I bought that toy for my own dogs - they loved squeaky toys, but you have to push hard to make this one squeak, so they decided it wasn't worth the trouble. I'm glad it's finally getting some love!
Axl is a doberman with a heart that is about ten times bigger than his brain, I think - which is why I like him so much. His favorite game appears to be catch the shadow.
When we first met, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why the dog kept staring at the ground. Then I threw the toy for Diesel and saw Axl move out of the corner of my eye. I moved again, and he pounced.
After he pounces, Axl tries to bite the shadow - keeps slamming his nose into the ground - then digs at it. A couple of times I was having so much fun watching him "attack" and dig that I didn't notice the hole he was creating. That's a big no-no. I stopped him, checked to see if anyone was looking, then shoved some of the dirt and grass back. If my uncle asks, it was a giant squirrel.
Axl is smart enough to figure out where I live, though, which happens to be a former sun room at the back of the house. So when I stop playing and come inside, Axl comes to the window and watches what I'm doing and whines for me to come back out and play. Of course, I love it.
To see more of Diesel and Axl, and the most ridiculously cute baby I've ever seen - oops, I mean one of the most; your baby was cute, too - visit http://thedreheradventure.blogspot.com/
Bronco is a mastiff who belongs to a student's family. I will never forget meeting him; they live out in the "country" and the dogs roam freely. I arrived for our first tutoring session, parked my car, leaned down to get some stuff from the floor on the passenger side, sat back up, and found a dog standing right outside my car door, staring me straight in the eye. Having a huge dog suddenly appear at eye level can be a bit of a shock, so I sat there for a few stunned moments until I heard N's mom yell to his brother to go rescue me. But the only danger I was in was getting slobbered on. Bronco is extremely mellow - he just oozes good vibrations, man.... He's also very loveable, and hard to resist. He likes to shove his head into your lap and against your chest so that you'll pet him. He's done this a few times while I've been working with N. at the table, and I respond as if I have the attention span of a two-year-old: "The first thing we're going to do today, N, is-....Look, a doggy!"
And here's a couple of self-portraits of another favorite boy of mine, my student N.
He's smarter than he looks.