“Over the years we have had a couple of dogs. Like most people, we planned to train our dogs until they were perfectly behaved, until they could go head-to-head with a police dog and perform just as well. For a little while we made good progress. We taught the dog to do its doggie business outdoors instead of indoors—that took only a week or two. We taught the dog to sit, which was simple enough because all we needed to do was use treats to bribe a hungry animal. Heeling went passably well, except for those times when another dog was anywhere in the vicinity.
These initial things were simple enough and it was no great challenge to train the dog so she was halfway respectable. After that it got much more difficult. Lie down, beg, crawl, stay off the furniture, don’t stare at me when I’m eating, be calm—we gave up long before the dog could master any of these. In the end we, like most people, settled for a barely-trained but tolerable dog. We settled for good enough.”