Several years ago, while living in our old city neighborhood, a complete stranger lent me some valid advice. I owned Shadow then, my incorrigible, anti-social, dog aggressive "blond"-furred German Shepherd/Golden Retriever cross. I had been dealing with seemingly endless training, as canines were everywhere. When I explained to this onlooker my intentions regarding disciplining Shadow, his or her polite response went something like this: "You're never done training.". So true, so true!! And, since dog owners are never finished training, there will be, at some point or another, a victory, whether minuscule or colossal, to celebrate!! An amazing source of evidence that hard work is paying off!! Score!! The other night, on Saturday, at 10:PM, I experienced one of those sweet moments. I was taking Rose for her evening walk. Darkness had befallen upon us, and all around our cul-de-sac were sleeping houses. Lights out, neighbors in bed. Rose and I were nearly home when, suddenly, a red Ford car drove through our street. I recognized it immediately. This red Ford car belonged to Carmella, who resides in a yellow house across the street. I recognized its driver, too, which was not Carmella. Nope!! It was John, a tall man with long silver hair. He has quite the reputation of shooting hoops!! Rose was curious, as always, her floppy ears perked, forehead furrowed, and colossal brown eyes fixated. I patiently redirected her. "Come on, Rose...." I coaxed. Zero response. No muscle within Rose's canine body moved. She just stood there, stock-still, as John emerged from Carmella's red Ford car. Then, to my utter surprise, out leaped one of his four large dogs!! Oh.... I thought. In the pitch-black darkness, I could determine John's dog's breed. I think. It was his Labrador Retriever!! And "she" appeared to be off-lead, as usual. I froze in place. Now it was my turn to be stock-still. Rose has gradually taught me that overreaction--which I am good at--will only make matters worse. It doesn't help things at all!! Because if I am not under control myself, then neither will she be!! Honestly!! If I do something short of speaking, then Rose will bay!! Seriously!! Sometimes, opening my mouth is all it takes!! Not that I am complaining.... I'm just explaining how things are around here!! So I stood there, without a word. I watched John lead his Labrador Retriever inside. It was as though he had hypnotized us and we were both cast by some spell!! Rose did not make a single sound. No whine, bay, growl or bark. I did not make a single sound. I just breathed, my heart beating. We watched in synchronized silence, as their screen door closed shut. The coast was clear!! Then, finally, I burst into a joyous: "Good girl, Rose!! Good, good, good girl!! I'm so proud of you!!" That's right. I told Rose, a dog, that I am proud of her, as though she were some praise-hungry four-year old child!! And I meant it!! Then, John stepped back outside. And, sans hesitation on Rose's part, she let out this singular hound-like bark!! I tugged on her leash to deal with that behavior. John said something which I did not catch. Then came the baying!! I hunched over to stroke Rose's velvet-soft fur. My touch calmed her almost instantly!! Yes, I am proud of Rose. For "You're never done training.". I believe that this applies just as equally for owners, as well!! And we have both come a long way.