Cup of Tea, Anyone?

This morning I was talking to one of the mums at school about our pets and the things – good or bad – that they love best. It turned out that one of her cats is addicted to catching pigeons and ripping them to pieces (not a nice picture, I know), whilst the other is addicted to having its fur brushed for hours on end. Her hamster is mad on tomatoes and their dog is always partial to a bit of chocolate (which is toxic to dogs, so I’m not encouraging that at all). We then went on talking about other people’s pets, as she remembered that her mother’s parrot has a passion for classical music and I remembered that one of my in-laws’ dogs would do anything for chips.

As for George, there are a number of things that he is addicted to. Stealing socks, chewing tissues, roasting in the sun and stealing Brianna’s teddies are some of them. But top of his addiction list must be drinking tea.

It’s no secret that the British love their cup of tea. Morning, lunch and evening, all day long, the kettle and tea-pot are under a lot of stress and get a lot of use. It’s a documented fact that the National Grid faces the peak of electricity consumption during the commercial breaks half-way through the nation’s most loved soaps or football finals. Apparently, that’s when everybody rushes to put the kettle on and mash a cuppa before the programme returns five minutes later.

We’re no exception from the normal British family. We like tea and drink a lot of it. Our visitors like tea and drink a lot of it. There are always mugs around the house, containing different quantities of tea at any one time. That’s how we found out that George is partial to a bit of tea himself.

As soon as he was big enough to reach the coffee table, our little whippet has tried to sneak his nose into our tea cups. And our visitors’ cups. Every day. Whenever he got the chance. He’s proved to be extremely good at this from an early age. One moment of distraction, and you could return to an empty cup and a very content-looking dog. He’s so keen on the taste, that he’d sit next to you and lick his lips – in the most off-putting fashion – whilst you’re trying to enjoy your drink.

Eventually, something had to be done about this, since it’s not always funny to find a whippet nose in your cup and I was starting to get worried about his sugar intake. So we called a family council and decided to give George a little bit of tea, rather than have him steal ours. Brianna offered to donate her plastic Princess cup to this noble cause, and George became a full rights member of the tea club.

Most days, especially on weekend mornings when we can have family chats in bed, I make 4 cups of tea: two big, full ones for the adults, half a medium cup for Brianna, and less-than-a-quarter-full cup for George, with no sugar in it. You should see the delight on his face. I don’t know what he enjoys the most, the tea itself, or being part of the morning ritual. If the tea is the right temperature, he’ll slurp it in one go, without even breathing in between gulps. Then he’ll lick the cup clean and lie down on my legs. If the tea’s too hot, he’ll lie down on my legs first, waiting for it to cool down. Then he’ll slurp it in one go.

I find George’s love for tea strange and sweet at the same time. And I’m just wondering how many of you are experiencing similar behaviours from their pets? Do your furries have any unusual preferences or addictions?



Filed under General

36 responses to “Cup of Tea, Anyone?

  1. that is wonderful! I have never heard of a dog so keen on tea, but I guess it makes sense. What do you like to drink? I am a tea person myself over coffee, though you would probably grimace at the types I drink, and that I put half & half in everything.

    Luna has no huge habits… she likes to sleep with a toy, and she love bites certain ones, as well as her bed for no good reason. She does enjoy tissues/napkins from time to time but has largely given that habit up too. I will think on it though, I’m probably forgetting one.


    • I don’t drink coffee, I never have. I did try coffee a few times, but I don’t like the taste and it’s also too much for my system, it makes me hyperactive. So I’m more tea (all sorts), water, natural juices, lemonade, etc. George would drink coffee, too, if given the chance, but we’re not encouraging that. A whippet on caffeine does not sound like a good idea 😉
      George used to ‘kill’ his bed when he was little…He’s stopped that now, but I don’t think he’ll ever get over his love of tissues…

  2. Sam

    I had a cat named Bogart years ago who loved pretzels, and another cat named Leo who loved tea and lettuce. I think they all have their little quirky things.


