-gray coat of his sire.

But the coat was more yellow than gray, giving it a ludicrous pinkish tinge. Years later it was to be mahogany brown, flecked with silver—luxuriant, glorious. But in puppyhood it gave no sign of its future beauty.

In brief, Sandy was one of those chromatic misfits, a sable-merle collie; with all the physical faults of both his parents, without the physical perfections of either. Such a dog cannot hope to excel in the show ring or to command a high price as a pet. He is a loss.

Luckily, Sandy had not the remotest idea he was any different from his handsomer brethren and sisters; though he had reached the age when he and they could romp awkwardly and slowly, growling in falsetto excitement as they rolled around the soft broodnest in baby mock-warfare.

When he was three weeks old he had an annoying experience—his first of many. His education began. The Master came into the broodnest an hour after the puppies' mother had been sent out for a run. He carried carefully the well-scalded top of a baking-powder tin. It was full of warm milk into which part of an egg had been beaten.

Setting the tin on the floor, the Master picked up one of the five pups at random. The pup happened to be Sandy. Putting the little fellow on the floor in front of the milk, the Master thrust Sandy's nose into it.

The nose was not kept there longer than the fraction of a second, but long enough to cover it with warm milk. It was a sticky and disagreeable sensation. Sandy resented it. He tried to wriggle free. Then he sought to cleanse his milky nose by washing it with his tongue. To the hungry baby's surprise, the milk tasted good.

By the third day thereafter he was able to crouch in front of the tin and to lap gawkily at its contents. Much of the milk was spattered broadcast and much more rolled off his unaccustomed tongue. But more and more of it, every day, went down his throat.

P. 273

Now that they were living in the puppy-yard, guests were brought out, every few days, to look at them and to pet them. Out they (the puppies) would troop, as gaily as a comic-opera chorus, when any human neared their yard.

Sandy was first of the five to catch scent or sound of such visitors. He it was that led the awkward gallop to the wire fence. He, too, it was that inherited most strongly of them all the battle-secrets of his wolf-ancestors.

Puppy play is an unconscious imitation of canine warfare. Sandy excelled in this. While the others were content to romp clownishly and purposelessly, he used brain and heredity in the sham battles.

Early he caught the knack of throwing his opponent off balance by a shoulder-shove, and then to raven playfully for the throat by the time the other puppy had fairly touched ground. Early he learned the ancient wolf-trick of feinting for the throat and then seizing a foreleg in pretended breakbone grip. Early he learned to lunge over an adversary's head and to catch him by the base of the brain.

He was not in the least quarrelsome. Never did he start any of the occasional hot little fights with which the pups punctuated their play. But, once attacked, he put into active use every inherited trick he knew. Always he won. Never, after the battle, did he bully his victim or hold a grudge.

The Master used to stand by the hour to watch this incessant play. He was looking for something. At last he found it. One day, he said to the Mistress, who was watching the puppies with him:

"I've picked the dog I'm going to keep. I didn't plan to keep any of this litter, but I've found what I want. It's that little pinkish-yellow lop-eared chap; the one you call 'the pink puppy.' He wouldn't be worth a dollar to any professional breeder. But he has brain and he has pluck and he has heart and he has poise. Besides, he has a queer individuality that is all his own. He has more personality than the rest of them put together. Some day he's going to be our house dog. I'll have him registered as 'Sunnybank Sandstorm.' We'll call him 'Sandy,' for short. I'm going to sell all the others. They're beauties, every one of them. Sandy is the only poor specimen in the lot. But I'd rather have him than a dozen prize-winners."

So it was that pup after pup of the five disappeared from the shaded yard, as buyer after buyer came for them, Soon Sandy alone was left. Twice, people who care more for the inside of a dog's brain than for his mere show points, asked, half-shamefacedly, the price of the blue eyed and gangling Sandy. Always the Superintendent's answer came: "There isn't any price on him. He's going to be the Boss's own dog."

But it is one thing to pick out a puppy for one's own dog, and quite another to make him into a dog worth having for one's own. There is the same difference as between saying that a half-grown boy has a strong legal bent of brain, and in giving that same boy a $50,000 lawsuit to handle. With even the most promising pup, there is much to teach before be can qualify as an ideal house dog. Nor is the education a mere matter of weeks or even of months.

P. 280

But (to Sandy) the world was full of queer and incomprehensible laws—laws that were so easy to break, so hard to remember!

To shake and rend a disreputable burlap bag found behind the stables—this was permissible. The pastime was even viewed by the humans with amusement.

But to try the same merry game with the music-room tiger-skin rug: —this brought down on Sandy a fearsome scolding and a day's banishment from the house. Yet, where lay the difference?

To gobble hungrily his dishful of bread and milk, in the kennel-yard, was lawful. To assail with the same zest a luncheon dish that had been set down for a moment on the dining-room serving-table: -this was a black crime, and punishable as such. Why?

To pursue a stable cat up a tree was a legitimate sport. To rush harrowingly at Tippy, the Mistress's fluffy gray Persian house cat, as she drowsed on a living-room couch: —this was fiercely forbidden. And so on, for a score of instances.

Bewilderment after bewilderment, blunder after blunder, marked the first month or so of Sandy's apprenticeship as a house dog. More than once the Master despaired.

Here was no super-puppy, as had been Sunnybank Bobby; knowing by strange instinct the things that may or may not be done, and needing only a single lesson in any accomplishment in order to acquire it for life. Here was no such blameless dog as had been Bruce, Sandy's glorious grandsire, without a flaw of body or of mind; nor as old Sunnybank Lad, who had learned with the same unbelievable quickness and half-human intellect as had Bobby himself.

No, Sandy was in some ways just an average collie pup, and to be labored with as such. Only when the Master noted afresh that stanch look in the pup's pale-blue eyes or an occasional instinctive display of steady nerve or of fine brainwork, did he realize he had been right in his early judgment of the young dog.

There was an utter absence of fear, too, in Sandy and a lack of the crazy bumptiousness which marks the average lively pup of his age. Besides, he had a way of thinking things out for himself; and of devising games which he played with solemn ingenuity.

P. 287

But less and less often, nowadays, did these humans have need to interfere with Sandy. Imperceptibly, but steadily, he was learning the Law. In the depths of his queer pale eyes a quiet wisdom was beginning to dawn—a wisdom which was to last him for life and to make him an ideal pal and guard, and to reward a thousandfold the patience and time used up in teaching him the myriad things a puppy must learn if he would become a decent -canine citizen.

Sunnybank Sandstorm was qualifying at last to take his future place in the roster of the loved house dogs of Sunnybank—Lad and Bruce and Wolf and Treve and Bobby and Gray Dawn. The promise of the pudgy two-month puppy was fulfilling itself in the gauntly huge year-old dog.

Sandy had arrived.

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From Tales of Real Dogs by Albert Payson Terhune

Here in my desk, I have perhaps forty snapshotsperhaps more sent me by groups of children or by their teachers. These groups numbered anywhere from thirty to one hundred and fifty youngsters each. All of them have come to Sunnybank during the past decade or so.

At a glance, I can find Sandy (Sunnybank Sandstorm) in every one of the snapshots. Ever he is on view in the exact center of the group, at the very front; and with several children hanging tightly onto his furry throat and shoulders.

