DOGS do incredible things.

Dogs sniff out illegal drugs on people as they come through customs.

Dogs help bomb disposal teams find explosives – although they are not trusted with the wire cutters.

Dogs help people who can’t see get around easier.

Dogs sniff out lung cancer on people who have no symptoms.

Dogs sense when a woman is pregnant.

The latest research shows that dogs can smell their owners even if they are miles away - which is why you read stories about lost dogs finding their way home.

TikTok is full of dogs pressing buttons to “talk” to their owners.

Scientists in Naples have concluded that dogs can smell our emotions, and then mirror them to comfort us.

The hound does not aspire to any of these career options.

I’m sure she could, with a bit of application and some owner support, develop skills that would help humankind.

But she is getting on now – almost 60 in canine years - and her development years are behind her.

This is not to say she is stupid. Her ability to understand what is happening is uncanny.

If we are planning to go out, she follows us around to make sure she is not being left behind.

She understands feeding times to the minute and can hear the jangle of a dog lead or the rustle of a poo bag from some distance.

So maybe I should push her more, and be more ambitious, perhaps it’s not too late to send her to doggy university to see if she can join the higher echelons of the canine world and achieve fame and fortune.

And then we go for a walk, and she gets confused when a stick I have thrown gets buried in the sand or dirt and she looks around confused and puzzled.

Or she strains to get to a fellow dog barking at her from behind the glass and bumps her nose. Or she persists in that socially awkward greeting method she has…

So a career as a go-getting, frontier-shifting hero dog is beyond her. But then to be fair it has proved to be beyond me as well, so I can hardly complain.

In the end, we are probably well-matched.