Luke was born in 2010 and bought by a farmer for sheep herding. However, it turned out that Luke was just too much of nice guy to get a flock of sheep under control. He wasn't even interested. We became aware of him through a classified ad on ebay. What can I say? Luke is the sweetest boy, joyfull, quiet, relaxed, a good team-player and very expressive. But even with all these favorable properties, he still requires good leadership: he has a lot of methods in trying to get his way, and you have to be very resolute and consistent about it to stay in control. Which is really difficult when he is just such a sweet dog.
Luke is also very bright: one day he was waiting long for Nadine to come home for the evening walk. After a while he started asking me in dog-fashion where Nadine would be. I picked up the phone, Nadine said that she would come home in a few minutes. I told Luke accordingly, he was satisfied and made camp in front of the appartment door. The next day, it was getting late again, and after a while Luke went to the phone, prodding it a bit around, trying to make sense of it, then looked at me: "You do!".
He likes kong-play like Kilian, but since he does not care much for what happens after the fetch, he is a bit prone to crash-landings. But there are many other games he enjoys. One of his favorite activities is performing line-duty on a fenced-in soccer field - goal: being there when the ball hits the fence. This activity shares a lot of similarities with herding, so it is no wonder Luke is a fan.
... and because those are so much fun to make:
Kilian (1997 - 2011)
Kilian was Nadine's and later also my first dog. He was born in 1997 and accompied us through Hannover, Hamburg, Rostock and Santa Cruz. Kilian was an alltogether magificiant dog, had a delightful sense of humor, and became a true friend. I found there was lot to learn from him. He passed along in May 2011, and he is still missing badly. What I realized too late: you will never miss a holiday or activity you didn't make because of a dog, but you will regret every single one without him.
Kilian was a master of kong play. In case you are not familiar with kongs, a kong is rubber dog-toy that differs from a rubber ball in one property: when bouncing off a surface there is no way to predict the direction of bounce. So, a fraction of a second after hitting the ground the kong can be practically anywhere in a ten feet radius. And Kilian would be there to fetch. Eventually it became a challenge to challenge him. He would sometimes jump 5 or 6 feet high, fetch, and land safely. When nescessary he could even make a perpendicular change of direction in mid-air, and he also seemed to possess some kind of tractor beam ability with the dog toy.
He liked to remind us often: stop talking, let's do something!
Paul belongs to Nadine's mother. He must have been born around 2009, living his first years with little attention, until a rescue organization found a new place for him. He is really a charming guy, but also a complete and utter crackpot. If it were for him, he would be roaming the country-side the whole day. There are fast dogs, but Paul can cover huge distances in very short time, and that's an alltogether different thing than just being fast. Basically he likes people, but doing what they want never got him far, so why bother? Unfortunately, his passion for exploring the world and his exceptional boldness are a dangerous mix: once he turned loose, stopped the next best car, waited for the driver to get out, then jumped into the car and barricaded on the backseat. "Drive me somewhere, human!" He has a wild spirit, and that's probably not something one separates easily from.
Lucy was Kilian's older half-sister and also belonged to Nadine's mother. She was very smart and found repeatedly new ways to be an obedient dog AND annoy the hell out of people. Like bringing the toy, but refusing to let go. Being in the way, and looking accusingly at you, for creating an awkward situation. She really had a lot fun this way. When she was sleeping, she was a sweet-heart. If only she had done this at night. I think she had especially a lot of fun with me.