Chapter One: Good Morning, Dogue de Bardeaux
The bedroom is quiet in the early morning. The air is warm and heavy; when the first rays of sunlight enter the room, they seem to float for a moment before settling on the floor.
Laying underneath the window on that very same floor is a handsome golden Dogue de Bordeaux. This dog is named Apollo, and he’s only one year old. As he starts to wake up, he luxuriously stretches out his legs. His beautiful coat shines as even more sunlight fills the room.
Apollo’s parents are still sleeping on the bed. The dog listens to them snoring while he rolls around, scratching his back on the carpet. There’s really no reason to start the day until everybody is ready.
Apollo’s older brother Sydney has also woken up. The german shepherd lab mix gets up, shakes himself off, and sneaks out of the bedroom door. To Sydney, early mornings just mean more time for playing and excitement. He’s going to go look at birds out of the window while everyone else sleeps in.
Wheaton the terrier, who is curled up on the foot of the bed, agrees with Apollo’s attitude about mornings. The 13-year-old terrier is old and tired and wants to sleep as much as possible. He’s not getting up until it’s time for breakfast.
Apollo’s eyelids are heavy, and he soon finds himself drifting back off to sleep. He’s woken up to the sound of his parents sliding out of bed and going about the start of the day. The French mastiff slowly stands up, stretches his legs again, and plods out of the bedroom and into the kitchen.
Chapter Two: Breakfast for Mastiffs
It isn’t easy being a Dogue de Bardeaux, but mealtime always makes things better. Apollo’s dad is a really great cook. He always takes the time to stir up Apollo’s food so that it doesn’t taste as much like the metal of the can.
The young dog thinks that with this much talent in the kitchen, his dad should try making him something more exciting, like grilled chicken or steak. He certainly wouldn’t have a hard time finding someone to help test the recipe.
Sydney eats his food faster than the other dogs, but Apollo’s not usually far behind. He licks the bowl clean and breathes a heavy sigh of satisfaction. Then, he walks over to his dad to say thanks for another fantastic meal.
Chapter Three: Sydney and Wheaton
The living room is a great place for dogs to play. It’s the only part of the house with enough open space to run fast without breaking something. The couch looks like it would be fun to jump on, but Apollo’s worried that he might break it if he tries.
The truth is that the living room used to feel a lot bigger when Apollo was little. As he gets older, he keeps bumping into the couch and the coffee table. The bigger he gets, the harder it is to play; that’s why this young french mastiff is going to play as much as possible while it’s still fun.
Syndey also loves to play. Apollo’s brother is half german shepherd, so he always has plenty of energy to go around. He’s also much smaller and more agile, allowing him to jump freely between the furniture in the room.
Sometimes Sydney keeps asking to play even after Apollo is tired. He’ll bark and run around in endless circles until Apollo’s head is dizzy and tired. When this happens, the mastiff almost always trips into something.
Luckily, Wheaton is always on Apollo’s side. When Sydney’s antics become too much to bear, Wheaton gets up and barks to make the younger dogs settle down. The French mastiff knows that he’s supposed to respect his elders, so he always listens to the wise advice of the greying terrier.
Chapter Four: The Neighbor’s Yard
There’s one thing that Apollo loves more than his dad’s cooking: looking out the living room window at the big world outside. He loves to stand with his nose smooshed up against the glass. Sometimes he leaves nose prints, but his mom always makes sure to wipe them off so the windows stay clean.
Everything fun always seems to happen in the neighbor’s yard. They come and go in and out of their house and have loud conversations that the young dog can’t always understand. One of Apollo’s big goals to take part in one of these conversations; whenever he sees them outside, he goes to the door to see if he’ll finally be allowed to join them.
The world outside is fun, but it’s also dangerous. The ground is covered in green grass that makes Apollo’s skin feel terrible. That’s why he’s happy to stay inside and watch the birds and squirrels play.
Sydney likes to bark at the birds and the squirrels. Sometimes he barks too loud, making Apollo’s ears hurt. The French mastiff solves this problem by hiding under the bed. Then he’ll bark until one of his parents comes and stops all of the noise.
Chapter Five: A Drink of Cold Water
Looking out of the window is fun, but it’s not enough to entertain a playful dog for the entire day. The French mastiff lets out a big breath and slides his paws down from the windowsill.
Suddenly, there’s a huge crash from directly behind him. The mastiff jumps, barks, and spins around. Sydney and Wheaton both come running to see what happened. All three dogs start to bark, because what has happened is truly upsetting.
Apollo’s mom’s favorite vase lies shattered on the floor. Apollo’s tail knocked it off of the end table – he must have gotten bigger overnight. He tucks his tail between his legs, hoping his parents won’t be mad at him.
Apollo’s dad hears the noise and comes into the room. He shouts in frustration, and the mastiff gets even more scared. Without thinking, he flees across the house, looking for his mom.
Apollo’s mom has heard the sound too and is already in the hallway. She sees that her puppy is upset and immediately leans down to comfort him. Apollo’s tail wags furiously as he tries to tell her about the broken vase. Will she see how sorry he is?
Sydney and Wheaton finally stop barking, and everyone in the family gets a chance to breathe. Apollo’s dad cleans up the broken glass while his mom makes sure that the little mastiff knows that the mess isn’t really his fault. She gives him a kiss on his broad golden forehead and whispers comforting things until he’s finally calmed down.
Once the mess is gone, Apollo’s mom knows just the thing to help him cheer up. She walks into the kitchen, and her big golden mastiff plods happily behind her. Then she gets his water bowl and fills it up to the top with ice-cold water from the fridge.
As soon as the bowl is set in front of him, Apollo leans down and takes a big drink. Water slops on the floor, but he’s too busy enjoying the moment to care. When he’s had his fill, he’ll go lie down and take a nap until dinner time. Then he’ll watch television with his parents until it’s time to go to sleep and get ready for another wonderful day I have off the second day and the rest.