J. Richard McDuffie in Aiken, South Carolina, writes of his search for the Old Farm Collie/Shepherd:
The country was full of Old Time Farm Shepherds or Farm Collie dogs when I was a boy. Some called them Shepherds, other Collies, but they were the same dogs. They served as family pet, guard dog, stock dog and hunting dog.
After World War II people turned to specialist breeds and just neglected the old farm dogs that excelled at many things. My interest in them was always as hunting dogs. I was always interested in the old farm dogs but like most people took them for granted.
In more recent years (1980s) there was a resurgence of interest in squirrel hunting... Terrier types were being promoted as squirrel dogs. I realized that the old time farm dogs, of my childhood, did a far superior job. As a result I started a nationwide search for the old-time treeing Farm Shepherd...
I had hundreds of responses. Most were from people who wanted to buy one. Many remembered that type dog and just wanted to say nice things about them. Probably about 50 people told me of where treeing Shepherds were. Further investigation revealed that most of those were crossed-up English Shepherds, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie types.
A vocational agrictulture teacher from Tennessee called me and told me of an old woman who had some of the Old Time Farm Shepherds. He told me that he grew up next door to her and her husband. He said that when he got up to go to school the Shepherds would be treed. If their owner had not gone to them during the day, they would still be treed when he came home from school. Then he would take his rifle and go shoot out the squirrel, coon, ground hog or whatever they had treed.
...He read my request for information and remembered that his neighbor had those kinds of dogs, but knew the man had been dead for 15 years or more, so he just assumed the dogs were gone. One day he went turkey hunting at his old home place and discovered that the man's widow (now in her mid-80s) still lived there and had some of her husband's dogs (or at least descendants). He called me and I went up there and bought Old Shep and three litter mates, at that time about 6 months old.
Dunrovin Ole Shep
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