Darwin is a wonderful dog. Every owner says that though don't they? However, considering I never really fancied having a dog when he came into our world in early 2008 he has become a great companion and given us many brilliant memories. He is a quality dog, K.C registered and pedigree to the core. He has won many prizes in his short life, not least of which was a first in his class at CRUFTS 2010 and he has now won lifetime entry to this prestigious competition. He has earned the right to join the canine elite and feature in the KC stud book.

Here he is as a puppy just four weeks old

And here he is getting bigger and more of a handful, but he was never really a problem.

We have been very lucky with Darwin. He wasn't much of a chewer, excepting the fact that the dog repulsion pepper I put down to stop him chewing the table legs simply attracted him to the art of the possible. It had been many years since I owned a dog and I wanted him to work around me. Then I tried to work around him but I have now learned that the best way if possible is to work around each other. Memories of walking in puddles of urine when I went downstairs was fun but he was house-trained really quickly.

He has a marvellous temperament and gets on tremendously well with people of all ages. There's the occasional dog or two that he isn't keen on but that's the same in the wider animal world too - including humans - so I can forgive him that.

Here are his top ten loves...

1. Scrambled egg

2. His favourite draught excluder collie dog toy

3. Romping around in the snow

4. Sleeping in the sunshine

5. Having his belly rubbed

6. Barking at the postman

7. Being the first to open post and inspect Christmas presents

8. Licking out the Chinese takeaway tray

9. Playing with his best mates, Balou and Holly

10, Socks. Preferably stealing them then playing 'catch me if you can'.

His top 5 hates

1. Being washed down after a walk

2. Being washed down after a walk

3. Being washed down after a walk

4. Being washed down after a walk

5. Being washed down after a walk

What a character! (The dog, THE DOG!)

Here is Darwin in the ring at CRUFTS 2010. It is a tense time, certainly for us humans but Darwin is generally quite well behaved. Different judges look for different things in a dog and we are certainly pleased that the judge on this day thought he was best in the Graduate class. Here, his handler is Donna from the Caleykiz stable and she puts an awful lot of work in to make Darwin look good and behave well. She and her family give as much energy in trying to ensure Darwin gets results as they do their own dogs. We owe them a debt of gratitude...so here it is. THANK YOU GUYS. Incidentally, Darwin won first place (best in his class) for Graduate dog.

Caleykiz Border Collies


Having won the best in his class last year he now stepped up three classes to limit. This is like a boxer going up several weights and expecting a result. Well, the lad did get a result. Initially chosen as second he just faltered on the last run in the ring but got a very creditable third place so we are delighted. Many thanks to Donna for showing him. I hid out of his sight with my camera and Sue did likewise. Well done Dars...have a bone my old son.

This is Darwin (left) with his father, Jack. The photograph was taken in April 2011 in Lancashire where 'dad' lives. Don't they look just great? Having now met Jack I can see where Darwin gets a lot of his mannerisms like putting a paw over your arm to attract attention. Jack is fantastic and a show champion in his own right. It was great to finally meet him. Thanks very much to his owners for letting us visit.

Darwin is a huge lover of snow, and here he is enjoying his very favourite snow pastime - intercepting snowballs. He sets about the task with tremendous zeal and refuses to let us go more than a few paces without lobbing a white projectile for his amusement. It brings a smile on even the coldest of days.

Oddly, he is not keen on water, at least not if it is on the ground. He doesn't mind rain but puddles are definitely NOT for walking in.

I remember the first time he ever saw snow - in fact I have it on video. Maybe I should upload it somewhere?


I would like you to meet the one, the only...



Dickens came along on December 29th 2011. He is actually Darwin's nephew, coming as he has from the Caleykiz stable in Yorkshire. Sue and I decided to get a second dog (and no more) primarily as company for Darwin.

In this first picture (above) his muzzle is quite short but already after just a couple more weeks it looks to be extending slightly (below)

His eyes were always going to change from blue to grey(ish) and here you can see that the process has begun.

Here he is with his siblings at the end of December 2011. Of course he is the big lad on the left. They are all gorgeous and it is always heartbreaking to split them up but they always go to great homes and usually meet up at shows for the rest of their lives!

His ears are bound to settle at some point but who cares - I just love the Roland Rat lookalike impression that he does. If you are old enough to remember RR then well done, I like you. If not, go and play with your playstation.

This was pretty much the first time that he and Darwin got anywhere near close. Darwin did NOT take to Dickens at all and we knew that this would be a possibility. It takes time. Darwin has been king of the house for four years so a stranger was never really going to be overly welcome. The question was, would he give 'junior' a bit more of his attention?

As you can see, it was not too long before they were playing together. Dickens is behind and desperately trying to catch up. He is fast actually and very robust but Darwin knows he can outgun him here. Dickens gives him that look as if to say 'Every dog has his day pal'.


Whilst there are a few similarities between the two lads at puppy stage Dickens differs in the following ways

He chews a lot more
He bites/mauls a lot more
He is a little more confident with other dogs
His 9pm mad half an hour is full throttle, head the ball, madness
He is not as quick to toilet train as Darwin was

Anyway - comparing is both useful and a waste of time so let's see how things develop. I shall keep you posted...

(Picture above) Early March 2012 and I captured this rather evocative picture of Dickens running across the field. I like the way it is a tad out of focus, depicting movement. It reminds me that these beautiful animals all descend from the wolf. Can't you just see it in this photograph?

They are definitely bonding a little more now. I had a split second to take this photograph but luckily had the camera already pointed in their direction. Dickens will be the alpha male - I am certain of it.

I love this shot. Having two dogs now means that they effectively exercise one another. Here they are just having an absolute ball running around in the spring sunshine. Oh, what a wonderful life.Again there is a real feeling of movement in wide open space, thanks to an imaginative crop.