As a self-respecting Golden Retriever, Ben has his priorities straight. What do you need to be happy in life? Food. It's just that simple. That and yes, some affection but since he has so much of that, he tends to focus the vast majority of his efforts on achieving his primary goal. Through the years, he has honed his technique down to a fine science, one that is applicable to many of life's obstacles.
STEP ONE: STAKEOUT
How on Earth can you expect to get what you want if you don't even know where the object of your intentions is? In this case, that would be me, the person who will eventually feed him his dinner at 6pm or so. Just to be on the safe side, from 4pm on, Ben doesn't let me out of his sight. Although his first line of fire is under my desk, he is ready to travel a yard or two if I happen to change rooms.
Like any seriously minded creature, Ben knows the importance of being prepared. Bring friends if need be, get comfy because this step may take several hours. If at all possible, casually keep in physical contact with your subject, it can't hurt.
STEP TWO: DENIAL
As Step One becomes more and more tiresome to your subject, she may get annoyed with you. This doesn't serve your purpose, so immediately switch into a "Who Me? I don't know what you are talking about" type of stance to throw her off the trail. If she persists, hold your breath and stare off into the distance as if you were a statue. Perhaps she will forget you are there and no longer be annoyed.
STEP THREE: UNNERVE YOUR OPPONENT
As the last tactic is very difficult to pull off and should only be attempted by a seasoned professional, there is always the easier choice of unnerving your opponent. Make yourself scarce and after an appropriate pause, as subtly as possible, stare at said subject with one eye peeking out from behind a safe zone. Use your Jedi mind training to focus all of your energy like a laser beam.
Use whatever materials are at hand. Don't worry she really won't see you, only feel the strength of your will. Warning: if not executed correctly, this step may backfire, leaving your object in a fit of the giggles.
STEP FOUR: UTILIZE VELVET PAINTING EYES
Once you have successfully persuaded the object of the importance of your wishes, move to Step Four. Again, it is important to position yourself in the immediate proximity and do whatever it takes to give your saddest, most pitiful look. Yes, like those clowns in the paintings that are on black velvet. Practice this look in a mirror when you are alone. The idea is to evoke utter pity, one for a beast that has not eaten since morning and might fade away if not immediately attended to. This might just be your step to victory.
STEP FIVE: ANGER
If amazingly, you are dealing with someone who has a heart of stone, then it is perfectly acceptable to fight fire with fire. Get mad! Bark if you need to! The slitty eyed "I curse you" glance can be especially effective.
STEP SIX: NUDGING
Desperate times call for desperate measures. At this point, you have no other choice. Force the object of your intentions to deal with you. Feel free to plop down by her chair with your back towards her so that you are sitting on her feet. She is trapped and must do your bidding. Either that or, if you are up to it, try a multi-combo move incorporating Step Four by placing your head on her lap and blaze her with the Velvet Painting Eyes. This will work nine times out of ten.
STEP SEVEN, THE FINAL FRONTIER: UTTER CUTENESS
If by some horrible tragedy, none of the previous steps have worked, well then, it is time to pull out all of the stops. This takes reflection and planning. What is the exact expression that will cause her to crack on this precise day? Will the "Slow tail wag in addition to the goofy grin" work? Not always. This is a freestyle, creative move but once you have mastered it and the rest of the steps, then the world is yours!
Ben and I hope that you have learned from his vast experience. For readers in Provence, he is available as a life coach for a nominal fee.