|Holly and Winter, pose with Terhune and some of the Sunnybank collies|
Through the trees and across the green hillside, down to where the blue lake touched the shore, the collies and their families gathered. They came together to celebrate this wonderful breed, and to remember the Master and the Mistress, and their beloved Sunnybank collies. There was food and laughter, auctions of collie memorabilia, and everywhere you turned, there were collies.
Every August, collie lovers from near and far travel to Sunnybank to spend the weekend together, and the park rings with the joyous sound of happy collies once more. Sunnybank was the home of Albert Payson Terhune and his wife, Anice. It was where they bred and raised their Sunnybank collies, the inspiration for most of Terhune's books. Many years after Bert and Anice passed away the grounds were turned into a park, with the help of some devoted fans. And now Sunnybank is carefully preserved, along with the gravesites of the famous collies. In many ways a visit to Sunnybank is like stepping back in time. Visitors are able to walk the pathways and sit beneath the ancient trees, and imagine the Terhunes and their collies walking and playing along the banks of the "fire blue lake."
It's an experience that every collie lover should get to enjoy at least once. We've been visiting Sunnybank for years, but it never loses it's magic. Sitting there, watching the young collie puppies playing, you can see the future of the collie breed. On Sunday there is a puppy match held, and puppies and older collies can enter in a fun practice competition. There is a parade to celebrate the rescue collies finding their new families, and another to honor the senior collies, whose graying fur just makes them even more endearing. And the camaraderie helps to inspire people to bid on auction items, to help raise money for the Collie Health Foundation, which funds medical research projects that benefit the future health of the collie breed.
|honoring the seniors|
So if you love collies, you should try to attend The Gathering, which is held the third weekend of August every year in Wayne, NJ. Maybe we will see you there!
|Winter, resting in the cool, green grass of Sunnybank|
|Winter and Holly, two very tired collies, resting after a fun day at Sunnybank|