None of the young visitors would consent to pose for their pictures unless he were in the middle of the front row.

He was the only one of the Sunnybank collies I left at large when such delegations came to see the Place and the dogs and the Mistress and me.

Because, while Sandy could fight his weight in wildcats, he had a love for all children which made him strangely gentle with them, no matter how hard they might maul him. I never had to keep an eye on the big collie, to make certain he would not snap or snarl or acquire jangled nerves under the caresses of the little guests.

Most of these children, and the readers of several of my dog and the Sunnybank-visiting Public At Large, will learn now for the first time that Sandy is dead.

He died on May 30 (Decoration Day), 1938. On that evening, he lay down to sleep on his favorite rug, at the left of my study desk, here, and he did not wake again.

On the same spot, on the same rug, nine years earlier (Decoration Day, 1929), his sire, our splendid old Sunnybank Gray Dawn, lay down to his last sleep. On the same day and at the same hour.

Sandy was not like any other dog I have owned. In the first place, from early puppyhood, he did not know the meaning of Fear. In the second, he had a lazy philosophy of life and an uncanny wisdom, which carried him far. In the third, he had an elfin originality and sense of fun that is unmatched in my experience of dogs.

You, who want only the tale of a canine which sacrificed life for his master or which underwent wildly dramatic adventures, may as well stop reading this yarn, here and now. For Sandy did none of these things.

True, when a giant mongrel dog invaded Sunnybank and bit one of the half-grown puppies, Sandy sailed into the invader and gave! him a most. satisfactory thrashing and drove him howling off of my land.

True, he held his own and much more than held his own in all the few other battles forced upon him. But that was the full extent of his spectacular adventures. In spite of which, thousands of people loved him; and thousands of, people will remember him for a long time.

With this apology, which really is no apology at all, I am going on with my story.

His sire, as I have said, was our Sunnybank Gray Dawn, Of whose exploits you may have read. His dam was my big leafbrown Sunnybank Victrix. Both of them had a queer streak of originality. Sandy inherited this streak, 100 percent from them.

From birth, he was not in the least like his six litter brothers and sisters. All of them were of high show-quality type. Sandy was not. His eyes were a pale bright blue, not brown. His coat was of that 'wretched combination of color known as "sable-merle."

In later years his cost was to become beautiful in color and massiveness, and his lanky young figure was to fill out gloriously. But all that majestic beauty lay far in the future.

In mere puppyhood he sat unconcernedly while a gun was fired five times above his head. At the third report, Sandy yawned and lay down to sleep. The average collie pup would have been wild with excitement or with fear, at such a volley.

It was in this gangling age that he learned to go fishing. For hours he would move slowly, knee deep in the lake, just offshore, staring down into the water. Occasionally, during this stroll, he would plunge his head far beneath the surface. Sometimes he would emerge with a small minnow or a crayfish between his jaws. Oftener, not.

In early puppyhood, too, he acquired an idea that I was starving to death. Every day—and this to the end of his life—he would deposit bones and moldy crusts and gory newly-slain rats at my feet as I sat at my desk or at meals. He seemed genuinely unhappy that I would not eat them.

His most dramatic adversary, in that first year, was our long rubber hose with its perforated nozzle, which we used for sprinkling the lawn. One day, before the nozzle was screwed into place, the water was turned on, by mistake, at full volume. Sandy leaped at the gushing stream.

Its force knocked him flat and sent a gallon or so of water down his throat. He got to his feet, took an experimental bite or so from the stream, at one side, then stood back to consider the problem. Presently he had worked it out. Sidestepping the stream, he seized the rubber hose just back of its brass screw, and proceeded to scissor it in twain with his sharp young teeth.

Our grown dogs get one meal— a big meal—a day, late in the afternoon. Never would Sandy eat this, as long as he lived, at the spot where it was placed for him.

Always he would pick up the dish, by one edge, without spilling any of its contents. Then he would carry it to wherever the Mistress or myself happened to be, and would eat it there.

More than once he carried for a quarter mile, far into the woods, where I was at work. Depositing it at my feet, he ate the dinner. I should like to say he picked up the empty dish and carried it back home. He did not. He left that task to me. Another fool stunt of his was to take magazines or books from the porch tables and carry them out onto the lawn; there to tear then to shreds.

As I have told you, his father Gray Dawn, died peacefully in his sleep, here in my Sunnybank study, when Sandy was four years old. Instantly—and for no reason I can guess at—Sandy dropped his idiotic habits of chasing cars and destroying magazines and books. He became at once an ideal housedog and chum, assuming quietly an undisputed leadership over all the other Sunnybank dogs whose king his sire had been.

Nobody taught him to change thus his harum-scarum ways. He did it of his own accord, and in a single day. Explain that, if you can. Immediately, he became the day-and-night comrade of the Mistress and of myself, one of the most flawless pals in all my experience.

In old age, arthritis and heart trouble overtook him. Yet, crippled and weak as he was, he gleaned full enjoyment out of life. The only mental change was that never, of his own accord, would he stray an inch away from us two human deities of his.

He used to hobble over to us and to stare with sad fixity into our faces, as though trying to look his full at the people he loved best. He still brought us his full dinner dish, unspilled and bore bones and crusts to my study on the chance I might be starving.

Peace to Sandy's white soul! Has this condensed tale of his queer life bored you?

From McNaught Syndicate, Inc., Greenwich, Connecticut (Release Saturday, JAN. 14 or Sunday, JAN. 15, 1939)

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Thane
CH Sunnybank Thane

Son of  CH Sunnybank Explorer and Sunnybank Bauble

(March 26, 1927 - April 26, 1929)

 

"From the lot I picked out a mouse-colored, rat-sized, sightless half-pound creature whose head was shaped like a coffin. His, rudimentary ears were not half the size of a squirrel's, but they were plastered high and close to his oblong rectangular little skull. I handled gingerly the baby ribs and chest. Then I dropped a blob of scarlet and fire-bright mercurochrome on the white patch behind the neck; as a means of identification."

 


 

"Explorer was one of the quietest and most diffident and sensitive dogs I have owned. Yet his son, Thane, was almost the physical and mental reincarnation of his own grandfather, Treve. I found myself—as did the Mistress—involuntarily calling him Treve and speaking of him as Treve; although golden Treve had been dead since June of 1922. Character and appearance skipped a generation and cropped out to an uncanny degree in Thane."

 


"I sent to the American Kennel Clubthe Supreme Court of dogdoman application blank for the registering of "SUNNYBANK THANE. Sire, Champion Sunnybank Explorer; dam, Sunnybank Bauble. Whelped March 26, 1927. Color, sable-and-white. Breeder, Albert Payson Terhune; Sunnybank Collie Kennels."

 

 

"Meanwhile I was teaching him, by patient training, the few needful things I wanted him to learn. Also I was giving him sweeping uphill gallops to deepen his chest and broaden his shoulders and establish the straightness of limb and complete bodily poise I sought for him, Incidentally, I was giving him two raw eggs and a pound of fresh raw beef a day, in addition to his regular kennel rations of bread and milk and bones, and I was grooming his blanket-like coat as one would groom a racehorse. "

 


"
Then there were his toys. He played with them as might a child. They amused him for hours. Yet never did he destroy them, as would the average playful dog. They were his dear possessions, to be treated as such."

