“Hugo came to live with us when he was about two or three years old, and that was almost four years ago now. Hugo is actually his third name. For a few months, back when he was in the dog shelter, they called him Oscar. Before that he must have had another name but we’ll never know what it was. I think Hugo agreed that Oscar didn’t suit him because it took less than 24 hours for him to learn his new name. None of us ever looked back. The first few years of his life are a mystery, although we’ve got a few ideas of what life might have been like for him. But we don’t focus on the past. In fact, we’ve all enjoyed helping Hugo grow into the confident, gentle, loving, funny dog he is now. We measure how far he’s come by his tail: when we first got him, it never wagged. Now it wags every day, sometimes so much it becomes a full body wiggle! I often wonder why someone gave him up in the first place, but I’m so grateful that they did so that we could have him. We now have a two-year-old who thinks Hugo is just the best dog in the world. Thankfully Hugo adores her too, though until that typical toddler excitement is contained, he loves her from just outside of her reach. Every night he sits near her while she eats, stays near her during bath time (amazing for a dog who hates water) and lies in her room until she goes to sleep. Only then will he put himself to bed. And in the mornings, when she stirs, he joyfully runs in to her room to greet her. At this point she always calls out some version of his name. Depending on the day, it could be ‘Gugo!’ or more recently, ‘Schoogo!’ Whichever way, he still knows that’s his name.” by Bethany


“I lost my last border collie, Dexter at the end December 2012. I had just lost my business and a few weeks later my partner of 9 years and I separated.

It was a very hard time for me. 6 months later, still under the effect of the black dog. I started my search for a replacement. Kelpies were on the list but my heart kept coming back to border collies.

Ink was not easy to get. He is a purebred from Ancrum Border Collies in the southern highlands. In fact we thought the breeder had decided to place him with someone else. The breeder only breeds once or twice a year. All his sisters were exported.

He has had a pretty tough life for a dog so well bred. At age 18 months I threw him a stick at the park here in Balmain. It pierced the roof of his mouth and went behind is larynx. He came very close to dying.

At great cost he was saved, but this came with the loss of a lot of confidence. The wild young dog had become a timid little boy.

With lots of attention he is only just now starting to really get back the zip that he used to have. Rounding up dogs, not shying away from others and nipping at dogs who run up top him too quickly.

He has a cat as well. Sugar, she is a few months younger than him. Unfortunately she decided to disappear during the photo shoot.

Other than swimming and eating. Inks favourite thing is protecting sugar from the evil grey cat that comes into the garden to beat her up. Inky will often sleep at night on the roof, just to be able to get closer to the routes that grey cat takes to harass his baby Sugar.

As for the name. He got his name from the breeder as front right paw is jet black and looks like it has been dipped in ink or he has a sleeve tattoo. We added the y as shouting ink down at the park comes out hard on the back of your throat. Ink or


. I will always own border collies. They suit my lifestyle and temperament. Loving but full of action, unpredictable but intelligent. He has never had any real training. He walks off lead, understands heaps of words and is a sucker for a little toddler that he can sneak up on and lick on the face. He’s the best. Not a day goes by when I don’t get a compliment for having the most beautiful dog they have ever seen.” by Dan