The Zeus I remember was a very large, very patient Hunting Airedale with a quiet, stately manner. He didn’t pull on the leash when out walking and he always came when called in an off-leash area. In all ways, he was a beautiful, gentlemanly dog. This, given his size, was fortunate because Zeus had a companion canine named Echo.
Echo was a rescued female Yorkshire terrier whose favourite place in life was beside Zeus’s left leg. Now, imagine a 5lb Yorkie trying to keep up with a 85lb Airedale; she certainly did not lack exercise. Even a leisurely stroll for Zeus meant a vigorous trot for Echo. If the food bowls were placed beside each other, Echo would push hers with her nose until it was situated in proximity to Zeus’s left leg. The only item she would share on an equal basis was the water bowl: there was only one.
Observers of this odd couple often remarked on Echo’s seeming subservience to Zeus. Certain male chauvinists joked that it was as it should be; that is, they did so until they noticed that they were no longer very popular. Even Zeus didn’t seem to like them very much. Then one day, Echo had to have a benign tumour removed, which meant an overnight stay at the veterinary hospital. Zeus was bereft. Where was Echo? First he searched the whole house, following his trusty nose to seek her out. Then, on his walk, he investigated every bush, post, and fence he could find, marking them with much less vigour than was usual. At supper time, usually the high point of his day, Zeus retired to their shared bed with a deep sigh. The nightly bathroom outing consisted of a quick pee in the back yard.
The next morning when Echo returned, Zeus nearly wagged his tail off; in fact, his whole rear end was in lateral motion. He let out one deep woof and approached Echo gently as if he sensed that she was feeling somewhat fragile; then he sniffed her from stem to stern. After this, he turned around and Echo, knowing her cue, positioned herself beside Zeus’s left leg. Together, they trotted off to the dog bed to recuperate from their mutual trauma.