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I have loved “Man’s Best Friend” all my life and have compensated for the lack of children with 8 of them.

When I took my first Irish Setter, Mickey, to Obedience Training classes, the instructor started out the session by saying, “In order to successfully train a dog, you must be smarter than the dog.” I always end this story by saying “And then half the class got up and left!” That was a slight exaggeration, but in the end, the class agreed with the instructor.

I have trained all my dogs to fit my lifestyle, but I have also spoiled every one of them shamelessly. All have experienced the joy of running free in the various parks and game lands I have used. I prefer and thoroughly enjoy an “up” dog, one that requires a lot of exercise and makes me happy just to experience her delight vicariously. I am currently in my 80th year, and yet I still do not want a lap dog or a Basset Hound that mopes around the house.

Each dog has taught me valuable lessons about life and about myself. In these pages I have tried to capture those lessons to amuse you and, perhaps, to give you a different perspective and a new appreciation for canine philosophy as you ponder the question “Are you as smart as your dog?”

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