I have written in the past about Teddy Bear, AKA Theodore Seamus, my golden doodle with the curly black coat who I have now parented for eight months. To say he is adorable is the understatement of the year. To say he is large is like saying the Titanic was big. To say he is smart, well, I won’t even go there. So let me tell you the good, the bad and the almost ugly about raising an 80-plus pound behemoth of 11 months.

Just last Tuesday, I met with Marty, my dog trainer from Best Paws Forward. Carol and her darling chocolate lab, Captain and Stacey and her adorable reddish golden doodle called Ruby also assembled in Medina’s lovely town square. Marty stood to the side, clipboard in hand, evaluating his three charges and their faithful caregivers. We were put through the paces. Greet strangers, sit and stay, down commands, you name it. At the end of the testing time, all three pups were given red, white and blue ribbons, declaring they had, indeed, become "Canine Good Citizens." The three pups were more interested in chasing autumn leaves or retrieving sticks to care about certificates or congratulatory handshakes. We’d made it through one more step of attaining our goals of excellent obedience for our canine companions.

After the test, we ladies strolled the downtown, buying dog treats at One Lucky Dog Bakery, exchanging info about ourselves for the first time since we’d met 15 weeks ago in beginner behavior class. Truth be told, Teddy was too busy smelling his girl pups’ hineys to care about our pleasant exchanges.

Feeling confident, Ted and I sauntered to the car, relishing the cool autumn air, the gorgeous leaves in fall hues. That’s when Teddy planted his ample behind on the pavement beside my car, absolutely refusing to scale the back seat. I threw in treats. I cajoled him with my best high-pitched voice. When I attempted to lift his giant frame into the car, he became a slippery boy. Then I began thinking. Does Teddy come when called as he rakishly defends his front yard? Does the boy stop digging when he decides a crater-sized hole would be fun to play in? Does he repeatedly ring the bell to go outside even when pottying is the farthest thing from his puppy brain?

And yet, just the other night, I took him to Lowe’s to buy a quart of paint for the hole he’d dug in my wall this past summer. He sat on command. He heeled like a pro. He didn’t jump on the small children who approached him.

I guess there’s hope. I hope I make it with this big, little guy. Now about that backseat …