I don’t ring a bell or shout at morning mealtime around here. I just say, “Breakfast is served.”

The only other diner in the place, other than I, is the animal shelter refugee Cooper, who took up residence here almost nine years ago. He apparently has decided I am a pretty good butler.

He trots promptly to his dog dish in my office as soon as I make the announcement, but often not before I have had to endure the pleading look that asks, “You aren’t going to feed me this morning?” I provide his meals at regular intervals — and, by my count, I have served him breakfast several thousand times — but if I am minutes off the clock,  his clock, I get the look.

He maybe understands the rule that we have to wait for my pot of coffee to finish brewing before he gets his morning meal. But he still can’t avoid the panicked look if I dawdle.

All is well this morning. As always, I carried his silver dish and my red cup to the office at the same time. He, as usual, wolfed down his his food before I had savored my second sip of French roast. But we are off to a good start once again.

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