Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Story of a Wee Beastie

Once a long time ago, there was a wee beastie who had a very unhappy childhood and found himself locked up in a dog pound.  Fortunately for him, our family decided he would be a welcomed addition to our clan.

Argus circa 2002
The little fellow had some serious issues, but lots of love brought him around. He got over his shyness and flourished in his new found home.                              

J.J., Argus, and Shelly
He had a couple of co-conspirators who tried to undo all the good manners and training I worked to instill in him. Their favorite game was "London Bridge," or an adaptation of that children's game.  He would get in between them, until they put the squeeze on him. He loved every minute of it.

Holding the great beast at bay.
 Here's your blogger, a few years back.  Argus and I were very active in the local dog education scene. We were teaching the weekly dog obedience classes at the local Humane Society Shelter. He was so charismatic the clients loved him.  He could do all the lessons "off-leash" and had total control in a class full of wild dogs and puppies. I was often told that he "should be on television!"

Bird watching with the first grandchild, Maia.
 Argus had a way of empowering children, especially ones who were afraid of dogs.  Once they learned he would do whatever they commanded (sit, stay, come) they did not feel afraid, because they were in control.  He was also a huge hit at the local kid's program at church and visited the rest homes.  This guy was a well-loved working dog.

 He loved to visit his "kids" when they were attending Ohio University.  Here he is helping J.J. on an aquatic assessment project at the lake at Stroud's Run.  He was trying to tell them,"The fish are over here!"

Argus, the butterfly hound.
Argus was a big help at home, too.  He was a regular butterfly-hound and he often walked the transect at home stirring up the local lepidoptera.  When people asked what breed he was, we were always ready to tell them he was a BOUFU (Big ol' ugly friendly unknown.)

Yes, he was a ham bone!
Sure, he was on the Christmas cards, had run of the house and yard, and was a fabulous watch dog.  He was adored by man and beast alike and he had no enemies, other than some ding-dangy ground moles who didn’t deserve to live anyway. They hated his guts and feared him as a vicious predator. He didn't cotton any mice in the house or deer in the yard, either. That type of attitude suited me just fine.

Kozak was Argus'  understudy.
 He helped me train other dogs.  In fact, my only regret about this magnificent beast was the fact that we didn't train an understudy to take over his job here at home.

Whenever we would work with a dog, such as this gorgeous 75 lb. German Shepard pup, Argus was able to teach them what I expected, in half the time.  He did the work, I just had to hold tight to the leash on the understudy.

So here's to my wonderful friend, a working dog and beloved family pet.  He served his master well and was loved by all.  It wasn't too hard to let him go, cause I loved him that much.  We all knew a dog's life is short, but this fellow had twelve wonderful years of productive work,  and a family who loved him.  We are proud to say, it just couldn't get any better for a dog.  We kept up our end of the deal.

Thanks for bearing with me. I don't usually write about personal things and am not really looking for sympathy. I simply had a few words that I needed to get of my chest. Sometimes, writing can be therapeutic, but it is not quite as good... as the love of a dog.

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