Millie is becoming increasingly badly behaved on walks. There is a body of thought that suggests beagles aren't that intelligent. I think this is actually a matter of beagles not being very trainable. But Millie has always been quite well-trained, because we took her to Wagging School early in her life and she has always been quite responsive and has learnt quite a few commands (sit, lie, wait etc, even a 'piss now' command which is handy). However this year on walks she has been much more likely to ignore me entirely and go off by herself, extending the walk by 20 minutes which can of course be annoying of itself but also make me late for work (if I could get her to understand me going to work = her dinner, that might make it all a lot easier). Anyway, we had put it down to her deafness (easy to believe in as she has a truly repulsive growth in her ear which the vet says is totally benign and common in older dogs). But this morning I tried to reign her in and she all but disappeared. I approached the bush where she was last seen and found her standing motionless behind it. When discovered, she bolted. She was being devious.
Having caught her, I considered doing what Wagging School told us to do eg put your dog on the lead and let her go, a couple of times, so that being on the lead wouldn't signify The End. But I wasn't going to be made a fool of by someone I can't argue with. So we came straight back.