WAYNE, N.J. -- Happy birthday to America's first dog lover, Albert Payson Terhune of Wayne.
The dog breeder and author was born Dec. 21, 1872 and died Feb. 18, 1942 when he was 70. He would be 144 years old on Wednesday.
He lived his life on Sunnybank in Wayne, raising collies at his own Sunnybank Kennels, the lines of which still exist in today's rough collies.
He's best known for his novels relating the adventures of his dogs and life as a breeder. He wrote with an emotional appreciation for each of the Sunnybank dogs.
Sunnybank is maintained as Terhune Memorial Park and is open to the public. Visitors can visit the graves of many of the dogs mentioned in Terhune's works. A collection of his books and dog awards are at the Van Riper-Hopper Historic House Museum in Wayne.
Historical and family items from the Terhune home, "The Place," can be found at the Pompton Lakes Historical Museum and the Van Riper-Hopper House Museum.
He was buried at the Pompton Reformed Church in Pompton Lakes.