Gurdjieff had appointed a prim, control-oriented woman. Miss Ethel Merston, as his administrator when he was away. On a trip, he and Miss Merston stopped at an inn where a large dog seemed to adopt Gurdjieff: he and the dog became instant friends. At their next stop, Gurdjieff asked Miss Merston if she would like to do something for him. All too eagerly, she said she would. Very well, Gurdjieff told her, that dog at the inn should belong to me. So go back to that inn and steal that dog.
Miss Merston was horrified. As Gurdjieff knew very well, this act of theft was utterly contrary to her nature. But he insisted - it must be done! Forcing herself every inch of the way, she returned alone to the inn. She immediately saw the dog wandering around, and - agonizing over it - she induced the animal to get into the ear. Then the innkeeper popped up. She was busted! She began to babble some explanation about how the dog had jumped in the car on its own but the innkeeper only expressed puzzlement that they’d left the dog behind in the first place - because the gentleman with her earlier had already bought the dog.
Gurdjieff had never really put her at risk of being arrested - but, quite harmlessly, he’d forced her to go against the grain of her programming and confront her greatest fears.
John Shirley - Gurdjieff. An Introduction to His Life and Ideas