Jack: The Christmas Collie
edited: Saturday, November 28, 2009
By Kevin Brett
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2008
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A new Collie novel in the tradition of the Terhune Collie adventures has just been released! "Jack: The Christmas Collie"
Just released! A new Collie novel in the tradition of the Terhune Collie adventures.
"Jack: The Christmas Collie"
Inimitable, lovable, heroic, mischievous, majestic; yes, the Collie is making a comeback to the American landscape and pop culture. Christmas (2009), a new generation of American children, adults and animal lovers of all ages will have the opportunity to fall in love with the Collie all over again.
Captain Jack is a tri-color Collie with a penchant for mischief and more than a few lovable personality quirks. “Jack: The Christmas Collie” is a new novel based on a true Collie. It is sure to capture a whole new generation of Collie lovers with a fresh take on our favorite breed of sheep dog.
Meet Jack: Experience the adventures of Jack the beautiful tri-color Collie
This Christmas, the Barnes family will receive a gift; a gift that will teach them about life … about making
sacrifices and about giving back. Kevin Brett recreates the child-like enchantment and romance of the
Collie stories of old with this delightful tale of a family and their Collie. Jack's ancient wolf instincts serve
him well, as he becomes the perfect addition to the Barnes family. Jack rollicks and romps his way
through the Barnes's home and their lives, changing all of them in ways they had never expected.
In true Collie tradition, Jack saves the day numerous times and protects his new family. This Christmas,
discover the gift that each of us carries inside, as a family learns that life is not as perfect as our dreams,
but sometimes our dreams may come true in ways we might not ever imagine.
A long and rich heritage
Legend has it that somewhere in the farthest reaches of the mystical and mysterious pedigree of the
Collie breed is the grey wolf of Scotland. Many other breeds have played a role in the evolution of the
Scottish Collie, but none as central as that of the wolf, hence, the obvious similarities.
Today there are no wolves in Scotland. They have been hunted to extinction. Most historians agree with the account that the last wolf in Scotland was killed by a hunter named MacQueen in 1743 near the Findhorn River in the territory of the tribal clan Mackintosh. There is a current movement to reintroduce wolves to Scotland to help cull the immense red deer population, which is in the hundreds of thousands. These deer cause damage to crops, forests and neighboring animal habitats and without the presence of wolves to keep their numbers in check will continue to wreak significant environmental and economic stress. However, the Collie has prospered and is still used for its original purposes and still carries the characteristics inherited from its wolf ancestors.
Collies have been with us for a very long time, and like the grey wolf of Scotland, they seem to have all but disappeared from our popular culture and collective conscious; replaced with the likes of Beethoven, Benji, and other celebrity canines.
Collies have a long and rich heritage. They are the original working dog. In the old days, these canine farm hands had to be intelligent and able to think on their own, as they often would work flocks of sheep a long ways away from any assistance shepherds might be able to offer. A Collie had to be able to round up stray sheep, return them to the flock, keep watch for predators such as their wolf ancestors and move the sheep down the mountain or across pastures to new grazing lands or to market with only minimal contact with their shepherds.
These working dogs were suddenly thrust into canine celebritydom in the late 1800s when Queen Victoria took a fancy to them. The Queen actually kept a group of Collies at her summer palace at Scotland’s Balmoral Castle. In 1879, the first English Collie was imported to the United States and
breeders began developing the breed to a slightly larger size over time with more refined features and temperament. Between 1900 and 1930, the Collie continued to grow in popularity through the immensely popular and much-loved books of Albert Peyson Terhune. Terhune gave us “Lad a Dog” and many other enchanting stories of his Sunnybank Collies of New Jersey. In 1938, Eric Knight wrote a short story
about Lassie for the Saturday Evening Post and in 1940, he released the book "Lassie Come Home", which was followed by the movie of the same title in 1943. Six sequels and a television series that ran from 1954 through 1971 followed the 1943 hit movie. Several more feature films followed the television series.
Yes, our dear friend Lassie is the most recognizable canine on the planet. Partly due to her unmatched wit and heroics and partly due to her striking, majestic coat and markings combined with the Collie’s eerie similarity to her mysterious wolf cousin. There is something compelling about the Collie that draws us to this breed unlike any other. Collies have instinct and intelligence that is superior to all other breeds.
The Collie makes an excellent hunting and herding dog and is a protector of livestock as well as humans both large and small. The Collie is extremely clever and makes a fiercely loyal companion. With a strong, but narrow frame designed for speed and the teeth and mouth of a wolf, the Collie will fend off the largest of foes without hesitation. The Collie has been man’s best friend since ancient times and today this friendship is alive and well as any true Collie lover knows!
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