Friday, September 2, 2016

Sunnybank, then and now, always beloved

Tate, photo by Ron Sherr

On August 20th and 21st, we attended The Gathering at Sunnybank.  Our long time readers know what Sunnybank means to us, but for those who may not know, you can read all about Sunnybank in our previous posts by clicking HERE and HERE.  Sunnybank is a special place, and walking around the grounds can almost be a spiritual experience for collie lovers. And each year they come, from near and far they travel, to spend the weekend gathered together on the rolling hills of Sunnybank.  Humans and collies, young and old, newcomers and longtime friends, spend the weekend honoring our beloved collie breed and the memory of Albert Payson Terhune and his beloved Sunnybank collies.  

Ryder and his mom, Abby, at The Gathering

This year we were able to attend the Gathering on both Saturday and Sunday.  There were so many things to see, so many old friends to visit with, and even though it was very hot, we had a wonderful weekend.  On Saturday we brought Ryder and Abby, along with the puppies.  Ryder came because he had never been to Sunnybank, and because he was signed up to take the Therapy Dog test.  Abby came, because I was feeling very sentimental, remembering when I visited Sunnybank with her when she was just a young girl. (I don't think these pictures were from The Gathering though, I think they were from a puppy match held in October of 2007.)  She turns 10 years old next month, and loves to go everywhere with me, so I had to take her with me.  It always makes me anxious when I think of how quickly the years are passing for Abby and me.

Abby, standing next to the Fire Blue Lake, on the banks of Sunnybank.

Abby then....

And Abby now...

So on Saturday we had Ryder take the Therapy Dog test.  I had been thinking of having him tested, because even though he hasn't taken the Therapy Dog classes, he always does whatever I ask of him and he has the perfect temperament for it.  The test is looking to see how a dog reacts to meeting new people and dogs, being in a crowd of people, and dealing with strange new things.  He was bumped by canes, crutches, walkers and wheelchairs, and he didn't care at all.  He greeted strangers politely, didn't pick up the cookie on the ground after I told him to "leave it," and passed each portion of the test with ease.  He was as perfect as always.  Which means that once our registration is processed, Ryder will be able to visit our local Nursing Homes for Therapy Dog visits!  I am so proud of my boy!

Recognize the spot Ryder is posing in?  It's the same spot where Abby posed years ago!

And on Sunday it was time for the puppies to come out and play!  We brought Sophie and Maizie, and Tate came too!  Tate is a big boy, but at 10 months old, he is still a puppy too!

It was so hot, the puppies started melting into collie-puddles!

Maizie, already a perfect little show dog, and she isn't even 4 months old in this picture!

Maizie, looking so sweet!

Sophie is very serious, she has caught on to dog shows very quickly!

Sweet Sophie
Tate looking very grown-up!

And do you remember Sophie and Maizie's brother, Wyatt?  He is name is now Finn, and his family brought him to The Gathering too!

Photo by Ron Sherr

It was such a fun weekend, and it was so wonderful to see so many or our puppies at the match!
photo by Finn's dad, Steve Mierz

And as we drove home, I caught an exhausted little Maizie smiling in her sleep....maybe dreaming about Sunnybank or her future career as a show dog?


  1. How incredibly fun! Collies must have really easy going temperaments-I couldn't imagine so many dogs playing and running.
    Hope you have a great weekend.
    Hugs, Noreen

  2. What a great event. I always wished I had the ability to work with Bailey as a therapy dog, he had the gift. My grandmother's nursing home allowed dog visitors and Bailey used to go with us when he could. Not only would he visit Gram, but there was a group of people that always had to see him when we went and he always seemed to know which ones needed him and which ones to leave alone.

    Best wishes with your training. I can tell you from experience these visits mean so much.

  3. They sure do listen good. We listen when we want to
    Lily & Edward

  4. Wonderful post. Thanks for bringing us along. We enjoyed it.

  5. Sounds like a wonderful place. The pics are so beautiful of your furbabies. Many congratulations to Ryder! I know a lot of folks in the nursing home will have much brighter days from your visits!

  6. Oh I bet that it was super collie-weekend for all who came to this wonderful place... Congrats Ryder, you are a super fabulous pup!

  7. Wow, what a special weekend! Congratulations to Ryder - therapy Dog work is very important! And look at all those cute puppies!!!


  8. I loved looking at all your coolies.I may try to go next year,it looks like such fun & I would be in collie heaven!phyllis

  9. Really a lovely event , I hope I get it someday ... Nice collies ! Hugs from Brazil - Fairieland Collies ;)

    Cintia Fumagalli

  10. Wow, Ryder has an amazing coat! Looks like a fun filled day for all the pups. Great pictures and amazing post! Keep it up :)