  3. I really started to understand the tea addiction then when a friend from Cornwall told me he packed a tea pot to take to the beach. My, my, my.

    When George was “helping himself” to tea, did you observe any caffeine effects?

    I think it’s cute he wants to be part of the family. And it sounds like you came up with a perfect solution.

    Honey likes all kinds of fruit and veggies. We have a tough time when we go to pick our own cherries because she’ll harvest the fallen fruit until she gets sick. She’ll also eat blueberries right off the bush.

    • 😀 No, no caffeine effects, it was the sugar I was worried about. Now when I make his own, I don’t put any sugar in it, and I don’t make it strong either, it’s more milk with a drop of tea. Speaking of caffeine, he has showed an interest in coffee, but he’s not getting away with that!
      I’ve never heard of a dog eating cherries, that’s a very unusual preference Honey’s got. I’ve tried George on pretty much every type of fruit and vegetable, but he doesn’t like cherries. He’s mad on all berries, through. Blackberries seem to be his favourites…

      • A lot of dogs seem to like berries.

        I’m more worried about the pits. Am I crazy enough to actually sit and pit cherries for my dog? Maybe.

      • No, you’re not crazy, just responsible. I’ve never researched whether cherry pits are harmful for dogs, because George is not interested in cherries. But I do remove all pips before I give him any apples, because they contain cyanide which is toxic. Better safe than sorry, right?

  4. Sheila being from Scotland is a huge tea drinker. We have cats that she will share her tea with them. When she is finished, she will leave a bit for them and they will dip their paws into the cup and suck the tea off their pads. As for addictions, Sia can’t get enough of her frisbee. In fact, we usually spell it rather than say it in front of her when we are looking to put it away, or else she will go ballistic. I even have one that glows in the dark so if I come home late from work, we can still toss a few before bed.

    • I love the mental picture of your cats drinking tea by using their pads…They sound like delicate little ladies using tiny teaspoons 🙂
      Clever Sia, she’s even learnt the word ‘frisbee’. I’d love to see a picture of her ‘in action’, if you can take one 😉 George has a frisbee which he sometimes loves and sometimes doesn’t bother with, it depends on his mood.

  5. That is hilarious!

    As both my sets of grandparents, and my father, hail from England, tea-drinking has been a very big part of my lifestyle from the day I was born. Shiva has yet to take up the habit, though not for lack of trying! It’s hard to say where her addictions lie, other than chewing in general, she lusts after pretty much every item of food we have in the kitchen. Including lettuce.

    There is only one thing she won’t eat that we know of. Mushrooms. Which is a huge relief considering how many poisonous ones there are in our area!

    • It’s nice to know that you’re a fellow tea-drinker, Kristine. What does your practically husband think of that? 😉
      I’ve always admired Shiva’s appetite, so I’m not surprised she likes lettuce. I’m surprised about the mushrooms 🙂 George doesn’t like them either, but that’s George, he doesn’t like a lot of things. I completely understand your relief about poisonous mushrooms, though. There are a lot around here, too…

  6. Gwynn does that lip-smacking thing for bananas. If you are peeling a banana for yourself, or for him, you’ll find him sitting staring up at your banana, and smacking his lips in a way I didn’t think dogs could do until having him.

    • I think our dogs pick up some human behaviours from us. Lip smacking might just be one of them…A very effective way of communication, I think.
      When George was a puppy, I couldn’t eat a banana or an apple without him jumping on me asking for some, he loved them that much. He still likes them, but now he’s confident enough he’d get his share, so he just sits next to me, waiting patiently.

  7. lifewith4cats

    You see didnt I say all along that George was a true British gentleman? Now you have just prooved it. Little girl has that in common with him. I like tea in all its forms. Often Ill have an old cold cup just sitting on my computer desk. Little girl knows where the water dish is but she prefers the tea. I don’t mind, as she is the delicate one. Now if it where any other of my kitties I wouldnt stand for it.

    • You did, and he’s proved you right 🙂 And Little Girl sounds like his feline counterpart, a very British girl at heart. Are the boys in your house jealous, or generally not bothered about tea?

