The Dogs of Sherburne : A Great American Dog NOvel by author Tom Mody

Dogs of Sherburne novel coverBuy Dogs of Sherburne Book

Meet the Dogs of Sherburne
dog Dallasdog Sugardog Scooter
dog Laddiedog Scampdog Sam
dog Hobiedog Generaldog Brandi
dogs Tuffy & Mitsy

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Author Contact:
Tom Mody
Mody Company Creative
607-336-6233 ph | 607-336-6232 fx
56 West Main, Norwich NY 13815


Author Notes | Chapter Excerpts | Fact or Fiction | Paw Prints

Laddie from The Dogs of Sherburne

Name: Laddie

Breed: Collie with some mutt mix

Primary Novel Master: McDaniel's Kids

In The Novel: Laddie was the protector with a tempered tolerance for mischief from other dogs, particularly when it was directed at kids in his perceived domain. He father Scamp and the two of them became a formidable force in the social order of dogs about the village which often didn't sit well with Dallas.

Scamp from The Dogs of Sherburne

Name: Scamp

Breed: Collie with some mutt mix

Primary Novel Master: McDaniel's Kids

In The Novel: The son of Laddie, Scamp never quite mastered his father's balance of protector and aggressor opting often to be more impulsively aggressive though wanting to be just like his dad. After his father's death he learned to calm his actions and tolerate more of the antics of the village dogs and their "situations."




Dogs of Sherburne Master Ellen Ellen McDaniel Linhart on Laddie and Scamp

There was our dog Laddie who fathered our second dog, Scamp, with Brochetti's collie who I believed was named Lassie. Brochetti's lived where Dowd's now live. Laddie followed my 2 sisters home from a friend's they had spent the day with in the country. Laddie was considered a stray but they played with him and were nice to him. He came to our house and stayed. We let him in the back mud room but he rarely came into the main part of the house. Mom wouldn't let him in.

Laddie of the Sherburne McDaniels family
Laddie at home

Laddie was big on protecting all the kids. I remember being very small and walking along the sidewalk. I started towards the road and Laddie pushed me back onto the sidewalk, he wouldn't let me go near the road. My brothers said that he did that with them as well. Laddie must have had some shepherd in him, probably some collie and we think some huskie too. There really is no way to know. But when Scamp came, he had a lot of collie in him and less of Laddie's looks.


Laddie would follow my brother to school. That was before the new high school was built. He would wait, along with the other kids, out by the old band building on the creek bank for the kids to get out of school. He would then resume his role of guardian over them until they got home. Laddie not only took care of the boys, he also watched out for other dogs. There was a dog that lived further up East State Street that use to chase cars. My brother told me that he use to watch Laddie chase that dog when he was chasing cars and nip at his hind legs, presumably to make him stop. Laddie followed my brothers pretty much everywhere, to school, out playing with their friends, camping on Hunts Mountain. My brother said as long as Laddie was with them, they felt safe and that there was no way they would have gone camping on the hill without the dog.

All of this was through the 1960's. Scamp came in the early 70's. Laddie took Scamp under his wing and that little puppy learned everything from his father. Scamp followed him everywhere. Scamp would never be the guardian Laddie was, but I think that Laddie felt a gratitude to the family for taking him in, and he repaid it.

Ulatowski's had a dog, a huge one that was tan with a black muzzle. I don't remember his name but I do remember Laddie and he fighting more than once. Laddie always seemed to be the winner, but maybe I remember through a child's eyes. My brothers tell me that they do not remember Laddie losing any of his battles. They told me of a large dog, I think a doberman but am not sure, that lived around the corner from you on Classic Street. (Tom's note: She's referring to General the German Shepherd) Laddie and that dog got into a tramendous fight, and that dog was over twice the size of Laddie. They said Laddie had him by the throat before that dog gave up. Laddie was very protective of his children and his home. I do not remember any other dogs coming close to the house, and we played outside a lot then.

There was a time when Laddie was gone for at least 3-4 weeks. We couldn't find him, we thought he must be dead somewhere. We were devastated. Then one day, he shows up with a piece of bailing twine wrapped around his neck as a leash. The rope was broken off. Someone had tied him up to keep him as their own. We were so happy to see him back. It was amazing to look back and see what a large presence he was in our lives.

Scamp was always the fun younger dog, where Laddie seemed more the serious parent. Laddie got old quickly after Scamp was born. I remember Laddie having convulsions and taking him in the back of the station wagon to the vet to have him put to sleep. We were told he was going into kidney failure. The house was very quiet a long time after that. Scamp missed him terribly.

Scamp, as I said, showed more of his mother's looks than his father's. He had the longer snout, but still short for a collie. There was the white ring of fur around his neck and he had the right colorings. Laddie had darker fur with just a tuft of white at the back of his neck. Scamp came around when we were kids. He still did things with my brothers, but they were getting into their teens at that time. They were up to things that did not include a dog, except for Tom & Bob. They were still fairly young. Scamp played the guardian just like Laddie. I remember fights he had with Dallas, and of course, Scamp always won!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scamp died on Hunts Mountain. He went with Jim when he went cross country skiing. Scamp would run off, then come back, the run off again. Jim said he heard a gun shot at one point, but though nothing of it. When Scamp didn't return, Jim deduced that the shot must have hit Scamp. It was snowing so Scamp's tracks couldn't be followed. We think someone shot Scamp because he was chasing deer.

We tried after that to have another dog, but the dog just never fit like Laddie & Scamp did. David brought this dog, which he nick named Junkyard, home from college. He was a puppy and untameable. He would bring home these huge bones, probably from a slaughter house somewhere. We'd find sneakers, boots, anything he could grab. Our neighbor, an elderly gentleman, was cooking a steak on a hibachi in front of his house. He went inside to get something, when he returned, the steak was gone, as well as the BBQ fork he was using. I'm sure that do would have taken the hibachi if it hadn't been too hot. A car hit this dog after he was about a year old. He was starting to calm down and be a good dog when he was killed. We never got another dog after that, except for the hunting dogs.

I remember Laddie and Scamp in a much gentler way than my brothers. I remember some of the fights, but mostly I remember them being very gentle, loving, soft, warm, and protective. I suppose they came to the women of the family to receive that kind of affection. I always felt safe with them there. We rarely locked our doors at night because the dogs were always there. I miss them and their comforting presence.