 

 

". . . he threw himself on the grass again and made growling, terrifying dives at the Mistress's feet, to coax, her into a romp with him. Next, he rolled on his back with an imbecile expression and with all feet in air; looking like an utter fool, a canine Village Idiot."

 

 

"He trotted into the show, on his leash, as unflinchingly as a clubman might thread the crowds on Fifth Avenue. True, everything and everybody interested him hugely. But it was a pleasurable interest. There was no fear in it. He was having a glorious time."

 

 

"My home-bred youngster had been acclaimed Winner; and at his very first show he had received four of the fifteen points needful to a championship."

 

 

 

 

 

Duncan

Champion Sunnybank Thane

"Thane" from The Terhune Omnibus, Harper and Brothers, New York, 1937, Page 107

THERE were seven of them—a mystic number. By some miracle there was not a cull or a second in the lot. The whole septet proved at once their royal ancestry. Their sire was my red-gold Champion Sunnybank Explorer. Their dam was my gentle leaf-brown Sunnybank Bauble. Their grandsire was Champion Sunnybank Sigurd; the Treve of my book of that name.

Presently one of the seven alone was left. The six others had been sold, and at record prices, as befitted a royal litter. The seventh I had marked from brood-nest days, as a dog I wanted to keep. He was Thane—later Champion Sunnybank Thane.

I had been saving up that half-royal Scottish title, for years; waiting for a dog that should merit it. In this pale gold youngster's deepset dark eyes, almost from birth, I read the true look of eagles; the look I had been watching for so long. In his ungainly and pudgily overgrown baby body I read a future of mighty bone and lion-like power and symmetry and of tremendous coat. Here was a born champion. Here was a pup preordained to wear my stored-up name of Thane.

Page 127-128

Now and then—as in Thane's case—I try to produce a fine show specimen. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I do not. Sometimes—once in a great while, as with Thane—I can evolve a dog which combines both the inner and the outer traits I am looking for.

If he can inherit only one set of these traits, then I prefer to have him inherit the nature rather than the appearance of the type I am aiming at. That, also, is silly. I admit it. But it is fun to eliminate unpleasant traits and build up pleasant ones, by wise breeding.

For example, there was a magnificent merle collie of blazingly savage temper. He was Champion Grey Mist. His beauty was blurred by his savagery. I secured the best-tempered of his daughters as a mate for my great Bruce, whose temper was sunny and whose disposition was sweeter than that of any other dog I have owned. At the same time Bruce was as fearless as was savage Champion Grey Mist.

From this mating, our old Sunnybank Gray Dawn—hero of my book, Gray Dawn—was born; with all the grandfather's savagery bred out of him, except such as every good watch-dog needs; and with Bruce's and Grey Mist's courage and size and beauty. Dawn's son, my Sunnybank Sandstorm (Sandy) has many of the best of these traits. So has Sandstorm's black son, my Sunnybank King Coal. So have Coal's children.

Again, Thane's grandsire, my Champion Sunnybank Sigurd, had a certain eerie mischief and a fund of humor and of queer melodramatic originality—the changed remnants of one or two unpleasant ancestral peculiarities which had been bred out of him.

Treve's three best sons, Sigurdson and Cavalier and Explorer differed as much in nature as ever did three diverse men. All three were gentle and playful with accredited humans. But with other male dogs Cavalier was savagely quarrelsome. Champion Sunnybank Sigurdson was alternately fierce and frolicsome, and in many ways like his sire. Champion Sunnybank Explorer was almost colorless in his conduct.

Explorer was one of the quietest and most diffident and sensitive dogs I have owned. Yet his son, Thane, was almost the physical and mental reincarnation of his own grandfather, Treve. I found myself—as did the Mistress—involuntarily calling him Treve and speaking of him as Treve; although golden Treve had been dead since June of 1922. Character and appearance skipped a generation and cropped out to an uncanny degree in Thane.

These generation skips" are frequent.

Bruce sometimes went to sleep, lying with his head at such an angle as to look as if his neck were broken. Never had I seen a dog do that. Years later, Bruce's grandson, Sunnybank Sandstorm—"Sandy"—lies with his head at that same impossible angle. (He sprawls thus at my feet as I write this.) It is a petty detail, perhaps; but it may help to emphasize my point.

P. 130-132

When September of 1928 brought cool weather, I took Thane to three more dog shows. At all of them—Tuxedo and Cornwall and Westchester—he received the "Winners" award as well as "Best of Breed."

At the Cornwall show the collie ring was within a yard or two of the bandstand. As the collies of Thane's class paraded into the ring, the many-pieced band burst into thunder of jazz, just above their heads. This in spite of bribe-fringed entreaties that the playing be delayed until after the classes should be judged.

Never before had Thane heard such a roaring burst of sound. Well might he have cringed or bolted. I whispered to him, "Steady, son! STEADY! I'm here."

This as the first blare of cacophony roared over him. The gallant young dog heard me and he obeyed me.

Vibrant with the ear-cracking novelty of the din, he glanced questioningly up into my face. Then he went through his ring paces as calmly as if he were in the practice ring at home. He won his class. He received "Winners" and then "Best of Breed."

In five shows, in a space of less than five months—including the torrid weeks when I had kept him at home—golden collie had won the fifteen points which, by American Kennel Club law, made him a "Champion of Record." He became CHAMPION Sunnybank Thane." And he was acclaimed everywhere as the greatest collie of the decade. I do not believe in showing champions, in the ring; and thus deterring some younger or lesser dog from working his way up to the all-important title. Thane was a champion. Therefore, for the rest of his days, Thane should remain at Sunnybank; unexhibited, and reaping the reward of his prowess.

But only a handful of time remained for him to enjoy his laurels.

He won his championship in late September 1928. On the morning of April 26, 1929, he and I went for a walk together. The dog was wildly gay and active. When I went into my study to work I shut him in his yard. An hour later my superintendent showed a party of unbidden visitors—strangers—motor tourists—over the kennels. He told me later that they lingered long in front of Thane's yard, several of them; while the rest moved onward with their guide. What they did or did not do, I don't know. For what other kennels—if for any at all —they were emissaries, I don't know.

But half an hour before lunchtime, I went out for an inspection tour of Sunnybank. I let Thane out of his yard. Instead of dashing forth, as always, like a burst of golden flame, he lurched slowly toward me, head and tail adroop, panting and in evident agony.

As when he had had pneumonia, I gathered him up in my arms and carried him to the box stall that had been his sick-bay during his earlier siege of illness. And I shouted to my superintendent to telephone for the veterinary.

Twelve hours later Champion Sunnybank Thane was dead. Nobody knows how or why.

He was born on the 26th of the month. He was registered on the 26th of the month. He went to his first show on the 26th of the month. He went to his final and crowning show on the 26th of the month. He died on the 26th of the month, at the beginning of the 26th month of, his shining young life.

From The Critter and Other Dogs Pp 325 - 352

From the lot I picked out a mouse-colored, rat-sized, sightless half-pound creature whose head was shaped like a coffin. His, rudimentary ears were not half the size of a squirrel's, but they were plastered high and close to his oblong rectangular little skull. I handled gingerly the baby ribs and chest. Then I dropped a blob of scarlet and fire-bright mercurochrome on the white patch behind the neck; as a means of identification.

