Duke, the precious butterball pup my family adopted after he was abandoned in a Northport park. He's a little fighter because one week after coming home with us, he contracted an intestinal parasite and seven days after that, parvo.

We didn't think he would make it, but he's proven he's got mettle. I've owned several dogs over the years and I've done fairly well in training them basic skills. Duke, however, is beyond hard-headed and after he pulled an entire box of Claritin off the counter and ate all twelve of them. He lived of course, but he was bouncing off the walls for the next 36 hours.

I find myself unable to offer the discipline he needs because I keep seeing this image of him shortly after being rescued:

He owns me.

After destroying two $80 mag adapters for my mac, four sets of headphones, several large tree limbs and digging several holes in the yard large enough to put a swimming pool in, I had to call in the big guns at Alabama Canine.

Here's his first meeting with his instructor, Ricky Farley:

First thing on the agenda is making friends with Mr. Farley, then on Monday, real world begins for Duke.