What we have here is a failure to communicate.
There are a multitude of ways to get your point across to a human and maybe even understand them. The eyes are a big part of communicating. My eyes are rounder in shape as I am partially a hound, these can convey quite a few things. If I show a bit of white around them I am scared and usually this is accompanied by the ears flat back and probably panting and some shaking if it is really scary (thunderstorm, firecrackers etc). This will be almost automatic on my part, my humans know these reactions and will react to me the way they should. If I want attention I will lay my head on a lap and bump their arm or just try to look pitiful and a quick wagging of the tail. They usually get the point but do not always give me what I am looking for. I have learned that there are certain times and places that this will work. My human comes down in the morning after feeding me and taking me out will then sit down with her breakfast and I can get some petting, ear rubs and scratches before she gets too far into her morning. While they are watching television is also a good time to give it a shot. Though I have found out that the other one of my humans does not like it while he is eating, although I still try. I let them know that I am there to take any leftover food from them, I don’t want them getting fat and unhealthy so really I would be providing a service, unfortunately it is not always seen this way.
Ears can be helpful in getting your point across if they pay attention. My ears are normally out to the side, not upright or all the way down, so when I perk up my ears to as high up as they can go, they know I am alert and excited about things. When they drive in the driveway I perk up and go to the door to wait for them and then when they come in the house I show them how happy I am to see them, wag my tail, go in circles and generally make an idiot of myself, but they seem to like this and will pet me and show a lot of affection, really it is a small thing and it really does seem to make them happy. So I will bite the bullet and look silly for them.
Your tail is important in letting the humans as well as other animals know what is going on. A slow wag while you are approaching a new dog or person, will let them know you are being cautious even if you are interested. A tail tucked between your legs will let them know you are scared, upset or even a little guilty because you did something you know isn’t going to make them too happy. The fast wagging is just sheer excitement and this is what humans appear to want to see most of the time, but then they want you to settle down; as if you had an off switch.
Now, humans are different. They do not have ears that move, tails and their eyes don’t really do much either, but we have to be able to read them if we want to manage them on a day to day basis. I find that if I tune into their voice, not really what they are saying as much as how they are saying it I get clues as to their desires. A high pitched voice will tell me they are happy and will like to play or pet me, but when it gets low, loud and kind of a growl I try to make myself scarce. One of my humans is expressive with her face and if she is looking at me and frowning it is another clue that maybe then is not the time to try to get some snuggle time.They are a moody bunch and things pass quickly, but it is in your best interest to pay attention and make the most of the moments. My humans love me and give me so much so I am trying very hard to understand what they want so that we can live together harmoniously, I know that I have said I take my job seriously and I do, but having the ability to read your human helps you to also be a member of the family. Humans can be exasperating but the love, affection, food and home they share with you is worth it.
So in closing, try to really work on your communication skills and your humans will find that they can understand you better and you can understand them or at least figure out what they want from time to time. Humans!