Happy 2nd Birthday Nigel!

Axernamoon Casablance of Jackcamb, 24 months

I can't quite believe our boy is now two years old!! Where has the time gone? What an amazing dog he truly is, we are incredibly grateful to Nigel's breeder for entrusting us with our stunning boy.

Nigel's achieved so much in the show ring and I will be ever grateful to him for being such a loyal and happy-to-please boy when we were both totally new to showing at the beginning of this year and I was still recovering from surgery on my hip. I've done a quick tot-up of his results in his show ring so far and he's gained the following:

Outside of our showing hobby, Nigel is an incredible part of our family, and as always, our dogs are pets first and foremost (they're my everything actually!). Nigel fitted in from the moment he joined our family at eight weeks old. He gave me a hard time to begin with; from around 8 - 16 weeks old he was a fiercely independent puppy that did not need us - he was perfectly confident doing what he wanted to do, didn't need cuddles, or affection either. That was hard for me to deal with - I was used to my limpet Barry that was my shadow from day one, so Nigel was a breath of fresh air but there were tears on my part as I didn't think he was going to be interested in us. Suddenly it clicked though and that loyal Border Collie trait came out in full force. He loved to learn, loved to please and loved cuddles and fuss!

He's grown wonderfully and Jack and I took great care in ensuring he grew on nice and slowly; it's astounding just how many people forget about how soft and delicate puppy bones are and how important it is that they are not over walked or over exercised. It's always hard when you already have a dog too and it did mean that Barry got a good six plus months of reduced walks (because a certain fluff monster did not enjoy being left behind and he became too big for me to carry!). I don't want to lecture anyone and I know just how tempting it is to take your puppies on a nice long walk - I know because I absolutely adore long walks in the countryside, but just remember that there's plenty of time for long walks and explores once your puppy is older. I think the general rule to follow is 5 minutes per month they are old, e.g. at 3 months old they can have a 15 minute walk, six months they can have 30 minutes and so on.

Nigel's favourite pastime is fetching a tennis ball. He would do this ALL day if he could! We have tennis balls everywhere in our house; you can guarantee that if you pull back our sofa then you will find a tennis ball graveyard underneath. I draw the line at letting him take them to bed with him! His favourite are the Kong squeaky tennis balls, you can be sure that he will squeak it as much as possible before he gives it back to you - his way of saying "here it is, I brought it back!"

Nigel is very much a man's dog. As much as he loves coming to cuddle on the sofa next to me or sit on my feet, he loves Jack very much. His Daddy is everything! Nigel is quite sure that all human beings were put on this earth for him and he also thinks that everyone wants to be showered in his licks too! He loves his brother Barry too; the two were inseparable as soon as Nigel joined our family and even with the introduction of Dotty earlier this year, Barry and Nigel are still the very best of friends, even both being entire with a bitch in the house, they're just all such good-natured dogs.

So wishing my boy a very happy birthday! Here's a gallery of photos of our fluff monster over the past two years!

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