This is an incredible story about friendship and loyalty of a dog towards a boy who raised her.
The main character in this book is a female dog named Lassie, a beautiful specimen of the Scottish Shepherd breed,
admired by everyone in the village called Greenall Bridge, located in the English province of Yorkshire.
She belonged to a poor family of Sam Caracloa, where she was the beloved pet of his son Joe.
Due to poverty, the father was forced to sell Lassie to a wealthy duke from Rudling, thus separating Lassie from the boy. Neither the boy nor the dog could reconcile with the sale.
Lassie manages to escape from the new owner three times, but he eventually takes her to Scotland, so far away that she believes she will never be able to escape from there.
However, Lassie does not give up on returning home. She escapes again and faces a long journey full of adventures and dangers ahead.
The essence of this book is the dog's loyalty to those who love it. The book teaches a lot about dogs and their behavior, and it also portrays the human world through the eyes of a dog.
FULL BOOK SUMMARY
- Lesi was a female Scottish Shepherd, the most beautiful dog in the village of Grinal Bridge, admired by everyone there, as the residents of that place loved and valued dogs a lot.
She belonged to a poor family of Sam Karakloa, where she was the favorite pet of his son Joe.
She was known for waiting for the boy in front of the school every day, precisely at four o'clock.
- Lesi was also liked by the Duke of Rudling, who was a great dog lover and offered a large sum of money to buy her. But Sam, Lesi's father, refused to sell her.
However, when hard times came and Sam lost his job, he was forced to sell her reluctantly, for a good amount of money, to the duke..
- The sale was hardest for Lesi and the boy Joe, who were inseparable. Not wanting a new owner, Lesi even ran away from the duke three times and came back to wait for the boy in front of the school.
The boy was happy to see her return, but his parents were forced to return her because they believed it wasn't fair to keep a dog they had sold.
- After the third escape, the duke takes Lesi to his estate in Upper Scotland, which stretched all the way to the North Sea and was hundreds of miles away from the village.
There, he prepared her for a dog show, believing that she wouldn't dare to escape. But once, while they were walking her, Lesi escaped right in front of the duke's eyes.
- Lesi immediately set out to return to Grinal Bridge, to the boy Joe and his family. Guided only by her canine instinct for orientation, she headed south.
She didn't know how long and dangerous the journey ahead of her was, but she bravely set off. The first thing she had to learn on that journey was to catch her own food because her owners had always fed her.
Thanks to the hunting gift that dogs have, she quickly learned to catch rabbits and hares, so she started finding her own food.
- Lesi also learned to be cautious of unfamiliar people. As she traveled through unfamiliar areas, both humans and domestic dogs chased her to catch or harm her.
But she managed to elude them, continuing her way south and to the village of Grinal Bridge, guided only by her canine instinct, avoiding human settlements.
Then she reached a large lake, which she couldn't cross to the other side, so she had to bypass it along its more than a hundred-kilometer-long shore.
- While taking the long detour around the lake, she started losing strength, one of her paws got injured by a thorn stuck in it, and eventually, she fell ill from exhaustion.
She had to stop and spend several days curled up until the illness passed. After recovering, she continued on her journey.
- Continuing on, one night, Lassie fell into a trap set by two men who wanted to kill the bloodthirsty stray dogs that were killing their sheep and lambs at night. Believing that she was causing damage, one man shot at her with a rifle and grazed her with a bullet. She escaped, but then they released their two dogs to chase her. When they caught up to her, Lassie began to fight them off. Lassie bravely fought and resisted the attacks of the two dogs, but the men who were chasing her had already arrived.
Although they wanted to kill her as a pest, one of them, who had a gun, took pity on her and claimed that his gun was empty, allowing her to escape.
- Heading south, Lassie crossed from Upper Scotland to Lower Scotland. There was less wilderness there for her to hunt for food and more human settlements. Because of this, she had to visit villages where she fed on food scraps or occasionally someone would kindly feed her. She had become neglected and exhausted from her journey, and many people were afraid that she was infected with rabies.
As a result, in one village, dog catchers caught her and took her to the pound. However, she suddenly broke free and ran through the municipal building (where the pound was located) and burst into a courtroom, causing chaos.
In the end, she jumped out of the courtroom window from a great height and escaped.
- Lassie crossed from Scotland to Northern England and continued further south. One night, she was caught in a severe storm that overpowered her and knocked her into a ditch.
There, she was found and rescued by an old man and woman. They fed her until she recovered and then adopted her, giving her the name Sama. But when she regained her strength, Lassie began to mourn for the boy and her previous home. The old man and woman noticed her sadness and, not wanting her to be constantly unhappy, reluctantly said goodbye to her and let her continue on her way.
- On her journey, Lassie joined a man named Rauli Palmer. He was a pottery merchant who traveled from place to place with his horse-drawn cart, selling clay pots and pans.
Rauli Palmer was a cheerful and kind man who loved and understood dogs, so he quickly befriended Lassie and regularly fed her.
Since he was also heading south, Lassie followed his cart, accompanying him to the places where he sold his goods. One night, Rauli was attacked by two robbers who wanted to rob him. While he tried to defend himself, Lassie attacked the robbers, biting their legs until they fled.
After that, Lassie and Rauli traveled together for some time, and then they parted ways as Rauli returned home and Lassie continued her journey south.
- Winter came, and Lassie had to push through snow taller than her on her way. Eventually, she somehow reached her destination and appeared in the schoolyard.
On her journey, overcoming various obstacles, she had traveled around a thousand miles. When the boy Joe saw her, he couldn't believe he wasn't dreaming. She was in a terribly poor condition, sick and exhausted, and he had to carry her home in his arms. His father and mother said that Lassie had contracted pneumonia. They immediately began treating her, using their last bit of money to buy ingredients to make a syrup for her treatment.
They gave it to Lassie, and after a few days of uncertainty and illness, she began to feel better until she fully recovered.
- That Lassie had returned was also heard by the Duke of Rudling, from whom she had run away, and he wanted to see his dog. To deceive the Duke, Joe's father made Lassie look so ugly that he couldn't recognize her. The Duke said he didn't recognize that dog, but from her paws, cracked from the long journey, he realized it was still her. In the end, he resorted to trickery: He invited Joe's father to be his kennel master, offering him a salary and accommodation on his estate.
In this way, he gained a good dog breeder and at the same time, Lassie was back with him.
- On the Duke's estate, Joe's family lived a good life. His father had a job, and they no longer lived in poverty. Since Lassie's return, their happiness also returned to their family.
Soon, Lassie gave birth to seven puppies.