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When I first encountered Ed Levine's beagle, Brass, he had lumbered from the kitchen of Ed's apartment into the living room, drawn by the scent of pizza dinner at an early Serious Eats planning session. Ed immediately warned us all to watch that dog like a hawk. As far as Brass is concerned, that slice of pizza on your plate is his. Brass's strategy: Disarm with a deceptively slow pace, bide time until victim's guard is down, strike like lightning to take what's rightfully his. The night I met him, someone (no, not me) ignored Ed's warning, and Brass scored a prime corner slice of a grandma pizza from New Pizza Town. Yes, he's a sneaky sucker, but he has his uses. Here, Ed says, he's "helping" with the dirty dishes, taking care of some stubborn bits of stuck-on food.

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