Sometimes when we have nothing else to argue about, my husband, three sons and I debate which of our dogs has been the smartest. Over the past 15 years we have owned four: all Labrador retrievers released as puppies from Guiding Eyes for the Blind, made available for adoption as pets when, at eight weeks of age, they failed to demonstrate the exact mix of measurable traits needed to succeed as service dogs. When the members of my family debate which of our four would-be guide dogs was the smartest—well, Rebel’s name just never comes up.

read more