In another few days, I knew, he would grow snub- nosed and round and would look exactly like his brothers and sisters. I must mark him while I could. On the same day I sent to the American Kennel Club the Supreme Court of dodgem application blank for the registering of "SUNNYBANK THANE. Sire, Champion Sunnybank Explorer; dam, Sunnybank Bauble. Whelped March 26, 1927. Color, sable-and-white. Breeder, Albert Payson Terhune; Sunnybank Collie Kennels (Registered)."

The resultant certificate was Thane's admission card to immortality. Also it was legal proof of the flawlessness of his ancestry. 

I like to boast that I picked Thane out, at a glance, as a future king. I did. But with shame I confess I have made the same prophecy about many a youngster which never proved to be better than passable. True, I had made a like forecast for Champion Sunnybank Sigurd and for Champion Sunnybank Sigurdson and for Cavalier and for jock and for Champion Sunnybank Explorer and for a few other canine winners. But well, why use up space by citing all the not-quite-good-enough collie pups for which I have foretold an equally shining future?

When Thane was left alone in the wide and shaded kennel yard which once had held seven brethren and sisters, it was up to me to lighten his loneliness. Incidentally, it was up to me, if I wanted him to amount to anything, to educate him beyond the mere rudiments of obedience which already he had learned. 

So every day for an hour or two I would take him out by himself, for an educational hike, or to accompany me on my round of The Place, or to lie in my study while I worked. Much I talked to him, on these outings. Not merely giving him orders or training him; but accustoming him to my voice and letting him learn its inflections. Naturally, he did not understand one word in fifty that I spoke to him. But he grew to understand my mood, whatever it might be, and to get a general idea of the simpler meanings I was trying to convey to him.

Meanwhile I was teaching him, by patient training, the few needful things I wanted him to learn. Also I was giving him sweeping uphill gallops to deepen his chest and broaden his shoulders and establish the straightness of limb and complete bodily poise I sought for him, Incidentally, I was giving him two raw eggs and a pound of fresh raw beef a day, in addition to his regular kennel rations of bread and milk and bones, and I was grooming his blanket-like coat as one would groom a racehorse. 

Does it seem silly to you that I should have wasted all this time and meticulous care on a mere dog? Well, if you can't understand a dog's jolly companionship and the joy of developing it to anything beyond its ordinary limits, then perhaps the financial side of the task may appeal to you.

Later, I refused three thousand dollars for Sunnybank Thane. His cash income, from shows and otherwise, climbed well toward a thousand dollars; before the dawn of his second year. There are worse investments. 

Perhaps you are picturing a gigantic gold-and-white collie, with a stern aspect and with the grave dignity of a prime minister. At casual glance, when he was on the show-block, that describes Thane precisely. In every other respect, that is precisely what he was not. He was an overgrown and lovable and super-energetic puppy. That is all he ever would become. And therein lay the bulk of his charm.

The play traits cropped out when he and I began the fast daily walks. He would enliven the hike by strenuous efforts to tear the straps from my puttees when I was striding along at top speed. That was a favorite pastime of his, all his life, and one which lost me perhaps a score of puttee straps and more than once all but broke my neck. Another feat of his was to yank my handkerchief from my pocket and lure me into knotting it and then throwing it for him to retrieve. These were but two of Thane's uncountable pranks, all performed with a certain stately grace which had nothing of the harurn-scarum in it. 

Then there were his toys. He played with them as might a child. They amused him for hours. Yet never did he destroy them, as would the average playful dog. They were his dear possessions, to be treated as such. For example:

When he was less than a year old he had a Teddy Bear which was an endless delight to him. He would play dramatically, yet gently, with it, by the hour. One day he left it on the lawn when he came into the house. Sandy found it there. (Perhaps you remember reading about Sandy in my "Biography of a Puppy," in my book, The Way o f A Dog.) Sandy in those days had a morbid love for destructiveness which never before have I found in a grown collie. He fell upon the luckless Teddy Bear and tore it into small independent republics.

Thane and I came out of the house, just as the work of demolition was at a climax. Thane took in the scene at one horrified glance. There, in fifty ragged pieces, lay his adored bear playmate. With a sound more like a human yell of fury than any ordinary canine utterance, he hurled himself at Sandy; bearing him to the ground as might some golden hurricane, and ravening madly at his throat.

It was the first time I had seen the gentle young giant out of temper. Gaily he had withstood the teasing and rough romping of his fellow dogs. But the sight of his destroyed plaything roused him to what might well have been murder if I had not jumped into the fray and stopped it. 

I bought him another bear, as much as possible like the first. He played with it, once in a while; but more, dutifully than ardently. His heart was with its torn-up predecessor.

Ormiston Roy, foremost of Canada's collie experts and judges, called on me in October of 1927. He looked over the kennels, alternately dealing, out praise and mordant criticism. Presently he reached Thane's yard. There he halted. For a full minute he said not a word. Then he walked into the yard and began to "go over" the sevenmonth pup; as Paderewski might test a piano. Presently he turned to me and said: 

"I'll not ask you if you'll sell him. Nobody would. He's he's a collie."

The dog magazines began to contain squibs about the wonder-puppy which was to "clean up everything in sight" at the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog show at Madison Square Garden in February of 1928; and at the Collie Club of America show, in the same month. 

Far and near, Thane was hailed as the world's coming collie. I began to preen myself in advance as breeder and owner of still another Madison Square Garden winner. The Westminster Dog Show is the classic canine event of all America.

By the way, do you recall that I said this dog-breeding game is "a gorgeous gamble"? 

On the morning of the last day of December, 1927, I let Thane out of his yard for our daily hour or so together. Slowly, painfully, he came forth, in utter variance to his wonted dynamic rush. He reached feebly for one of my puttee straps. But he decided it was not worth playing with. I tied my handkerchief into a knot and tossed it for him to retrieve. He took an undecided step toward it. Then he slouched back to me and laid his head against my knee.

He was panting heavily and there was a wheezy noise far down in his furry throat. I knelt and listened to his breathing. Then I lifted his seventy-four pounds of languid weight and carried him down to the stables, calling to the men to dear out the biggest box stall for him; and bidding my English superintendent, Robert Friend, to telephone our veterinary to drop everything and drive over to Sunnybank at top speed. 

The vet verified my snap judgment. He said my glorious young collie paragon was a victim to pneumonia.

Now let me stop an instant in this rambling talk, to make another confession: Thirty years ago I knew everything about dogs that could be known. I had spent my life among them. But, after more than another quarter. century of studying them, even more closely, day after day, I admit I don't know anything at all about them. 

As fast as I learn or evolve some supposed canine fact, that fact disproves itself. The only nugget of unimpeachable wisdom I have been able to glean from my lifetime of intensive dog study is summed up on this one grim axiom:

"Anything can happen!" 

It had been my theory that a collie should be allowed to stay out-of-doors day and night; except when he chooses to go into his south-facing kennel-house; and that the wintry elements toughen and strengthen him and give him a tremendous coat. This had been the mode of life meted out to Thane from babyhood, as to a hundred other Sunnybank collies. Yet, for the first time in my life, I had on my hands a case of canine pneumonia which was not preceded by distemper.

The grand young dog was sick, grievously sick. My experience has been that thrice out of four times, a very sick dog is a dead dog. I had no hope of saving Thane. Yet' I worked over him as seldom I had worked before. Robert Friend worked even harder. 

