Holding Rusko the Wonderdog off this possum he was chasing when it gave up the run and fell over to play dead was not so much an act of mercy on my part as it was sheer terror that this possum would have an opportunity to (justifiably) slash my good dog with his very impressive incisors. Seriously, click to enlarge the canines on this very much alive 'possum.
I must report because it's true that even though Rusko was off leash and visibly shaking with excitement and pride at having chased this possum to the ground, he stopped on my voice command when I had nothing to back it up with except love.
Doesn't mean nothing in this world, but the honest truth is that at that moment when Rusko stopped and looked me in the eyes to say "I can't BELIEVE you're serious, but if you say so, OK, then," I was never more proud of anything I'd ever accomplished in my life than I was to get this good dog to trust me even when it meant flying in the face of all his instincts. What a good dog.