      • lifewith4cats

        Ah you see… Little girl is also the only one priveledged enough to be allowed on table/counter tops. The messy boys have no idea what wonders exist in the world of privilege. They are content in ignorance. 🙂

        @pamela its sweet of you to pit your cherries for your furred one. I heard somewhere that sometimes cat people will pre-chew small pieces of steak for their kitties. Kitties can’t bite chunks as easily as puppies can. LoL

      • Blessed ignorance, eh? I wonder why we always associate it with males? 😉
        I’ve never heard of pre-chewing meat for either cats or dogs, but I guess it makes sense if they’re struggling to eat it. However, I think I’d choose to cut it into tiny bits rather than chew and spit it out. I know wolf cubs lick their mother’s mouth to stimulate her to regurgitate food for them, so I guess it’s all natural behaviour.

  8. I’m sure there are much worse things George could be addicted to! And making a regular ritual that he can share is a wonderful idea:)

    I drink a lot of tea but fairly weak and black and doubt Frankie or Beryl would enjoy it. Beryl would certainly drink anything with milk in it. She’s quite adventurous in the eating/drinking department, Frankie not so much. Frankie used to have a thing about destroying technological things, remote controls, landline phones, mobiles phones (note the plurals there!) destuffing stuffies etc. Nothing has been destroyed recently as I think I’ve finally learnt to put tempting stuff out of reach:) Beryl just loves to rip up paper so I have to keep anything important out of her reach!

    • Since Beryl and George share the same passion for milk and shredding paper, I wonder if it’s something all sighthounds have in common? We’ll have to ask the others, see what they think.
      Frankie sounds like a technical wizard…I don’t envy you for that 😛

  9. This is so hysterical — Sara’s right, George is a true English gentleman. And I also love that he’s drinking out of a Princess cup! 🙂 so cute. Grace and Oliver (cat) LOVE carrots. We don’t give Grace any table scraps, but she will rise from a deep nap if she hears the carrot scraper come out of the drawer. I never thought that sound was so distinctive, but apparently it is. After a few accidental scrapings fell on the floor and I saw how much she loves them, now I will routinely push a few intentional ones off the counter for her. Then Oliver is next in line; he loves to roll wherever the carrot has been. Family rituals are nice, aren’t they?

  10. I didn’t know chocolate is toxic for dog, this is a good knowledge. Is tea okay for dog?

    British is same with Indonesian 😉 we also drink tea all the time…mostly in the morning with our breakfast. In my sister in law’s village, they hardly drink water…they have tea all the time.
    That picture of Georger really shows how he enjoys his cup a tea.

    My non-furry pets have different addiction…well, I think Kame has no addiction. Kroten is addicted to anyTHING on the floor, be it onion’s peel, chilie, rice…which ever food unconciously dropped on the floor. She likes to sniff on the floor and then shows up with something on her mouth. I have to be extra careful when setting her loose in the house.

    • Yes, any dog should be kept away from chocolate, it could be deadly if ingested in large quantities. Tea is OK, but I don’t give him gallons of it, just a little bit at a time.
      It’s interesting, I didn’t know tea was big in Indonesia. It’s funny, one of my best friends is Indonesian, but since she lives here in the UK, I never thought that her tea-drinking habits might be related to her cultural background. Do you add milk to your tea over there?
      So Kame is miss perfect, and Kroten is an eating machine…;)

      • No,we don’t add milk into our tea 🙂
        Some like it without sugar, I like it with sugar.

        hahaha you can say it like that…Kame is perfect (but a bit fat) and Kroten is…Kroten, she is special.

  11. I think everything about George is charming and adorable, but that might be my favorite I’ve learned about him so far! I can just see the four of you enjoying your tea together.

    My first Greyhound, Treat, was very fond of apple cider! You couldn’t leave the glass unattended for even a second or she’d have her nose in it. She never bothered anything else, but she could not resist that cider!

