It’s been an unforgettable year for Derbyshire Labrador Barnaby.
The loveable chocolate-coloured pooch has thousands of followers online, landed a modelling opportunity with international clothing brand Barbour and is about to launch his own dog food range.
Not only that, his second book is about to hit the shelves after his first one sold out in countries as far as Australia, USA and Canada.
In some quarters, two-year-old Barnaby has been labelled ‘the most famous Labrador in the country’.
His owner, wildlife photographer, Villager Jim, 51, who lives in Foolow in the Peak District, has been dubbed the ‘Banksy of the photography world’.
But it was a photograph which he took of his other Labrador Dilly in 2015 which has been seen by 16 million people online and which resulted in Jim receiving a prestigious award which started the whole journey off.
“It was the picture of Dilly asleep on the sofa which changed my life,” Jim explained.
“But Barnaby has come in and stolen the show.
“It meant I could do what I was doing as a hobby as a profession.
“The last year has been slightly comical.
“Barnaby is a real force online. Any picture on Facebook gets at least three to four thousand likes. People have really got to know him online.”
The picture of Dilly - which received the Press Photograph of the Year 2015 in a competition run by SWNS Press - then paved the way for Barnaby to became the centre of attention.
For Barnaby now has his own deck chair, travel luggage, greetings cards, calendar and is just about to launch a new food range and release a second book called ‘More Labradorable’.
“The travel luggage has a picture of Barnaby wearing a pair of sunglasses so it looks like he is going on holiday,” Jim said.
“The food flavours include trout, new potato and asparagus. They are of really good quality.
“He has also got a new book coming out in Spring. His first one completely sold out.”
As the demand for Barnaby began to rise, it was an unexpected phone call from international clothing brand Barbour which really took Jim by surprise.
“They said they wanted to use him for their 2016-2017 worldwide campaign.
“To which of course I was never going to say ‘no’ to!”
Despite his new-found fame, Barnaby has still retained his loveable personality, Jim explained.
“He is a wonderful character.
“He is a brilliant, intelligent dog.
“He is very, very smart.
“He is definitely a ‘looker’.
“He is the best looking Labrador in the world, in my opinion.”
Jim is now living out his own dreams, by doing something what he loves to earn a living.
Just last week he claimed a top award in a worldwide photography competition.
But he insists that he still wishes to remain anonymous.
“It is a too much fun,” Jim added.
“People really seem to like the mystery.
“It just makes it a bit different.”
More information at: www.villagerjim.com.