Inside of an hour the invalid was incased in an oiled silk-and-woolen double "pneumonia jacket," from which corset-like casing his head and his hindquarters emerged in masses of golden fur. Day and night Robert Friend and I wrought over him Robert more faithfully than I rubbing him, giving him his bi-hourly medicines, making him inhale (to his disgust) the fumes of benzoin-and hot-water, etc.

For a week or so it was nip-and-tuck with death, down there in the dim box stall. The dog lay, breathing noisily, on a bed of blankets, in one corner; languid, dull, a pathetically patient shadow of his vivid self. 

Then, in a flash, he was not sick at all. At least he did not feel sick, although the doctor said he must remain in  his box-stall hospital for at least a month longer and must still have his medicine and an occasional "steaming." His fever temperature had vanished and his wildly gay spirits had come back.

Thane's temperature dropped gradually from one hundred and six to normal. His strength came rushing back to him, and with it his love of fun. He began to play assiduously with his bear and with an old shoe and with other toys we put into his stall. 

One of these toys was a huge round cat's head, black and made of rubber. Like the bear, it would squeak, lamentably and loudly, if it was squeezed. At first Thane would press the rubber cat between his jaws, listening with critical enjoyment to its squeaks. Then he found he could produce the same sound without biting.

He would chivvy the spheroid toy into the center of the stall. There he would press his forefoot on it, with changing degrees of intensity, for minutes at a time, reveling in the varied noises evoked by the pressures. (Yet they say dogs cannot reason anything out!) This was a never ending source of joy to the convalescent giant. When any human visitor came to see hire, invariably he would fetch forth his rubber cat and set his forefoot to work in producing these entrancing screeches.

Also, he invented a game in connection with a two-inch rat-hole in one corner of the stall. When Robert or myself came in with the medicine spoon Thane would rush over to this rat-hole and make spectacular efforts to crawl into it, fluffing his coat up to about double its normal size in the idiotic attempt. The sight of the medicine spoon always was a signal for a dive toward the hole.

By the second week in February he was pronounced, well. Heart and lungs once more were in perfect condition. The vet said it would be safe to take him to the Madison Square Garden Show; more especially since he was still under a year old and therefore need stay at the show for only a single day. Fanciers clamored for me to show him there, prophesying that he would win every prize in sight. 

But I kept him at home. I would rather have a live chum than a dead champion. Perhaps I am foolish. Assuredly, I miss many valuable dog-show prizes and points in that way. But I sleep the better o' nights for knowing I am not jeopardizing the life of a dog-comrade for the selfish sake of a scrap of ribbon and a few dollars or medals or cups.

I don't seek to defend this attitude of mine, for which I have received much good-natured guying from wiser and less mawkish dog-fanciers. To my biased way of thinking, all dogs die too soon, at best; even though I and so many other humans seem to live too long. Why shorten, willfully, a collie's pitifully short span of normal life by making him take needless chances for his owner's self-glory?

So Sunnybank Thane stayed smugly at home all winter, in his box stall, with his toys; while lesser collies were rolling up points toward their championships and were annexing cash prizes. 

He was a gallant invalid, giving no sign of the pain and restless discomfort that at first were his, nor moping at the narrow quarters which replaced his miles of daily gallop and romp.

It must have been deadly stupid, for him, cooped up there all winter in a box stall; he who had had the run of the Place. Yet he bore it all right gaily, and he devised game after game to lighten the tedium. During that winter, too, he waxed strangely humanized, thanks to his dependence on us for companionship and amusement. 

At last he was out of danger. The heart and the lungs were back to their old form. On dry days he could go out for an hour or two and wander at will. The corset-like pneumonia jacket was cut off, too, much to his relief.

According to all precedent, the weeks of high fever and the galling of the air-tight jacket ought to have stripped the hair from his sides and back, and left him well-nigh naked. Instead, he emerged from his box-stall winter with the most incredibly mighty golden coat I have seen on any collie of his age. Once more "Anything can happen." 

Incidentally, he is the first dangerously stricken Sunnybank collie to emerge alive from that "incurables' ward" box stall. I had grown to hate the sinister room. In it have died Jock and Bobby and Treve, and other unsparable collie chums of mine whose wistful ghosts still haunt my memory. (One more great dog, later, was to die there. As you shall see.)

Well, springtime came. With it came the great annual out-door dog show of the Morris & Essex Kennel Club at Madison, New Jersey, May 26, 1928. A notable assemblage of collies was to be there, some of them champions, others that had won renown in the big winter shows. I entered young Thane for the Novice Class and for several other and harder classes, at Madison. Never before had the huge youngster been to a show. Never before had he been in a motor-car or away from Sunnybank. 

Even an ordinarily fearless collie may flinch at the ordeal of plunging for the first time into an assemblage of three thousand strange and clangorously noisy and odorous dogs, and of having thousands of strange humans staring at him and chirping at him. With some curiosity I watched for the effect of the ordeal on our home-bred and home-kept Thane.

He trotted into the show, on his leash, as unflinchingly as a clubman might thread the crowds on Fifth Avenue. True, everything and everybody interested him hugely. But it was a pleasurable interest. There was no fear in it. He was having a glorious time. 

Then came the collie judging. I led Thane into the ring; where, with several other untried collies, he was to test his fortune in the Novice Class.

Enno Meyer was the collie judge that day. 

Thane went through the needful ring evolutions the parade, the trotting back and forth, the posing on the block, the expert handling of the judge and all the other tiring tests. He went through them with evident joy. In fact, he frisked through them.

He was having a beautiful spree. When the judge gave him the blue ribbon, first prize of his class, there was a burst of handclapping from the spectators on all four sides of the ring. The applause seemed to please him almost as much as had the squeaking of his rubber cat. 

He was in several classes that day. He won in every one of them. Then came the gruelingly hard Winners Class; the supreme test in which the winners of all the earlier classes: Puppy, Novice, American-bred, Limit, Open, etc. Must compete for the purple rosette which carries with it a certain number of points toward a championship. The number of points depending on the number of dogs shown.

Again Thane thrilled merrily to the skirl of hand-claps which followed upon Enno Meyer's awarding him the rosette.

My home-bred youngster had been acclaimed Winner; and at his very first show he had received four of the fifteen points needful to a championship.

I did not take him back to his bench at once, but let him stay out in the Maytime shade of the cool green grass with me for a while. Crowds came up to congratulate me on his victory. Wise-eyed veteran collie experts came close to examine him and to pass verdict on him and to praise him to the skies and to foretell a meteoric show-career for him.

And Thane? How did all this hurricane of adulation affect him? Did it turn his head? (It came rather close to turning mine. For this was the reward of years of breeding experiments on my part.) This is how Thane received it:

As his show work was over for the day, I had given him a fair-sized beef bone. He lay sprawling on the grass, in benign content, gnawing happily on it, while the waves of approval surged over him and while I was fingering his purple rosette and his sheaf of blue ribbons and the medals and the handful of gold pieces he had won. 

Personally, I was hard put to it to bear in mind the first half of my own kennel motto:

"To win without boasting; to lose without excuses." 

But his triumphant debut and his long stride up the championship climb and the praise of the collie experts and the still more flattering scowls of some of the collie exhibitors meant to Thane only that he was monstrous comfortable sprawling on the shady grass with such a meatful beef bone to pick clean.

