When you own a dog, he or she becomes an integral part of your life; not unlike children.
They force you to live a structured life, to go for walks at regular times, to feed them at the same time each day (or they become ratty), and to go through all sorts of quirky rituals that they insist upon. Dogs like an organised life, it makes them feel secure.
Billy is a popular boy. People shout "Hello Billy" as they pass by, school children shout it in unison, and he can hardly walk 20 yards without being stroked by friends and strangers alike.
Border Collies are both instantly recognisable, and well loved. They are a breed that brings a smile to people's faces. It must be the 'One man and his dog' effect.
Billy certainly has 'character'. He has rituals that have to be honoured every day. At lunch and dinner he comes to me and gently touches his cold nose on my arm, just to say "I need to be fed now". It's not that I'd forgotten, it's just a way of allowing him to take a certain amount of control over his life.
Just look at that face, who couldn't love a boy like Billy!