Monday, November 14, 2016

Apollo Anton Ohno Creed Singleton

We didn't choose Apollo. Apollo chose us.

It was 2008. Jeremy and I were dating and fresh out of undergrad from Appalachian State. We both lived at home with our parents and hadn't found full time jobs but Jeremy had it in his head that he was getting a dog. Asha being the dog lover that she is, was a-okay with the idea. Jeremy just had to get the idea past his parents since he was living with them at the time. They reluctantly said yes and he immediately started his search for his soon-to-be sidekick.

In late July, Jeremy narrowed his selection of puppies down to a select few and we went to the Humane Society together to bond with each. The staff led us to a small grass area where we could play with each pup. The first puppy was okay. Nothing special. But the second; the second puppy was a different story.

Asha was sitting on the ground and the tiny "boxer-lab mix" came and sat right down in the crevice of her legs. In that moment, it was over. He was the one. No question.

He chose us.

After leaving the grass area, Jeremy signed the papers to adopt Apollo. Since we were at the Humane Society, it would be a few weeks for our application to be processed before we took our pup home.

Jeremy got approved and it was time to take Apollo home. On August 8, 2008, Apollo became a Singleton.

As you can imagine, Apollo was a lazy pup. He was pretty easy to train and at one point about the size of a small trash can. During his first trip to the vet, they marveled over a mastiff puppy but we were slightly confused since the Humane Society labeled him as a boxer-lab mix. We quickly googled "mastiff" and were in for a big surprise with how big the breed was. We were both okay with the fact considering both of us being fans of big dogs.

Although we didn't live together at the time, Apollo seemed to know that Asha was his mom. Whether we were at Jeremy's house or Asha's house, Apollo made himself at home.

In 2009, we finally got full time jobs (thanks 2008 crisis) and Jeremy moved into an apartment of his own. This is where Apollo went through his rebellious teenage stage, proceeding to go into Jeremy's ZIPPED backpack eating Reese's cups (good choice), his glasses and a book.

In January of 2010, Jeremy decided to take Apollo on a brisk walk. It was during that walk that he contemplated with Apollo in popping the question to Asha. Soon after they came in, Jeremy got down on one knee. We were officially a family of three.

In March of 2011, we introduced Apollo to our new home where we would soon be married. It took no time for him to get drool on the walls. He cooperated with our crazy antics of dressing him up and yearly family photos in exchange for many belly rubs and car rides.

In November of 2015, Asha noticed a small amount of blood in Apollo's urine stream. We took him to the vet in hopes of curable urinary tract. After negative results of a urinary tract, we were advised to take him to a specialist. After x-rays and a final review, we learned that Apollo unfortunately had TCC, transitional cell carcinoma, a.k.a. bladder cancer. In February 2016, he was given 4 to 6 months to live.

Lucky for us, Apollo still remained happy throughout his cancer diagnosis. You wouldn't know that he had cancer from the way that he acted. The blood became more frequent and Apollo couldn't control his bladder in the house as he used to. Although he was showing us happiness, we knew that the constant straining was pain that he was hiding.

On November 5, 2016, we treated Apollo to an afternoon in the park with an early dinner of burgers and fries from Five Guys. He enjoyed every bite and actually seemed to savor the food, something he never does.

Despite the drool, the farts, the dust cropping, runny nose, tail-whipping, the loud and sloppy water drinking and the mess he made in our house, we wouldn't have traded our 135 lb Apollo for the world. He was the best dog. He was our dog. He chose us.

Apollo, we love you. We miss you. We wish you were here.

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