The Paths of Glory Lead but to the-Bone! 

Then the photographers swarmed up. And once more the young dog must pose majesticallythis time for a clicking battery whose sounds amused him almost as much as had the hand-clapping of the rail-birds. When they had gone, he threw himself on the grass again and made growling, terrifying dives at the Mistress's feet, to coax, her into a romp with him. Next, he rolled on his back with an imbecile expression and with all feet in air; looking like an utter fool, a canine Village Idiot.

Then he tried to pick my pocket for animal crackers; and at last he returned to his beef bone. 

Such was his victory conduct. It was worthy of a silly puppy, and it was ludicrously amiss for a huge and stately creature which had just been acclaimed as Thane had been acclaimed. In brief, he had posed statuesquely as long as such pose was commanded by his Master.

Then, the day's work being over, he lapsed into grotesquely unstatuesque puppyhood. 

A month later, at the Rye, New York, outdoor dog show, he repeated his initial triumph; piling up three more points and defeating all collie competitors. He had earned, now, the "two shows, of three or more points each," which 'are the necessary and hardest part of any dog's championship struggle. The rest of his fifteen points he could pick up, if need be, one at a time, at small outdoor shows, during the next five years; should he live so long. The toughest part of the struggle was over.

Moreover, hot weather was coming on hot weather, sticky weather, breathless weather, weather in which a wealth of coat like Thane's is as much a burden as would be a collegian's coonskin overcoat in the tropics. I was advised most urgently to send him on the circuit of summer shows, to clean up his championship in a rush. 

But a few minutes ago I told you I would rather have a live chum than a dead champion. Also, during the stifling summer heat, I would rather have a dog of mine snoozing comfortably in my cool study or splashing deeply in the chilly lake, than chained to a hot bench under a hotter tent roof; or made to stand and to, parade in a sun-scourged judging-ring.

Therein, I was foolish. I admit that, without argument. But there are plenty of autumn shows, where the heat torture is absent. If he should not have shed all his immense coat by that time (which I was certain he would have. done), perhaps he could pick up one or two more points at nearby outdoor dog shows to which he could be driven by motor in an hour or less. Or perhaps he might not win anything at these. It was all a gamble. Meanwhile, he was happy here at home. 

For two days before Thane went to his shows, he was dosed regularly with Delcreo, a safe and harmless distemper preventive. The moment he left the shows, his nose and his lips and the pads of his feet were sponged with grain alcohol (which he hated); flaked naphthaline was rubbed deep into his coat; and he was treated to a mighty swig of castor oil-a nauseous dose which dimmed for the moment his faith in human kindness; but which is the best thing I know of to avert distemper. The same treatment has been given to all my show dogs.

Meantime, he was alive. Which pleased his maudlin master infinitely more than would all the championship certificates the American Kennel Club ever issued. I would rather have had his Paths of Glory lead to the Bone than to the destination named in Gray's Elegy. 

To me, it has always seemed far more interesting and worth while to try to perpetuate in my dogs certain desired traits of courage and cleverness and sense and elfin fun and stanchness and originality and the like, than to seek mere physical perfection by the successive mating of certain arbitrarily correct types.

Now and then as in Thane's case, I try to produce a fine show specimen. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes do not. Sometimes once in a great while, as with Thane I can evolve a dog which combines both the inner and the outer traits I am looking for. 

If he can inherit only one set of these traits, then I prefer to have him inherit the nature rather than the appearance of the type I am aiming at. That, also, is silly. I admit it. But it is fun to eliminate unpleasant traits and build up pleasant ones, by wise breeding.

For example, there was a magnificent merle collie of blazingly savage temper. He was Champion Grey Mist. His beauty was blurred by his savagery. I secured the besttempered of his daughters as a mate for my great Bruce, whose temper was sunny and whose disposition was sweeter than that of any other dog I have owned. At the same time Bruce was as fearless as was savage Champion Grey Mist. 

From this mating, our grand old Sunnybank Gray Dawn hero of my book, Gray Dawn was born; with all the grandfather's savagery bred out of him, except such as every good watch-dog needs; and with Bruce's and Grey Mist's courage and size and beauty. Dawn's son, my Sunnybank Sandstorm ("Sandy") has many of the best of these traits. So has Sandstorm's black son, my Sunnybank King Coal. So have Coal's children.

Again, Thane's grandsire, my Champion Sunnybank Sigurd the "Treve" of my book of that name had a certain eerie mischief and a fund of humor and of queer melodramatic originality the changed remnants of one or two unpleasant ancestral peculiarities which had been bred out of him. 

Treve's three best sons, Sigurdson and Cavalier and Explorer, differed as much in nature as ever did three diverse men. All three were gentle and playful with accredited humans. But with other male dogs Cavalier was savagely quarrelsome. Champion Sunnybank Sigurdson was alternately fierce and frolicsome, and in many ways like his sire. Champion Sunnybank Explorer was almost colorless in his conduct.

Explorer was one of the quietest and most diffident and sensitive dogs I have owned. Yet his son, Thane, was almost the physical and mental reincarnation of his own grandfather, Treve. I found myselfas did the Mistressinvoluntarily calling him Treve and speaking of him as Treve; although golden Treve had been dead since June of 1922. Character and appearance skipped a generation and cropped out to an uncanny degree in Thane. 

I have seen dogs which very evidently knew and cared when they had won or lost in the show ring. They would leave the ring, strutting or slinking, according to whether or not they happened to have received a blue ribbon. Any observant dog-breeder will bear me out in this. Yes, there are many dogs to which victory or defeat means much.

But Thane was not one of them. To him, the ring and the crowds and the competing dogs seemed to be component parts of a thrillingly amusing scene, set for his benefit. I do not believe he had the faintest idea what it, was all about or that he himself was on exhibition. He posed or paraded at command; and he did it all well. Not with Sigurdson's calm perfection, nor with Explorer's glum distaste for crowds, nor with Treve's absurd sense of the occasion's dramatic values. 

No, Thane behaved in the ring precisely as he behaved at home, and with not an atom more of self-consciousness. In all his short life he knew nothing but friendliness and good-fellowship from humans; and he did not know there could be anything else. Therefore, he suffered the judge to handle and examine him; even as he permitted Sunnybank guests to pat him.

He felt the keenest interest in the other dogs in the ring, and he tried gleesomely to lure them into romps. When I drew him away from them he looked reproachfully up at me, as though trying to tell me that I was spoiling the beginning of a jolly friendship. 

I did not have to "show" himin other words, to attract his attention by means of some squeaking toy or bit of fried liver, so that he would stand alertly at attention. The sight of other exhibitors, showing their dogs, was an endless delight to him. Unwittingly they were "showing" my dog along with their own. For he followed all their sometimes frantic gesticulations with a joyous interest. He was vividly on the alert, from nose to tail tip.

Ever, at the back of his gay brain, I knew, was the promise of that after-sprawl on the cool ringside grass, with his beef bone to gnaw at. That was the supreme moment of the show for him. 

Yes, the Paths of Glory led but to the Bone!

LATER Much LATER:

You have just read the life story of my golden Champion Sunnybank Thane, as I wrote it for a national magazine in the summer of 1928. Would you like to hear the rest of it? 

