Missaroo is a pretty smart dog. I mean I know I'm a little bias, but most people when they first meet her often say, hey your dog is pretty smart. When I could get her attention away from the other dogs in obedience class she was always the first one to pick up on the latest lesson. Her biggest problem in beginner class was that she would get bored and when she's bored she barks. Since I happen to know how smart she really is, I do my best to push her. No, not physically, mentally. Here's an example. Missy and I are apartment people. Often times when I throw her rope or tennis ball across the room it gets stuck on top of her crate, behind a chair, or sometimes in the shoe basket. Missy will take one look and give up, as if to say mom you're going to have to get it out for me. But me? I'm not getting it. This is when the mom in me really comes out. I go over to the toy and point at it and say, Missy get your toy. She stares at me as though I'm talking in the same language as Charlie Brown's teacher, but I'm not giving up. Missy, come on, you can do it, get your toy. And you know what? She'll actually give it a try. It takes a while sometimes but I never give up on the encouragement. Even as she is starting to pull out the toy and dropping it I tell her "good girl Missy, you can do it." As smart as Missy is on her own, our trainer and vets have agreed, the mom encouragement helps with Missy's development and learning. I think of my pup as playful and ready to explore the world. There are many things she is still discovering and afraid of but my encouragement is always right there. I guess that's part of being a mom, you are your kid's cheerleader. There are lots of things I'm trying to show and teach Missaroo. The funny thing is, Missaroo is really the one encouraging me. She encourages me to show love, feel love, and even when love breaks your heart to still get up everyday and find something else to love. Wow! The Missaroo is even smarter than I thought!