From the time I held Apollo in my arms when she was twelve weeks old, until the time she was eighteen years old when I held her paw as the veterinarian administered to her final sleep, Apollo knew she belonged to me. Well, let's say Apollo adopted me and in her eyes, I was Apollo's surrogate mother. Why? As my grandmother always said was Apollo only had eyes for me. When I first brought Apollo home with me back in 1973, I tried walking her using a leash. As a twelve week old puppy, she was not ready for it, so I use to walk her without a leash. I never had to fear for her safety because when we would walk, Apollo would stay right on the heels of my feet. This is where Apollo's devotion to me started. If I walked to fast and Apollo couldn't keep up, she would cry until I slowed down. Other examples of Apollo's devotion to me soon followed. I brought Apollo to my grandparent's place almost immediately to show her off.
While I was there, I noticed I couldn't go into any room without Apollo following me. When I decided to take a bath by my grandparents house, I shut the bathroom door and was about to climb into the bathtub when Apollo started crying for me. I opened the door and let her in the bathroom. Then i started wondering what was going to happen when I had to leave Apollo at home and go to work. Well, lets just say I had to put something special in Apollo's food dish to divert her attention so I could sneak out of my apartment. If I didn't do this, Apollo was sure to wake up my room mate. A few months later, I moved back into my grandparents place. Here Apollo displayed new signs of devotion. At that time I was umemployed and at home during the day. But I was always gone at night, never coming home until the early hours of the moring. When I would get home, I would look upstairs at the kitchen window and the would be Apollo, looking out the window waiting for me to come home. Once, I was at the church picnic with Apollo when one of the organizers asked if I could work a booth. I said okay and handed Apollo's leash over to my younger sister and asked her to take Apollo to our grandparents house which was only a block away. A few minutes later, while I was at my booth, I saw Apollo walking through hundreds of people. Evidently Apollo got loose from my sister and came back to the picnic looking for me. I could always count on Apollo, but there was one time she needed to count on me. That was the time when she got hit by a car (Posted in another thread). With her nose bloodied, jaw swollen and in shock, Apollo was lying on my bed with a blanket I placed over her. Since I thought she would fall asleep, I went into the living room to watch television with my grandfather and brother. No sooner that I got into the living room, Apollo came in looking for me, hiding behind the chair still shaken up. Apollo was scared to be alone so I brought her back into my bedroom with me and rarely left her site that night. But perhaps Apollo's greatest show of devotion towards me was when my grandmother and I moved into a new apartment when Apollo was ten years old. When I left for work through the front door, I thought nothing of it leaving Apollo in a different house. But when I returned eight hours later through the side door, there was Apollo, by the front door, waiting for me to come home. Two years later, this episode was repeated. We had just moved into a new house and I had to leave Apollo at home when I went to work. My grandmother's brother and his wife came over to the house for a visit that evening. When my grandmother told her brother that Apollo was waiting by the door ever since I left for work, her brother replied that he never seen such devotion in a dog before. When Apollo's time had come, I knew I had to be there for her as she was always there for me. I made Apollo's last night a special one (Tears are starting to fall from my eyes as I write this). Apollo's favorite food was pizza, so I ordered a large pizza and let her eat as much as she wanted. We went to bed that night and I prayed the next day would never come. But when it did, I knew what I had to do for Apollo. Apollo was always afraid of going to the veterinarian and would shake with fear until we left. I did not want Apollo's last memory to be going to a place where she was always afraid that she would never leave. So I got a sleeping pill from the veterinarian and I gave it to her. When she fell asleep, I carried her into my car and we took a trip that I was hoping would last forever to the veterinarian's office. When Apollo and I arrived, we waited for Doctor Bremer in one of the examining rooms. Then, as I held Apollo's paw, Doctor Bremer injected into Apollo the medicine that would cause Apollo to sleep for an eternity. As Apollo faded from life, tears started falling from my eyes and I started crying. I just lost the best friend I ever had.