Back home, I showered and dressed with no mishap. Bob lazily waited on his chair in the living room as I made the bed and cleaned up a little. He waited for breakfast.
Bob insists the feeding ceremony be exactly the same every single time. The ritual starts with me showing his mixing bowl where wet and dry foods meet and I stir them vigorously to co-mingle into a stew of beef and grain. All the while I say "Mmm, look at this Bob! This is going to be good today!"
It was difficult to summon the necessary enthusiasm Bob needs during the prep process. Maybe a little insincerity or weariness crept into my voice. After the stirring comes the presentation, a portion of the routine that requires nothing short of Wolfgang Puck. "Bam!" I say as I slam the food into his bowl in my best Emeril.
He looked up at me as if I had just served up some broken glass.
"What?" I wanted clarification on his doe-eyed stare back at me.
"Bob, please just eat. Come on." The last part had a decidedly more upbeat tune.
He didn't budge. In fact, his eyes grew more determined not to move. I knew I would have to start a new tact.
"He's a Robert. He's a Slobbers. He's a Ro-o-o-o-bert Slobbers." That's his theme song and I was certain he would respond. No go.
I thought maybe reasoning would work. "Please Bob I am late, I have to go to the store first then stop off at the post office and I don't have time to stand here and wait for you to get hungry. What is the problem?"
He slowly backed away from his food station. That is the worst move he could have made and we both knew it.
"Fuck you, Bob, eat your fucking food!"
He ran into the living room, tail tucked, and headed for his chair. I stood my ground in the kitchen slowly sinking into embarrassment and shame at my behavior. I walked to his chair, sat down in front of him and held his head in my hands while I kissed the side of his nose.
"I'm sorry, baby. Now come on in and eat. I love you. You know that Silly Slobberdog," his face melted a little, his eyes stared directly in mine.
I stood up and he followed. I went over by his bowl and he came in to finish his breakfast. I stood there, watching him as he scrambled for the last few bites and I thought how very familiar this entire fight played out.