When September of 1928 brought cool weather, I took Thane to three more dog shows. At all of themTuxedo and Cornwall and Westchesterhe received the "Winners" award as well as "Best of Breed."

At the Cornwall show the collie ring was within a yard or two of the bandstand. As the collies of Thane's paraded into the ring, the many-pieced band burst into thunder of jazz, just above their heads. This in spite of bribe-fringed entreaties that the playing be delayed until after the classes should be judged. 

Never before had Thane heard such a roaring burst of sound. Well might he have cringed or bolted. I whispered to him,

"Steady, son! STEADY! I'm here." 

This as the first blare of cacophony roared over him. The gallant young dog heard me and he obeyed me.

Vibrant with the ear-cracking novelty of the din, he glanced questioningly up into my face. Then he went through his ring paces as calmly as if he were in the practice ring at home. He won his class. He received "Winners" and then "Best of Breed." 

In five shows, in a space of less than five monthsincluding the torrid weeks when I had kept him at homemy golden collie had won the fifteen points which, by American Kennel Club law, made him a "Champion of Record." He became "CHAMPION Sunnybank Thane." And he was acclaimed everywhere as the greatest collie of the decade.

I do not believe in showing champions, in the ring; and thus deterring some younger or lesser dog from working his way up to the all-important title. Thane was a champion. Therefore, for the rest of his days, Thane should remain at Sunnybank; unexhibited, and reaping the reward of his prowess. 

But only a handful of time remained for him to enjoy his laurels.

He won his championship in late September, 1928. On the morning of April 26, 1929, he and I went for a walk together. The dog was wildly gay and active. When I went into my study to work I shut him in his yard. An hour later my superintendent showed a party of unbidden visitorsstrangersmotor touristsover the kennels. He told me later that they lingered long in front of Thane's yard, several of them; while the rest moved onward with their guide. What they did or did not do, I don't know. For what other kennelsif for any at allthey were emissaries, I don't know. 

But half an hour before lunchtime, I went out for an inspection tour of Sunnybank. I let Thane out of his yard. Instead of dashing forth, as always, like a burst of golden flame, he lurched slowly toward me, head and tail adroop, panting and in evident agony.

As when he had had pneumonia, I gathered him up in my arms and carried him to the box stall that had been his sick-bay during his earlier siege of illness. And I shouted to my superintendent to telephone for the veterinary. 

Twelve hours later Champion Sunnybank Thane was dead. Nobody knows how or why.

He was born on the 26th of the month. He was registered on the 26th of the month. He went to his first show on the 26th of the month. He went to his final and crowning show on the 26th of the month. He died on the 26th of the month, at the beginning of the 26th month of his shining young life.

Somehow, since then, dog shows haven't interested me overmuch. I haven't shown any of my few surviving collies. It isn't a question of sulks, but genuine dearth of interest. 

Queer, isn't it? And peace to Thane's bright memory!

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Jock
Sunnybank Goldsmith II

Son of Bruce and Sunnybank Jean

(Feb 4, 1919 - Nov, 1919)

"Bruce's son, Jock, was the finest pup, from a dog-show point of viewand in every other waythat we have been able to breed. Jock, was physical perfection. And he had a brain, too; and abundant charm; and a most intensely haunting personality. He had from earliest puppyhood, all the steadfast qualities of a veteran dog; and at the same time a babylike friendliness and love of play."

 

 

"Jock was one of the best collies, from a show point, I have bred. Close he was to complete perfection. In his only dog show he cleaned up everything in his classes against strong competition; and he was beaten for 'Best of Breed' only by his own peerless sire, Bruce."

 

"From the time he could leave the brood nest, Jock feared nothing. He would tackle any peril, any adversary, with a queerly happy and defiant high-pitched bark whose duplicate I have yet to hear."

"That queer bark of glad defiance was ever his war cry."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Jock and Jean were son and mother. Both were children of my great collie, Bruce, 'The Dog Without a Fault'; the hero of my book that bears his name."

 

 

 

Sunnybank Goldsmith II: Jock

From Buff: A Collie, "The Sunnybank Collies," P. 337

Bruce's son, Jock, was the finest pup, from a dog-show point of view—and in every other way—that we have been able to breed. Jock, was physical perfection. And he had a brain, too; and abundant charm; and a most intensely haunting personality. He had from earliest puppyhood, all the steadfast qualities of a veteran dog; and at the same time a babylike friendliness and love of play.

Nor did he know what it was to be afraid. Always, in presence of danger, he met the menace with a furious charge, accompanied by a clear, trumpet-bark of gay defiance. Once, for instance, he had been lying beside my chair on the veranda. Suddenly he jumped to his feet, with that same gay, fierce bark.

I turned to see what had excited him. A huge copperhead snake had crawled up the vines to the porch floor and had wriggled on to within a foot or two of my chair.

Jock was barely six months old. Yet he flew to the assault with more sense than would many a grown dog.

When he was eight months old, I took the little chap to Paterson, to his first (and last) dog show. Never before had he been off the Place or in a house. Yet he bore himself like a seasoned traveller; and he "showed" with the perfection of a champion. He won, in class after class; annexing two silver cups and several blue ribbons. His peerless sire, Bruce, was the only collie, in the whole show, able to win over him, that day.

Jock beat every other contestant. He seemed to enjoy showing and to delight in the novelty and excitement of it all. He was at the show for only a few hours; and it was a triumph-day for him.

Yet cheerfully would I give a thousand dollars not to have taken him there.

For he brought home not only his many prizes but a virulent case of distemper; as did other dogs that attended the same show.

Of course, I had had him (as well as all my other dogs) inoculated against distemper, long before; and such precautions are supposed to be effective. But the disease got through the inoculation and infected him.

He made a gallant fight of it-oh, a gallant fight!-the fearless little thoroughbred! But it was too much for him. For five weeks, he and I fought that grindingly losing battle.

Then, in the dim gray of a November dawn, he lifted his head from my knee, and peered through the shadows towards one black corner of the room. No one, watching him, could have doubted that he saw Something-lurking there in the dark.

Sharply, he eyed the dim room-corner for an instant. Then, from his throat burst forth that glad, fierce defiance-bark of his-his fearlessly gay battle shout. And he fell back dead.

What did he see, waiting for him, there in the murk of shadows? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps "the Arch-Fear in visible shape." Who knows? In any case, whatever it was, he did not fear it. He challenged it as fiercely as ever he had challenged mortal foe. And his hero-spirit went forth to do battle with it-unafraid.

God grant us all so gallant an ending! (See Jean)

From A Book of Famous Dogs, 1937, Pp. 126 - 133

Jock and Jean were son and mother. Both were children of my great collie, Bruce, "The Dog Without a Fault"; the hero of my book that bears his name.

Usually a mother dog loses all special interest in her pups soon after she has weaned them. That was what Jean did, in regard to most of her many offspring. But never with Jock.

To the day of Jock's death he was still her cherished baby. Dailythough he grew to be almost twice her sizeshe would make him lie down, first on one side then on the other, while with her untiring pink tongue she washed him from nose to tail tip.

She superintended his eating. Daintily she would transfer from her own food dish to his the choicest tidbits of her dinner.

It was pretty: this love and care of the little brown collie mother for her big brown collie son. And Jock reciprocated it all to the utmost. He and Jean were wretchedly unhappy when either was forced to be away from the comradeship of the other for more an hour at a time.

