Meet our Dogs
The Walks Around Britain Dogs are as much of a part of the team as our humans - and a growing number of our walks on the television series are going to feature them during the forthcoming seasons four and five. In fact, they have their own Twitter account, which you'd be barking mad not to follow...
So, just who are the Walks Around Britain Dogs then?
Merlin is our eldest dog - at six - and is a Blue Merle Border Collie. "Merle" refers to the pattern in a dog's coat, which is caused by a gene only present in certain dogs. So just like human parents with different eye colours, breading two dogs together - one with the Merle gene - can produce Merle pups.
And that's what happened with the litter our Merlin was in - hence his distinctive white and blue markings on his coat. He is still a true Border Collie - with all the nutty-ness that entails. Merlin has been on more walks with Andrew on the TV series than any of the other dogs, and has developed such an understanding of the film-making process that he gets himself back to his mark faster than Andrew does...! When he's not walking on telly, Merlin competes in Flyball along with Mysti.
Our second-oldest, Mac is probably the most cleverest of all our dogs - which is why he's perfect for Obedience. On one Monday evening in October 2017, Mac came running in from the garden and collapsed in the living room, started foaming at the mouth with his legs spasming. Around 10 minutes later, he came back around, and after a trip to the emergency vets, a diagnosis of Epilepsy was suggested. Several vet visits and two more seizures later, Epilepsy was comfirmed.
Mac has been on medication twice a day since November 2017, and - touch wood - hasn't had another seizure since. Living with an epileptic dog is a challenge - Mac is gentle with humans, but he's not too happy with certain dogs being too close to him... so we have to be careful in crowded situations. Other than that, Mac leads a normal life and will be coming on more walks in the TV series soon.
Mysti is the youngest of the brood... at the moment (!) She's from the same breader as Mac, but she's got some New Zealand lineage in her - which is why she's slightly smaller than the others. Mysti is a definate princess, enjoying creature conforts at home... although on a walk, at the first sight of any dirty, stinky area of water she's right in there!
Along with Merlin, she competes in Flyball and also does Agility.
Maisie was our eldest until she left us in October 2017, aged 15. She was Andrew's first dog having owned her from being a puppy - as his wife-to-be already had two Border Collies when they met. Maisie was definiately Andrew's dog, and ruled the roost amongst the dogs in the house. In her later years, she become quite deaf and so she stayed on the lead on walks in new places, as she couldn't hear the recall shouts!
In 2017, she started to collapse whilst out walking, and it was suspected she had a brain tumour - although Andrew didn't put her through conclusive tests because of her age. With tablets, she enjoyed her 15th birthday at the start of October, but she had deterated so much soon after thhe family took the heartbreaking decision to let her go on the 26th October 2017.
When you've had four dogs, going back to three just doesn't seem right... so after a respectful amount of time, Andrew and his family have decided to have another.
It's a Border Collie - of course - but this time he's a brown tri-colour, and he'll be joining the White family at the start of April.
At the moment, he doesn't have a name - but clearly it will have to start with an "M" to fit into the naming tradition... so if you've got a name idea, add it to the list on Facebook...