I go around to the back of the house and enter through the yard because the back door is always unlocked. There is a great big fence all around that is only broken up by the big red gate that I just came in through. I leave the big red gate open because Apollo can’t open it on his own.
Apollo is my friend. Apollo is a dog.
I go into the house through the unlocked back door. It is very quiet in here because no one is home except Apollo. He usually never leaves the house for very long. I walk to the biggest bedroom because that is where he likes to nap during the day. I find him lying on the big bed that belongs to his parents. I sit down on the bed beside him and stroke his fur coat. He notices me and his tail begins to tap on the bed. Tap tap tap, he says. This is how my friend says hello.
Tap tap tap.
We go into the kitchen and Apollo drinks from a bowl on the floor. He is not very tall so his family puts everything, even his food, on the ground for him. When he is finished drinking he comes up to me and licks my leg. This is how he tells me what a good drink it was.
Lick lick lick.
I pick up a toy from the little blue bin next to his water bowl. My friend has lots of toys. I choose a rope thing with big knots on the ends. The game of this thing is played by me pulling on one knot and Apollo pulling on the other. He tells me that he really wants to play by using sign language.
Wag wag wag, says Apollo.
We go into the living room and Apollo looks at me and says to throw the rope thing. I do it and he says
and then runs after it. I must have heard him wrong before because he brings it right back to me. I feel bad for throwing the rope thing. Apollo is nice and forgives me and wants to play with me some more anyway. We both pull the rope thing for a bit before I let him win because I feel bad about throwing his toy away.
Sniff sniff sniff.
He also likes yummy bones. Maybe this is bone-money and maybe he has run out of bones. Apollo tells me that I’m right by picking up a money bill with his mouth and taking it to the big room. Apollo places the money on the bed and we lie down and take a nap.
When I wake up I find my friend in the kitchen drinking more water. He licks my leg again then goes to the back of the house and scratches on the door that goes out to the yard. He is telling me that we should go outside. Apollo is too short to reach the doorknob. I open the door for him and once outside Apollo goes to the bathroom. I look the other way.
When he is finished he sees that the yard door is open and goes up to it and waits for me to catch up. He wants to leave and travel somewhere. I ask him where he wants to go but he ignores the question and just goes out the door and starts walking down the street.
Wag wag wag.
I follow close behind him. We take a long time to get very far because Apollo likes to sniff everything. Once he saw a squirrel and said
and ran after it without waiting for me. It must have been a very bad squirrel. There are no squirrels around today so Apollo doesn’t say
But there are lots of light poles and flowers and trees and bushes. Apollo stops to sniff every one of them. He even goes to the bathroom on them sometimes. I blush but he is not embarrassed.
One time before, he went to the bathroom on an old woman’s flowers. She tried to spray us with her hose but we both ran away. We are faster than old ladies.
Finally, after a long while, I realize where Apollo is taking us. Across the busy street is the grocery store. I do not say anything to Apollo because I feel dumb that I had not figured it out before. Apollo is out of bones and he is going to buy some more with the bone-money he found.
The bone money!
I remember that we left it on the bed. I call Apollo and he stops just before crossing the street. I don’t think he looked both ways first. There are lots of cars going by. I walk up to him and kneel down and ask him about the money. He tilts his head at me and admits that he forgot it. I say it’s okay and rub his ears. He licks my face to thank me for reminding him before he could make a fool of himself in front of the cashier.
Wag wag wag.
I tell him we must go back home and get the bone-money. He agrees and we start back. It takes less time to get home than it did to get to almost the grocery store because Apollo has sniffed everything already and he is a little tired. I am a little tired too.
When we get home he first drinks a bunch of water and licks my leg. We go back to the bedroom to get the money but something bad happens. I hear the noise of a car in the driveway. It must be Apollo’s family. Now he will have to explain why he didn’t get groceries and might even get in trouble. I try to think of what I can do and I have the idea of going back to the store by myself and buying bones for him, and then sneaking them into the house, but I don’t think there is time.
I have to leave before Apollo’s family comes in. I feel very bad as I walk out the back door and leave through the yard. The driveway is on the other side of the house so they don’t see me come out. I pretend I am just out for a walk.
Once I am halfway down the street from Apollo’s house I turn around and look back. Apollo’s mom and dad are taking bags from their car to the house. The bags make me happy.
They are grocery bags.