Slowly, with a leisurely nonchalance, Lord Robert’s head protrudes from under his thick, fluffy doona. An air of relaxed contentment is apparent in his demeanour as he surveys the room before him. Looking around, he wonders how long it will be before Jackie, the Scullery Maid, will call to let the household know that breakfast is served.
As he lays his chin on the side of the bed and sighs deeply, he contemplates getting up before the call to breakfast, but decides against it; why move when his every whim and entire world is catered to by the servants who surrounded him. Lord Robert knows that one look from him and Jackie will scurry to his beck and call.
He notices that one of the other servants, Ron, is working on the computer and decides that he might get up after all and sit on Ron’s lap. With a stretch that shows a luxuriating relaxation Lord Robert stands on the bed so that the doona falls partly away before he moves from under it to take the short step downward onto the floor.
His toes crinkled slightly with the first contact of his warm feet on the cold, hard linoleum that covers the floor. His bare feet make soft, barely audible padding sounds on the floor as he moves over to where Ron sits at the computer; standing on his back legs Lord Robert makes small scratching motions with his right, front paw to indicate to Ron that he now expects to claim his rightful position as Lord of the household. With a resigned look Ron slides his computer chair back slightly on its castors to allow Lord Robert to jump up onto his lap.
As Ron attempts to continue his typing, a small nose pushes under his hand and forces it upward and Lord Robert’s head insinuates itself under the hand for a pat. The first scratch on his head works like a switch and Lord Robert immediately starts nipping playfully at the hand that pats him as he twists over onto his back so that he can wrap his front legs around the hand that has now become an imaginary foe; Lord Robert’s back legs playfully rake at Rons wrist as the look of joyful concentration on his face wrinkles his brow deeply.
The battle rages for several minutes before Lord Robert’s is distracted by sounds from the lounge room; Jackie has finished her exercise and is on the move and Lord Robert leaps frantically from Ron’s lap and bolts in the direction of the sounds. From different parts of the house, other paws can also be heard scrambling; Lord Robert’s companions, Lady Minh and Squire Jasper have heard the telltale sounds too and are headed, helter skelter, for the lounge. While Lady Minh, the more portly of the trio, makes her way in at a hurried waddle, Squire Jasper dashes headlong down the carpeted hall, but, as he makes the transition from carpet to lino he tries to navigate the left hand turn through the lounge room door. The result of this risky manoeuvre, and Squire Jasper’s failure to regulate his speed, is a scurry of claws slipping on lino as Squire Jasper frantically tries to stop himself slipping sideways across the lino; the sounds stop abruptly with a loud crashing sound as Squire Jasper comes to a jarring halt against the wall. With no time to waste on self pity though, his paws never stop working furiously and finally catch their grip to propel him headlong into the lounge. A look of gloating satisfaction comes over Squire Jasper’s face as he realises that he has made it into Jackies company before Lord Robert and he spins several times on the spot, as if chacing his own tail, to show his joy.
Squire Jasper is joined moments later by Lord Robert, who immediately start springing upwards like a Springbok in bounds that take him almost three times his own height off the floor as he barks frantically.
Lady Minh, in the meantime, has entered the room, her tail wagging so hard that it almost overbalances her stout little body; without slowing the rate of her wag, Lady Minh makes a sudden dash across the room, with a speed that belays her size and weight, and, with a low growl at her compadres, scoops up the remains of a bone that lay forgotten under one of the chairs.
This is all part of a ritual that is played out daily; the ritual is culminated with one single word uttered in a singsong voice by Jackie. “Foodies” she calls as she heads for the kitchen and the food bowls that stand ready beside the home cooked dog food. That single word “Foodies” whips the three small dogs into an even greater frenzy of anticipation until the three bowls are placed on the floor and the serious business of eating begins; there will be no sound from any of the trio for several minutes, except the regular crunching and slurping sounds of their eating.