We fell for the television advertisements. You know, the one with the Labrador puppy, selling toilet paper. We bought the Labrador pup - cute, bouncy and just a little bit naughty. We called her Lucy.

Six months later, she'd grown to 20 kilos of bounce. She wasn't cute. Lucy was a juvenile delinquent. She dug enormous holes in the garden. She ate two TV remote controls. She raided the garbage and bailed up our friends. Then came the phone. 'Telecom.'

'You may find this hard to believe, but our dog ate the phone ...'

'Labrador?' 'Yes, but ...' 'We'll send a technician.'

We called in Bark Busters. 1 expected a platoon dressed in full metal jackets, armed with rubber bullets. Sylvia wore high heels and a houndstooth suit. She spoke briefly to Lucy who realised she was outclassed and lay obediently at Sylvia's feet. Sylvia told us the facts of life. We were people. Lucy was a dog. Dogs need manners. Training a dog isn't cruel. The dog doesn't speak English. All those things and more, you'll learn in this book.

Sylvia showed us the simple, practical steps to good doggie manners. She demonstrated the magic word 'Bah', and a few other tricks.

These days, we are the people and Lucy is the dog. A calm, sensible, well-mannered dog. A dog that is a pleasure to have. That's what this book will give you too.

Helen Townsend