Jock was one of the best collies, from a show point, I have bred. Close he was to complete perfection. In his only dog show he cleaned up everything in his classes against strong competition; and he was beaten for "Best of Breed" only by his own peerless sire, Bruce.

This meant immeasurably less to me than did my success in breeding into him a clever and gay and courageous spirit and a flavor of wise "folksiness" which made him an ideal companion. Mentally, spiritually, in disposition, he was a replica of Bruce. I asked (and ask) better of no dog on earth. As to his jolly pluck:

From the time he could leave the brood nest, Jock feared nothing. He would tackle any peril, any adversary, with a queerly happy and defiant high-pitched bark whose duplicate I have yet to hear.

That queer bark of glad defiance was ever his war cry.

On a day, while I sat writing in my outdoor hammock, young Jock lounged at my feet. He leaped up, suddenly, with that jocund challenge bark of his.

I looked behind me. There I saw on the lawn a big and thick-girthed copperhead snake. The serpent had been gliding through the grass toward the hammock and toward my unheeding ankles, when Jock either had sighted him or else had become aware of the nauseous viperine odora stench as of stale cucumberswhich clings to such venomous snakes.

In some occult way, Jock had seemed to divine my possible peril. He had sprung up from his doze and had rushed at the copperhead, sounding his glad battle cry. The snake checked its own slithery advance. It coiled, and prepared itself to face this plangent new adversary.

Many a fool dog would have plunged forward to death. Many a more prudent dog would have avoided the issue. Jock was neither a fool nor prudent.

It was a new experience to me to watch his duel with the copperhead. Never before, I think, had he encountered a snake. Yet he fought with consummate skill. In and out he flashed, tempting the copperhead to strike, and then dodging back, barely an inch out of reach of the death-dealing fangs; and immediately flashing in with an effort to slay the serpent before it could coil afresh.

Each combatant was a shade too swift for the other. Back and forth for some seconds waged the death duel. Neither adversary scored the fatal bite, though more than once each was within a hairsbreadth of it. And ever rang forth that odd battle bark of my young collie.

Then I had sense enough to realize that I was allowing an untried paragon to pit his skill, for life or for death, against the most deadly type of viper in this region. And I went to his help.

I smashed the copperhead's ugly triangular skull under my heel.

This with no zest at all. For I was wearing low shoes of canvas at the time. And if I had missed, the snake might well have scored on my unprotected ankle. I had a twinge of mental nausea as I gauged the distance and the required speed and accuracy for my head blow.

(There is little of the hero and a goodly modicum of the coward in my make-up. I detest danger and all its by-products. But Jock was my chum. And he was risking life for me.)

The heel came down fatally on the fat copperhead. The fight was ended. So was the snake's life. And for two days thereafter Jock would have nothing whatever to do with me. I had spoiled his jolly life battle by butting in on it and by slaying his very entertaining opponent. He viewed me with cold aversion, until his youth and his inborn love for me overcame his disapproval.

But we were chums, he and I, for a pitifully short time after that.

For, a week later, like the fool I was, I took him to the dog show I have mentioned. He had been inoculated twice against distemper, and I used every other preventive and safeguard I knew of. (Doses of Delcreo in advance, a sponging of mouth and of pads with grain alcohol directly after the show, followed by the rubbing of flaked napthaline into his luxuriant coat and a liberal dosage of castor oil.)

But a distemper-sickening chow had touched noses with him briefly at the big show. And that was enough. Jock was the more delicate because he was so closely inbred. He was infected. Ten days afterward he developed a dry cough and a wet nose.

The disease had set in. The malady which kills more purebred dogs than do all other diseases put together; the malady which took horrible toll from that same show and which has killed more than a thousand dogs a month, in its flood tide, after other shows.

Distemper practically never kills a mongrel (crossbreed is a better term) which it assails. The afflicted dog crawls under the barn or into some other cool and dark hiding place. Thence he emerges a few days later, bone thin and weak, but cured. But it slays at least fifty per cent of the thoroughbreds it attacks. Sometimes more.

It is a disease which, like typhoid, its human counterpart, calls for twenty-four hours a day of nursing. And, as in typhoid, nursing is go per cent of the cure.

Not often does actual distemper kill its victims. Oftener they die of its sequel illnesses: pneumonia or pleurisy or chorea. Chorea is a form of St Vitus's dance. With dogs, almost always it is fatal.

Jock weathered the distemper itself. I nursed him, twenty-four hours a day, through the pneumonia which followed upon it. Then through the long siege of chorea which came after pneumonia. I cured him of each successive one of these scourges, though I waxed dead on my feet from sleeplessness and from eternal vigilance during every one of them.

I gave up all attempt to work. And I spent my days and my eternally long nights in the wide box stall that was Jock's sickroom. Then, just as success seemed ahead, the youngster somehow acquired "reinfection." At least that is what the two vets named it.

At gray dawn of one November morning I sat on the floor in a dim corner of the box stall, with Jock's head and shoulders pillowed on my aching knees. I had had seven weeks of the conflict, with not one night's rest. Yet I was thrilled at the idea I gradually was winning the battle for the good collie comrade I loved.

Jock had been sleeping peacefully for hours. Suddenly he lurched to his feet. His fevered eyes were fixed on something in the black shadows at the far opposite corner of the wide stall; something my own gross human gaze could not see.

Forward he sprang, voicing that same strange high challenge bark of his. Then he fell dead, across my outstretched feet.

What did he seeif anythinglurking there in the stall's far corner? Probably nothing. Perhaps "the Arch Fear in visible shape." Whatever It was, brave young Jock had no dread of It. With his olden glad bark of defiance he had staggered forward to meet It.

Perhaps some of us soul-possessing humans may die a less valiant death.

At sunrise I had my men dig a grave for Jock, far from the house, and in the center of the line of Sunnybank dogs' graves I have spoken of, at the lake edge and on the border of the more distant woods. There we buried the fearless young collie; buried him almost six feet deep, before we fumigated his box-stall sick-room.

For the past weeks Jean had been shut up in her own spacious kennel yard. That day I let her out, for the first time since her loved son had fallen ill. Eagerly, unwearyingly, the little she-collie searched every inch of the forty-acre Place. Back and forth and in narrowing circles she coursed and cast, in quest of Jock.

After several hours she came to the grave of her puppy. There she halted; first sniffing about, then waving happily her plumed tail and nestling down beside the mound of new earth.

There was nothing sad or hopeless in her attitude and aspect. It was as if, after long search, she had arrived by chance at a spot nearer her precious son than she had been for weeks.

Presently she got up and ran to find me. Then she led me joyously to the grave; and once more she snuggled down to it, with waving tail and happy, smiling eyes. There she stayed all day. Not mournfully, but in pleasant expectation.

There was no taint of exhibitionism or of the role of professional mourner, or even of grief, in her bearing. She had missed her dear son all these weeks. Now at last she was nearer to him than she had been throughout that long time of waiting. Her sense of smell told her that.

Several times before settling down there she circled the ground, nose to earth, for a radius of perhaps thirty feet, as if in search of some newer trail to follow. There was none. She realized she was closer to him, at his grave, than anywhere else. Presumably she believed Jock would come back to her, there, in course of time. So she waited in happy eagerness.

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