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I wrote the below for my final assignment in Writing Humour. I got an overall distinction and my lecturer described this piece and another one about the public transport system (I’ll post it it in a few days) as “well-observed, punchy and succinct”. I chalk that up as a win.

It also seems particularly relevant at the moment as my pug has an ear infection for which he needs ear drops twice a day. He’s not taking it very well as he hates when you mess with his ears, even though they’re ridiculously soft and just begging to be touched. But, greedy bastard that he is, he’s always willing to cast aside his outrage in exchange for treats so I feel like I was channelling him when I wrote this. I didn’t give him any treats when I did his ears just now so he sat in the kitchen for about 5mins huffing and puffing in indignation.

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Step 1. Make sure that sufficient time has passed since your last meal. Seeking food too soon will only make you look greedy and make any future advances appear suspicious.

Step 2: Pace the house looking mournful. Put your tail between your legs if this will elicit the required response. Your aim is to generate concern for your well-being.

Step 3: Do not respond to any of your human’s affectionate advances, no matter how enticing they may be. Sit as far away from them as possible. Whine occasionally.

Step 4: Find a suitable spot where you can stare at your bowl while comfortably sitting or lying down. Assume a posture of pure dejection. Do not leave this spot until they come looking for you. Your patience will be rewarded.

Step 5: Activate “puppy dog eyes” as soon as you are located. Do not, repeat DO NOT, wag your tail. If you absolutely cannot help it, then restrained wags only or try to mask the wags with a full body tremble. Too much excitement will overplay your hand.

Step 6: Wait for it.

Step 7: Gorge on treats. If your humans do not supply treats after adherence to the above steps, seek help as they are almost certainly sociopaths and your safety is in question. Contact the RSPCA immediately.

Image credit: Join the Pugs

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