White Collie in Alaska

From Country Life In America, March 1919.

WHEN we receive an interesting letter the desire to pass it along is sometimes too strong to be denied. A communication from Mr. S. C. Radford, of Oshkosh, Wis., comes so distinctly under this head that we give it below:

"The accompanying photograph represents the white collie which we sent out some time ago to Thomas Gordon, Point Barrow, Alaska. This place is the northernmost point on the North American continent, and Mr. Cord, who has charge of some of the Government herds of reindeer, sent down to get a dog that would assist in caring for these animals. The native Eskimo and Lapp dogs are more or less wolfish in their makeup, and their tendency is to kill the deer; they have no herding instincts whatever.

"Mr. Gordon, who has lived in Alaska since he was sixteen, was a native of Scotland, and knew of the valuable service of the collie in herding all kinds of stock. We sent the collie, which left here the middle of April and went forward on the revenue cutter Bear, Captain Cochran, May 1, 1916, from San Francisco, and arrived at Point Barrow the middle of August. The climate is so cold that even the salt water is frozen excepting during the five or six weeks in midsummer, and the fur ships and revenue cutter are obliged to make their trip in the Arctic region in a very short time.

" This dog survived, and the new owner said that she started to assist herding the reindeer from the minute that she got there; this season the natives are sending down and wanting to get six or eight more dogs that will do this very necessary work in the frozen North.

"The white collie seems to be peculiarly; adapted for Alaska, for the reason that most -of the wild animals are that color in the winter.

"It might also interest you to know the wed have a number of white collies out with the Army and Navy. There is one on the battleship Wisconsin, one with the United States Engineers in France, and one has just gone into the Signal Corps; another into the Infantry; one is with the Rainbow Division, and one with the Cavalry. '

Incidentally it may be said that originally the white collie was a sport from the sable collie. Breeders in endeavoring to secure the extra wide white collar, inbred to a certain extent, so that all-white sports were occasionally produced. These all-white pups from different litters were crossed and recrossed, until to-day the white collie is a standard variety, and may be registered as such in the stud books of the American Kennel Club.