Max was two when we got him, and he had virtually spent his first two years inside a cage at the humane society because, while Max is an adorable poodle-shih-tzu mix, he was incorrigible and people would fall for him--at first--and then return him to the humane society as uncontrollable.
So Deb and I adopted Max and soon found him incorrigible too. But if we took him back they were going to put him down. So we looked around and found a company called Sit Means Sit. We sent Max to their ten day training program at a cost of around $1800. When Max came back he would look you in the eye and pay attention to what you were saying.
Then he fell in love with us. He watched every move we made. He followed Deb from room to room. Soon he refused to leave her side. When he comes into my writing office and I have the TV on then he knows it's time for a nap and while I watch CNN Max gets up in my oversize chair and lays down beside me and naps. That's my boy. Today as I write this Max has been in to see me twice this morning and one of those times he even conned me into getting him a piece of roast beef out of my office fridge and him making off with it. He's got me pegged. I would do anything for him. So would Deb.
Max and Skittles have a huge fenced backyard where they chase off all the birds and squirrels and take care of things like that. I can go out back and sit for an hour and watch the bird bath and not one bird comes near. The dogs have them trained, much to my chagrin because I love all creatures great and small and love to watch birds in the bird bath. Or did before Max moved in.
Good boy, Max. Roll over. Fetch. Good boy.