I think the love toward animals started with me, because I don’t remember the exact time when I started asking my parents to get me a dog or a cat. This wish of mine was always regarded by my parents as a whim and was never fulfilled. It is very important for parents to be able to recognize a real need for a child to have an animal by his or her side.
It is very important for parents to be able to recognize a real need for a child to have an animal by his or her side. I did not fall in love with this breed by watching the “Lassie” episodes-those for me were a due praise to the best dog in the world. I saw a Collie on the street (it must be said that here in Ukraine this breed was widespread) and every time I stopped to pet this magnificent animal my heart was filled with deep admiration. I could not believe that a dog could be so fabulously beautiful, sweet and at the same time proud. I, a 6-7 year old girl, would always stop in front of dogs on walks and ask their owners for permission to pet them. But in touching the Collie I felt a special feeling, that of making contact with a special creature and being honored to receive his gentle and sincere affection.
From then on my worship of the Scottish Pastor began. For years, every night before I fell asleep I dreamed of going to buy a puppy. I would start fantasizing about getting a blanket or a basket, then each time I would argue with myself about which puppy I wanted to choose: a boy or a girl, with a light fawn, charcoal or tricolor coat. On each of my birthdays I hoped to hear behind my bedroom door the cries that only a puppy can produce. In vain…

Occasionally I would bring home stray dogs, trying to convince my parents to adopt them, but their answer was always, “NO.” Then I began walking all the dogs in the neighborhood, even having them participate in dog shows.
But the dream of one day buying a Collie did not leave me. I would secretly collect empty bottles and take them to the warehouse where they were picked up for me, thus managing to make a few pennies that in time could become a sufficient amount to buy a puppy, thus exempting my parents from paying a hefty sum. Meanwhile, in my closet there was already a carefully chosen and purchased collar and leash of my own, waiting for a dog of my own. However, I was not alone in this passion (mismatch half a joy!): I had a best friend, Anna, who lived in my apartment building and fully shared this love of dogs and especially Collies.
When Anna and I were 12 years old, we found an outlet for this irrepressible desire of ours. I met an elderly couple who took a magnificent Collie puppy named Strong, who were happy to grant me the opportunity to care for him at will.

Instead, Anna managed to get her aunt and uncle’s permission to walk their tricolor Collie Girly. We finally had two Scottish Shepherds walking majestically at our feet and we could pretend to be their mistresses!
I spent a lot of time with Strong. He was a wonderful tall, slender specimen who left me with the desire to someday own a similar dog. I put him through obedience school and this beautiful Collie remains a lasting memory for me.

Many years passed during which for various reasons I could not have a Collie. My first dog was given to me when I was seventeen years old by a schoolmate. She was a little Maltese girl named Bianca. I will always remember her with immense affection, because she was a devoted and intelligent animal. After Bianca I had other small furry dogs: the feisty Susy, the wise Stasy, the very affectionate Nikita and the “clown-dog” (that’s what I jokingly called him) Iris. I could no longer do without a small dog, even to disprove all the beliefs about small sizes for which they would not be full-fledged dogs!

After several years, when my son was 6 years old and my husband was already mentally converted to “collism,” my dream of getting a Collie could finally be realized. We were only held back by the fear of what our condominium neighbors would say since we already had two small dogs. But as fate would have it, in July 2005 we were contacted by volunteers in Turin, who told us that in one of the private kennels a female Collie was bleeding to death from ticks! The kennel owner, however, warned us that the dog was ill-disposed toward other animals. Incredulous I went anyway to buy the collar, leash and kibble.

We left for Turin where the volunteer presented us with a Collie in a pitiful condition: there was not a single spot on her body without those little black ticks. The muzzle looked dark from the amount of these parasites! We immediately took her to a grooming store to have her washed and treated with antiparasitic products. Lady (that’s what I called her) did not show the slightest sign of aggression toward our doggies and we took her home.
From that day she won our family and all the people who knew her. I could spend a thousand words to describe this unique creature! He left us on June 14, 2012 at the age of 14. It was Lady who got my husband and son hooked on this magnificent breed, and we dedicated our entire subsequent activity to her! We would like to make our contribution in making more “old-fashioned” Collie specimens in Italy, trying to breed healthy and robust dogs with a magnificent temperament. We would also welcome fans of this breed to join in keeping alive not only the memory of the Collie of our childhood, but also in making these amazing dogs present in our lives today and in our future. We now have some wonderful Scottish Shepherds living with us in the house, sharing our daily life with us. Our choices were based on the type of Collie that appealed to us, its morphological, genetic and character qualities.