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Sunnybank Books In Order

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Publication Order of Sunnybank Books

Lad, a Dog (1919)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bruce (1920)Description / Buy at Amazon
Buff (1921)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Heart of a Dog (1921)Description / Buy at Amazon
His Dog (1922)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Friend the Dog (1922)Description / Buy at Amazon
Further Adventures of Lad / Dog Stories Every Child Should Know (1922)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Book of Famous Dogs / Famous Dog Stories Every Child Should Know (1922)Description / Buy at Amazon
Grudge Mountain / Dog of the High Sierras (1923)Description / Buy at Amazon
Treve (1924)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wolf (1925)Description / Buy at Amazon
Treasure/The Faith of a Collie (1926)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Luk of the Laird / A highland collie (1926)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gray Dawn (1927)Description / Buy at Amazon
Loot!/Collie to The Rescue (1928)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lad of Sunnybank (1929)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Dog Named Chips (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Way Of A Dog (1932)Description / Buy at Amazon
Real Tales of Real Dogs (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
True Dog Stories (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Critter and Other Dogs (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Unseen! (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dogs (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon

Sunnybank is a series of novels from the early 1900s which followed the exploits of a noble and gentle dog that does what he can to keep his master and their family safe.

+The Story
Before his death, Albert Payson Terhune was a prolific writer. But those who knew him best also understood that Albert’s passion lay firmly in the breeding of dogs. He was particularly proud of all the work he did at his Sunnybank kennels.

It was from his love of dogs that the Sunnybank series was inspired. The books follow the exploits of a Rough Collie called lad who lives in a home he simply calls ‘The place’ with his master and his mate.

Lad and his master get along well enough. But the place is often the center of a lot of excitement. Lad watches as his master lives his life, as new dogs come into the place and others leave, as their lives intersect with those of their neighbors, as they all struggle to stay ahead of the cold weather, and the enemies waiting outside and the daily challenges that litter the average life.

Readers are inserted into Lad’s perspective as he observes the goings on of his home and attempts to understand them. Along the way, opportunities arise for Lad to act on behalf of his master and his family, chances for the dog to save a life, to fight off an enemy, to make his Master’s life a little better.

And Lad’s actions do not go unnoticed. The people around him begin to see his self-sacrifice, the fact that he will put life and limb on the line to protect those he knows and even the people he does not know. And they love him all the more for it.

The Sunnybank series, it should be noted, is written with dog lovers in mind. It tells stories that amplify that sense of fondness that pet owners feel for their canines, though some readers have admitted to being encouraged to adopt a dog because of how lovely the relationship between man and pet is portrayed in the Lad books.

Albert Payson Terhune, the author, had a real dog called Lad who died in 1918. And he claimed to base many of his stories on the adventures of the real-life dog. His stories were so thoroughly enjoyed by his followers that readers mourned with Albert when Lad died.

The novels he eventually wrote began with a suggestion from the editor of a magazine called Red Book. Albert was a newspaperman of some renown at the time. He had also produced historical fiction and even a few thrillers.

But dogs were his life and he longed to publish a story about them. Ray Long, the editor, observed Lad, the real dog, approaching him with considerable friendless despite meeting him with indifference the year before, and he jokingly asked Albert why he hadn’t yet written a story about a character as colorful as Lad.

Albert had tried to write stories based on canines for several years but no publisher would work with him. So when Ray made the suggestion this time around, Albert immediately followed through, writing his first story in the Lad series, a story that Ray’s magazine faithfully published.

The story was such a hit that the magazine asked Albert to write even more stories and he complied. With each passing year, the popularity of the Lad stories grew until, finally, Ray encouraged the author to produce an actual novel.

This time, though, Albert was hesitant. He liked the Lad stories but he also didn’t take them seriously. Compared to his other more serious works, he often described the Lad projects as hack writing.

At the time, Albert had a contract with a publisher called Doubleday-Page. They had published his previous novel but he was contractually obligated to submit another one to them.

Albert blamed the publisher for the poor performance of his previous novel, so he wanted to get out from under them. This drove him to compile every Lad story he had ever written into a single book, submitting it in the hopes that it would finally free him from his obligation to the publisher.

Doubleday not only rejected Albert’s submission but they cast doubt on the quality of his writing, a fact that drove him to shop his first Lad novel to other publishers if only to prove them wrong.

He finally encountered E.P Dutton who brought the novel to his avid readers and set him on the path to even greater publishing success.

Lad, the author’s protagonist, stands out because he is almost saintly in the way he acts. Lad is extremely loyal, intelligent and discerning. He knows what his master needs even when the man himself is unaware, and he always acts in ways that benefit his master regardless of the consequences.

Albert Payson Terhune uses these books to tell his readers that it is possible to instill perfect obedience without resorting to violence. Each installment has a villain at its core that Lad must overcome; either another dog or a human being.

A lot of things go wrong for Lad simply because his Master and other humans misunderstand his actions.

The first novel in the Sunnybank series was turned into a movie that featured Peggy McCay and Peter Breck. The movie debuted in 1962.

+Lad: A Dog
The first novel in the Lad series is basically a large collection of stories; stories that the author wrote individually but which he eventually decided to combine within a single volume in order to provide Lad a coherent introduction.

The novel finds Lad doing everything from fighting off his mate’s suitors to protecting toddlers from snakes.

+Further Adventures of Lad
The first Lad novel introduced readers to Lad. Its sequel takes readers back to the place where Lad lives with his Master and his mate. There he tries to maintain peace and harmony in a world that seems determined to throw his life into disarray.

Through Lad’s adventures, the author attempts to impart his own wisdom on issues like parenting.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Sunnybank

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