The first time he played with it, several months ago, I asked him what each animal was as he took it out. Or maybe he said, "And that's a...." and then finished the phrase accordingly. Either way, Mr. Poodle was last to be named. And James's first instinct was "sheep" because come on, those silly curly puffs made that a strong possibility. I told him, "No, that's a poodle."
That then brought the puzzles tallies to: 2 cats, a turtle, a horse, a bunny, two dogs, and a poodle. Because, it seems, a poodle is a different animal than a dog.
And when we'd make sounds for each animal, James had a special high-pitched bark for the poodle. Ha!
Plus, the way he pronounces "poodle" is quite cute.
In related news, we've been enjoying raspberries lately. James likes to pop a berry onto his finger tip and then eat it off. Recently someone (Grandpa maybe?) asked him, "What's that?" pointing at the raspberry finger. "A poodle," James replied, "you got a poodle!"
After that, raspberries became poodles.