Cassius is a 90 lb Chesapeake Bay retriever. Here is a photo of Cassius the day I brought him home about five years ago. He is wishing his mother were near but instead is squeezed to sleep by the baseboard nook.
Cassius wants to please, but he wants to do it his own way.
He will agree to everything I want him to do so long as he agrees to it first. This explains why, when it is time to jump back in the car after a walk in the park, he will take the most circuitous route possible, testing my patience with every sniff and last pee until he goes through the pantomime of remembering: oh, now you want me to get in the car?
Then just before jumping, he looks up as if to say, "I'm here now. What is it you wanted me to do?"
Cassius is a one-way retriever. That is to say, he is half-trained. He will chase sticks endlessly, then bring them back to me in a manner of speaking. He takes the long route. When he wants me to throw the stick again he will walk ahead of me in the direction I'm walking and drop the stick for me to rediscover. In other words, the game of retrieve for Cassius involves me retrieving the stick he's retrieved. That's a Chesapeake.
Cassius will retrieve a log if I throw it. But of all the thousands of sticks, balls, toy ducks and miniature tires, what he loves best is to retrieve a blade of grass.
When I lie down on the grass in the yard he turns into an animated ball of attention. His entire being focuses on the blade of grass between my fingers. I drop it. He tries to find it. I pick another blade of grass and he goes into prey and quarry mode. Every fiber of his being wants to attach to my fingers and that blade of grass, or the next one, or the next one after that. Chesapeakes aren't for everyone, but they are for me.