Years ago, a great gun dog writer told of the time he tried to school a black Lab bitch. She didn't catch on, and he grew angrier and angrier, giving one contradictory command after another. Finally, the Lab simply sat down, cocked her head, and stared at him--hard. In that moment, something passed between them. "I realized," he wrote, "that she was saying 'Look, stupid, when you figure out what you want me to do, and I understand it, I'll do it.'"