|Roxy with one of her indestructible ring toys (May 2007)|
I dreaded walking up the fronts steps these last five days. Apollo met me at the door, but his tail didn't thump-thump-thump against the dividing rail between the entryway and the dining area. He wagged his tail at the sight of me, but he wasn't crowded out of the way by Roxy. She usually stood front and center, eagerly gripping her ring toy in her mouth, dancing back and forth in front of Apollo. I usually had to order them both to back up so I could squeeze through the screen door.
I would carefully thread the needle of swirling Rottweilers and unburden myself of my purse and laptop case in the great room. Once my hands were free, I could pet each of them, although Roxy would continually circle around me in an effort to head Apollo off from getting too much attention.
If I decided to sit down, Roxy would either approach me and plop herself down on my feet, facing away from me, or continue circling the great room with her ring toy. We affectionately called this parading around 'circling the wagons.' Sometimes Apollo would stealthily attempt to snatch the toy from her jaws and then the fun really began.
Roxy, being the nearly full blooded Rottweiler, could easily keep Apollo, the half-breed, from her toy. Her jaw strength and stubbornness exceeded his. But Apollo never played fair and used stealth and guile to trick Roxy into dropping it. Sometimes, he would even go so far as to lay on the ring toy, which drove Roxy into a fit of apoplexy. Eventually she would start circling him faster and faster and even go so far as to bark repeatedly at him. Unless Terry or I told Apollo to get up, he would ignore Roxy's tantrum.
Roxy's ring toys sit idle in the great room. I've tried a couple of times this week, as has Terry, to get Apollo to play catch and fetch, but Apollo only made half-hearted attempts. Apollo would much prefer to play tug-of-war with Roxy. He still doesn't understand why she's gone. If only I spoke better dog, then I might be able to tell him what happened. Perhaps it's a blessing for him that I can't.