Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A collie named Lassie, a place called Sunnybank

Did you have a favorite movie star when you were a child?  I'm not ashamed to admit that most of mine walked on four feet instead of two.  I loved watching old movies on Sunday afternoons, this was back before we had 800 or more television channels to choose from.  On Saturday mornings we watched our favorite cartoons, and the rest of the weekend was spent playing outside with our friends...unless it rained.  On those rainy days I would search through the TV Guide, which came in the Sunday morning paper, and look for a good movie to watch.

On Sundays they often showed old Shirley Temple movies, old Tarzan movies and old Lassie movies.  I loved old movies, but my favorites were always the movies that featured dogs.  So it isn't a surprise that I loved Lassie, especially since I came from a family of collie lovers.  Lassie was smart and heroic, and her loyalty and devotion to her family made her the perfect dog.  This was a dog that matched the truest definition of a best friend.

I discovered a love of reading when I was around 9 years old.  And shortly after that I discovered the books written by Albert Payson Terhune.   His books were fictional stories about his collies, who were also brave, smart, heroic and beautiful, just like Lassie.  So while I didn't grow up with a collie of my own, I always knew I would have one,"someday."  And now I have collies in my life, and they make me happy.  I belong to collie clubs, and we attend collie specialty dog shows, and I have friends who share my passion for this wonderful breed.  Ask any of them why they fell in love with collies, and most of them will tell you it's because of either Lassie or Terhune.  And this coming weekend, many of those friends will be driving to Sunnybank, the home of Albert Payson Terhune, for The Gathering.  It's almost time to gather and celebrate the collie...


  1. I love Lassie and I still do. The TV show is still on here and I watch it often. It's heartwarming and it makes you feel good. Love the Shirley Temple movies too☺

  2. Have you ever read Jon Katz's books? One of my favorite Jon Katz books is Izzy and Lenore. They're therapy dogs. If you would like, I will send you the book. I would just need your address. I am loving the Foxglove Corner series. You have gotten me back into reading. Thank you so much!

  3. Albert Payson Terhune was my first favorite author.

  4. I remember watching those same shows!
    Hazel & Mabel

  5. OMD, Ma watched the same shows! She watched Shirley Temple every Saturday morning (two back to back movies), and one Sunday they had the Sherlock Holmes movies on. She would watch them on her tiny b&w tv she bought with her allowance monies! ☺ (yes, she is THAT old....) Oh, and she used to watch Please Don't Eat the Daisies, and that's when she just knew she HAD to get an OES one day! She did, and what a heart dog she was! Butts, she missed the torture of terrierist apparently, so then came an Irish Terrier and two Airedales.
    Ruby ♥

  6. I had a short hospital stay from a minor surgery this week--and while I was there, I watched an old episode of Lassie. What a joy it was.

  7. We love watching Lassie with Dad. Dad told us that the Lassie in the book and TV were totally different. The TV Lassie is a sable and actually a boy! The cover and illustrations in the Lassie books are sable, but if you read the story she is actually a tri-color. Gesh.

    Sherman & Gemini

  8. You had me at Lassie! Yes! How I loved to watch Lassie growing up. I had all the hardcovered books, too! As you know, my Mom had three beautiful Collies in her lifetime...such beautiful, loyal, amazing dogs. One always accompanied me when I went trail riding with my horse. <3 I have a soft spot for the beauties for sure!