I've been wondering when the dog was going to start pulling his weight around here, and I think I have an answer.
I was watching the Science Channel's Outrageous Acts of Science, which often features things that are not particularly outrageous, not actually acts, and only tacitly interested in science, when they showed a clip of a dog refusing to walk through a screen door when the screen had been removed. It turns out that the dog had no way to tell the screen had been removed; some breeds are naturally farsighted, but because they like to focus the nose on things close up it sometimes looks as though they are focusing their vision on close objects. Or so I gathered; I was just coming back from walking the dog when it was on. (Research I have done since into the vision of dogs has been less than edifying; I guess they suck at the Snellen chart.)
This all put me in mind of the Famous Mr. Ed, the palomino of the eponymous TV show. Mr. Ed could read---but he needed glasses. In fact, fifty years ago this Tuesday, an episode first aired in which Ed demanded contact lenses so he could read without people seeing him wear glasses.
Then I put it all together: The dog needs reading glasses! No wonder he can't read!
With his glasses he can read, and maybe get his driver's license, like those Subaru dogs. (Heck, he already has one license.) And then he can start running errands. Maybe even get a job.
I know he's young, but Bamboo Harvester was only 11 when he starred in Mr. Ed. And mighty fine work he did, too. And Pal was only three when he first portrayed Lassie. Time for Tralfaz to get his act together, as soon as I can find a dog ophthalmologist.