Saturday, 16 July 2011

Basic Human and Canine Needs .... (Part 1): Food

When the famous psychologist, Abraham Maslow designed his hierarchy of  human needs, he forgot to mention that the first three levels of his pyramid were also applicable to dogs.

If you live with an author, it is your absolute duty to make sure she attends to the first level: her most basic physiological needs of health, food, and sleep.

With regard to the subject of food, making sure your author eats is not an entirely altruistic act on your part. You need feeding, too, and everything of an edible nature in a house is locked up, shut away, or put out of reach of dogs.

My author, named Missus, has a tendency to become one with her computer - so much so, that I'm afraid  she may one day disappear into one of the fantasy worlds she's creating, and not return. Mister and I have two things in common, we both like our food and we don't like being ignored for too long.

My various ploys to getting fed have varied over time:

As a puppy, I used to scrabble at Missus's legs, whine, and, if all else failed, get under her office chair and wheel her across the wooden floor to her door. On a few occasions, I even managed to depress the lever under the chair's seat and let it down. This last one wasn't popular with Missus, as it nearly caused her to  wipe some important work off the computer. 

Now I'm older, I start staring at her back very hard when I think it's feeding time. Unfortunately for Missus, as I was born during British Summertime, my dog clock is set to that time, which means that in winter I begin staring at her an hour earlier than I should do. If she fails to sense my eyes upon her, I wait until she looks away from the computer to pick up a reference book, or answer the phone, and then I dash across the room to nudge her elbow, leap up and down, thump her with squeaky toys, and generally hassle her. Quite often she says, 'Wait a minute' or 'It's not time yet', and proceeds to keep me hanging on in there for another hour or two.

If all else fails, I make sure to tell tales on her to Mister the moment he walks in the door. I run around him in circles, as well as backwards and forwards between front door and food cupboard. He is most sympathetic and asks me if Missus is starving me.

It is particularly hard persuading Missus to eat lunch when Mister isn't at home to nag her. She completely forgets about the clock, or just doesn't want to leave off what she is writing - not even to give me my lunchtime biscuit and, if I'm lucky, a tomato or a tiny square of goat's cheese.

Sometimes she eats lunch so late it's nearly teatime, and she makes do with a slice of toast to keep her going until she has her cup of tea and home-made cake an hour later with Mister. Home-made cake is one of my allowed treats: a small corner off Missus's flapjack or Victoria Sponge. There are other treats, too, but I'll dedicate a whole post to that subject later.

One advantage to belonging to an author - or, rather an author belonging to you - is that she works from home, so at least that puts a dog in with a chance of food during the day. An added plus for me is that Missus hates going out shopping. This means that she orders all our food on line. A big box arrives once a month containing all my supplies, and a delivery arrives from the supermarket every week containing all the other supplies. I've even discovered that one of the delivery men has dog biscuits in his pockets. 

I always assist Missus putting the food away in the fridge and cupboards, just so I can check out which of my favourites are amongst them. I also assist Missus in the kitchen when she's preparing food, an activity which I'll enlarge upon during my promised post about treats.

But enough for now, as I see we're in danger of slipping past lunchtime - and on this occasion it's my fault...         




  1. nudge nudge, leap leap, thump thump's nearly dinner time missus....

  2. Thank you for the different point of view. It's amazing how each have their own way to tell us it's time to eat. Our Hope if everything else fails she'll do the "face", the begging face! Impossible to resist. Check us out at

  3. mumma this is genious, think i may write one from lola's point of view and call it "living with the messy clan, by lola lollypop

  4. Oh muh goodness! This was SO cute! :)