When we decided to get a Labrador, I felt pretty confident that Lila would possess an impeccable temperament. I also assumed I would be the ultimate owner. Enrolling her in puppy preschool. Doing gentling exercises like touching her ears, mouth and tail during her meals. Even dropping to the floor to “share” bones. Insisting that every passing stranger give her a pat. Inviting all sorts of dogs to our property. Taking her to play at an off lead park.

As the weeks ticked over, I could feel a certain smugness creeping in. Whenever someone else’s dog did something wrong, I would secretly think to myself, “Lila would never do that.” I tried to conceal my smugness, but smugness has a way of sneaking out with a sideways glance or a telltale tone. And it usually comes back to bite you.