We may well train the family dog to do our bidding but it is the cat who trains it’s owner!  Apparently cats use a special feline vocabulary just for us.  If employing a specific meow to ask for food works the cat will keep using it.  If the desired response is not forthcoming then your moggy will ask in another way, that is until it evolves  opposable thumbs and can open a tin itself!

I have found that many of the dogs I look after tend to take a more direct approach when it comes to getting what they want.  Mishka the miniature poodle, for example, stands at just the right height to jab me with her nose behind my knee when I’m washing the dishes, reminding me I should be playing  with her!

Seated one day on the sofa with an open packet of mini shortbread biscuits at my side I was amused when Henry the spinone, came over to rest his hairy chops on my knee letting his gaze slide over to rest longingly on the biscuits, returning his attention to me and imploringly raising his expressive eyebrows.

I have even been the victim of canine mind control when two golden retrievers in my care, one on either side of my chair, watched me intently as I ate my dinner.  I’m sure they were willing me to `drop the sausage, drop the sausage!’  I left the table feeling slightly dizzy and with a bit of a headache.  I did not, however, drop the sausage!