Thousands of participants joined the Kennel Club’s Dog Photographer of the Year for its 14th year, but only one nabbed the grand prize.

The competition received entries from all around the world vying for the top prize in ten categories and a special mention category for the best photo of man’s loyal best friend.

This year, a picture of 14-year-old Merlin captured the hearts of the people and the contest’s top prize. Merlin is a deaf rescue dog and his portrait “Dreaming Merlin” was captured by his hooman Denise Czichocki from Switzerland, where the loyal boi poses among magnolia.

Kennel Club’s Dog Photographer of the year was Denise Czichocki, from Switzerland, with a picture of her 14-year-old pooch Merlin.

Along with the overall grand prize, Merlin’s portrait also won ion the “Oldies” category, which celebrates senior dogs. Czichocki will receive an oil painting of her photo by Sara Abbott, an award-winning animal portrait artist.

“I am really proud and overwhelmed, I still can’t believe it!” Czichocki said according to the Daily Mail. “There are so many good photographers out there and I won this title, it is absolutely amazing.”

Check out the other winning photos here:

Twins Macy and Vino by Monica van der Maden, from the Netherlands, took first place in the ‘Puppies’ category.
Winner of the ‘Dogs at Work’ category was Dorine Scherpel from Canada with this cute picture of two Collies.
Monica van der Maden also came first in the ‘Dogs at Play’ category with this amusing image of Waylon the Australian Shepherd.
Russia’s Anastasia Vetkovskaya won the first place of the ‘Portrait’ category with this snap of Jozelin the Saluki.
Angelika Elendt, from Germany won the ‘Assistance Dogs Charity’ category with this touching picture of rescue dog Lilly
Caz Harris from South Wales earned a special mention in the ‘Man’s Best friend’ category with this fun picture of his dogs Trixie (Chihuahua), Tanya (Chihuahua cross), Charlie Chubbs (Jug/spaniel cross) and Doogle (Yorkshire Terrier). In the front Jess (Jug) and Queen bee
Mariah Mobley, from the US, won the ‘I love I Love Dogs Because¿’ category with this adorable picture of Koby, AKA Puppy Einstein, who is a miniature Pinscher/Lhasa Apso cross
Eleven-year-old Sabine Wolpert, from the US, was crowned the winner of the ‘Young Pup Photographer of the year’ with this cute picture of her four-year-old Havanese, Georgie

Related stories:
– LOOK: Photographer captures extraordinary photos of endangered animals
– This 15-year-old boy is an award-winning wildlife photographer
– Python, photographer and people