This letter was published in the December 15, 1911 issue of Country Life in America.
As long as I can remember I have heard stories of the wonderful sagacity and faithfulness of Scotch collies, but somehow, since the advent of the modern, sharp-nosed, show type of collie, these stories have been getting fewer. Some of those that have lately come to my attention I have investigated, and have invariably learned that the remarkable dog in question was a survivor of the race of old-fashioned collies or shepherd dogs. My further inquiries as to where such dogs can be obtained have met with no success. "Brought over from Scotland," "from an old family strain, now practically vanished," "purchased from a Swedish farmer in Minnesota"--these are some of the answers to my inquiries. Incidentally I might add that, with the exception of one dog in New York State, all that I have heard of have been west of the Mississippi.
Now it may be that there are plenty of this breed alive, and puppies being born, but the fact remains that I, personally, can't find any. I believe that the old-fashioned collie or shepherd dog was one of the finest dogs that ever came to be the companion and helper of man. Between him and the beautiful, treacherous, automobile-chasing modern collie there is absolutely no comparison. I wish Country Life in America could do something to save this noble breed from extinction, and I wish I could find out myself where I could get such a dog.
Have you seen a dog like this for the past ten years? Has the old-fashioned shepherd dog, intelligent, affectionate, reliable, been supplanted by the modern, self-satisfied, sharp-nosed collie?
I enclose an old photograph to show the type I mean, because sometimes my search has led me to people who simply didn't know that such a dog ever existed, or who have tried to palm off one of their new, snipe-nosed aristocrats on me.
by Otis Barnum
[We confess that we don't know at the moment where such dogs can be bought, and will be grateful for any information from our readers.--The Editors.]
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