The credit goes to Chevy.

It was in the mid-60's and I was living as a rock journalist in England.  Having grown up on "Lassie Come Home" and "Lad, A Dog", I thought that the Collie was the pinnacle of canine evolution and finally had one of my own, a beautiful boy I called Chevy (short for Chevalier, a knight).  I showed him, more for fun than competition and he often placed in his class.  

We were at Windsor Championship Show, shadowed by the turrets of Windsor Castle, watching a ring full of majestic Collies when something slammed into me from behind.  I staggered, turned, and was nearly knocked over again by what looked like a mop gone mad.  Tail wagging furiously, tongue making frantic swipes at my face, front paws clambering up to my shoulders, here was a dog that had obviously fallen in love with me at first sight.

I was charmed.  

"What is it?", I asked the panting owner, who was desperately trying to haul her dog away from me and into the ring behind us.  "A Bearded Collie," she replied as she towed him  across the path.

Intrigued, I left the cool beauty of the Collie ring and followed my new shaggy friend and owner to the other ring.  Judging was just about to start.  As the judge left the ring table, I saw him stuff a small towel in his pocket and wondered why.  The answer came as soon as the judge bent over to examine the first dog in line, my new-found friend.  Surprise! -- he got the same enthusiastic greeting I'd received.  He pulled the towel out of his pocket, mopped his face and moved on to the next dog.  And got the same wet, waggy greeting.  There were only a few dogs entered that day, but every one of them acted as though the judge (and everyone else) was their favourite human.  Throughout the judging and after, as I, forever entranced, trailed them back to their benches, the Beardies were uninhibitedly happy.  

I knew that while the regal, dignified, majestic Collie would always own a corner of my heart, the tousled, madcap, merry Beardie had taken over all the rest.

For more information on the description and history of the Bearded Collie and of my adventures in pioneering Beardies in Canada, go to The Bearded Collie Club of Canada.