    • Thanks, Carrie 🙂
      Apple cider…Oh, my, that’s strong stuff, I can’t manage a glass myself. Having said that, I’m not much of a drinker, so it doesn’t count. Luckily for us, George hasn’t shown any interest in alcohol. I don’t think I’d allow him his own glass anyway…

  12. Isn’t that interesting. I wouldn’t have thought of a dog drinking tea. Ours stick to water, and that has to be boring now that I think about it, especially when compared to tea. I usually start most days with a cup of hot tea. Most people in the States like coffee, but I’ve never even tasted it, as I can’t get past the smell. Lots of people love the aroma of coffee, but it seems so strong to me, and I’ve been known to describe it as smelling like dirt. Yuck! Anyway, I’ve never had English tea, but I like mine with a bit of honey. Do you put anything in yours, other than sweetener? How about George, just sugar?

    • I feel the same about coffee, apart from the smell. I like the smell of fresh ground coffee, and that’s about it. I have the smell of boiled coffee and I hate the taste even more. So yeah, I’m stuck with tea. Traditional English tea is made by adding a little bit of milk on top. Sugar is optional, it depends on personal taste. I like honey in herb tea, it’s nicer and healthier. George doesn’t have any sugar in his tea, because it’s not good for his teeth 🙂

  13. Just discovered your blog and I love it! My fiance and I have a 2 year old whippet named Zoey. She has now matured into a sweet and minding girl that loves to pounce her younger IG sibling Zelda and mini Dachshund sibling Xena. Zoey & Zelda have both had their experiences with sticking their noses into too hot tea and learning a lesson, but both love not only tea, but wine and beer.

    My fiance is from Newfoundland and they too have a love for tea, which he introduced to me and this very Southern girl from Texas loves loves loves (hot) tea with milk and sugar. I’ll take iced tea any day of the week with no sugar and with lemon but I love hot tea in the evenings and mornings. His dad sends us down huge boxes of Tetley Orange Pekoe Tea when we start getting low, as that is the only tea fiance likes. He will substitute with English Breakfast tea or Earl Grey in a pinch or out in a restaurant.

    Zoey is addicted to pouncing on her siblings. Zelda is our wild child, newly adopted from a rescue group. Xena is my old girl that I adore and spoil just to see her “Treat Dance”.

  14. Carla

    I was delighted to find that not only does your dog love tea that he also loves to steal and rip up toilet paper. Bella is also a whippet. She is 8 months old and convinced she is human. I’ve taken to making tea especially for her also. As she whines and stares at me when I drink mine. They are funny huh?

    • Hi, Carla…Thanks for your message and sorry for the late reply. I’ve been away from my blog for a while. Yes, you’re right about whippets being funny creatures, I guess that’s why we love them so much. I can’t think of a more human breed of dogs … I love your whippet’s name, I bet she is a beauty like her name says 😉

  15. yep … I have a whippet who does exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, we have found it makes him ‘slightly’ hyperactive so have had to limit his tea drinking … all cups now have to be placed out of reach from whippety noses .

  16. katie

    My 2 dogs, barney(7) and suzie(4), have a cup of tea a day to share (and sometimes 2) with no sugar, barney is a whippet cross jack russel and he is absolutely addicted, he howls at me and scratches the coffee table and tries to drink any cup of tea in sight, he wants one all day, everyday. Suzie, however, isn’t as bothered but she still loves her daily tea.

    • Thanks for your comment, Katie… It’s nice to hear that we’re not the only “weird” dog owners who let their pets have a cup of tea now and then… Your Barney must be a ball of energy, I met a whippet x Jack Russel once and he couldn’t keep still for 2 seconds… Whippet speed combined with a bit of Jack Russel “craziness”, what a combination 😉

  17. katie

    My dog absolutely loves tea, he is addicted, if he sees you with one he will try jump on you so he can drink it, we have decided that he can have half a cup a day and we give my other dog the other half, she isnt as fussed. Barney is jack russel cross dashchund.

  18. I have a Patterdale terrier who now as i type is on my case for some of my tea,he activley harrasses until he gets what he wants,he loves his cuppa.

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