Coco, the little shih tzu dog, really can't do much of anything except, perhaps, look cute. She doesn't point out shot ducks, or rescue prepubescent boys from burning buildings and deep wells. She'd be terrible as a service dog because she can't concentrate on anything for longer than a minute before she's racing off to do damage on someone's sofa, or piddle and poo on someone's bra and library-book.
When Coco took me out yesterday for a walk, we passed a young mum and her toddler. The boy was happily jumping over and over again off a seat that was probably about one hand-span high off the ground. Coco and I stood by and watched. Coco got more dejected every second, her ears and tail flopped downward, and her eyes lost their usual sparkly gleam. There's no way Coco could have jumped from that seat; my little Wednesday dog insists on being lifted down from anything taller than finger-height.
I had to say something, give Coco back some pride. "Ah, but can your little one sit on command?" I asked the young mum. Coco perked up her ears.
The young mum shook her head. "No..."
"Neither can Coco," I rmuttered under my breath as my little Wednesday dog and I bounced happily away. Thank heavens we could rejoice in small mercies. If that three year old toddler had truly been able to sit on command, Coco and I would have been been thoroughly humiliated.