My dog Brandy is neurotic. She is, really. She’s a full-blooded black lab, beautiful with a graceful angular face and liquid brown eyes, but she is an emotional pot-pourri. She’s afraid of: fly swatters, dish towels, plastic bags, umbrellas, and loud sounds. If the noise level in a room gets to be too much for her, she quietly slinks to the hallway or the farthest room she can reach. Her father was a hunting dog, the type that does hunting trials. Go figure.Poor Brandy has been the whipping dog of our other dogs. She just wouldn’t take up for herself. Until the other day. I guess after five years of being put in her place, something snapped. We were throwing a tennis ball in the living room for Charlie, our other dog. Charlie is a Heinz 57 who snarls and bullies her way around Brandy. If there is a tennis ball being thrown, it is without saying, Charlie’s. That day though, we went through the usual scenario. Tennis ball thrown, Charlie lunges. Suddenly from the right corner of my eye I see a blur of black. Brandy’s white teeth flash and the tennis ball is in her mouth! She looked proudly at my husband and I, wagging her body in her “happy dance.” I cheered. Brandy ruled.That showed me there is hope, as long as we breathe, we can choose to change. That was the day I watched an old dog learn a new trick.