We are truly a nation of pet lovers. The most popular, of course, being dogs and cats. With apologies to all of the cat lovers out there (I must confess to a personal fondness for felines-- as well as canines), the focus of this article will be on dogs, and, of course, their owners. Dogs have long been popularly referred to as “man's best friend”, and there is much to commend that view. As journalist and author John Grogan observed in Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, “Many of the qualities that come so effortlessly to dogs - loyalty, devotion, selflessness, unflagging optimism, unqualified love - can be elusive to humans”.