Sadie's and Marley's reaction to this characterization of their species.

Sadie’s and Marley’s reaction to this characterization of their species.

The following is a silly example of a paragraph of definition I wrote for an eighth grade writing class around 1991 or 92. I admire it today as a model of striking understatement and vapid prose.

A dog is a four-legged mammal that has been domesticated by man. Ranging in size from five pounds to over a hundred, these useful creatures help people in dozens of useful ways. A few of the important tasks that illustrate the dog’ use by man include herding livestock, guiding blind people, assisting police officers, and protecting property. Since they are intelligent and affectionate, they make excellent companions for people and are most commonly kept as simple household pets.