A three-year- old, fawn coloured, black mask, stocky, a nubby tail pup was found wandering the streets of Austin, Texas, in February 2002. We drove an hour to pick him up. He was named Argos, from the Greek mythology, Ulysses’ dog. He was non-demanding, easy going and very fond of food. He tolerated Royina, admonished her when he had to, and followed me like a shadow. This week was his death anniversary. Six years back, on August 30, 2010, he left us. Sukanya, a Boxer lover, talks of the American dog, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Feb 10, 2002. It was raining so hard that day. We drove an hour to pick up this Boxer boy named Manny/Lionel. Manny was found wandering the streets of Austin, Texas, before Lone Star Boxer Rescue picked him up. It was right after Draco had passed away. My mind was in a turmoil, I did not want Draco’s memory to fade away. Was not sure if I could love this new Boxer boy. We brought him back home. Three-year- old, fawn coloured, black mask, stocky, a nubby tail and with a disgusting fish-breath. He was named Argos, from the Greek mythology, Ulysses’ dog. He was non-demanding, easy going and very fond of food. He tolerated Royina, admonished her when he had to, and followed me like a shadow. And when he passed gas he could empty a room.
At this moment my memories of Argos are all blurred…he barked when we played, he loved chasing balls, he hated frogs – would attack them. He hated being outside for very long. He was a perfect gentleman with other dogs, he loved to climb on couches. He loved to share our bed.
Loved car rides, he loved his walks and he absolutely loved people. He loved to lick the air. He loved to drink rain water and when one of the kids were in the bathtub, he would come and stand at the edge of the tub and we would have to pour water from a mug and he would lick that water.
During mealtimes he loved standing under the table waiting for some scraps to fall. He loved treats. He stood behind me while I cooked, he stayed close to the bathroom, while I took a shower. He woke me up with his stinky breath. When I went to bed he followed. And he hated when any one touched me. He was overprotective when it came to me. Argos loved to be in the midst of people.
On Feb 16, 2003, two dogs from the Boxer Rescue had come to our house. One was named Mia, and the moment Argos saw her he snarled and leapt towards her – we knew she was not welcome. Then Theia came in and he was on the floor playing with her. Argos chose Theia as his companion. When Rohak came to the house after his birth, both Argos and Theia were there to greet him. Argos gave us wonderful eight years and when it was time for him to go he went with dignity.
I was afraid to love Argos in the beginning, did not want him to take Draco’s place but this pushy little fellow taught me that by loving another you do not stop loving the one who was before. He taught me to open my heart. In no time I was wrapped round his little paws. I had fallen hopelessly in love with him. He taught me more patience, when it came to my dogs I was a different person. They brought out the best that is in me. For some Argos was just an ordinary dog, we led an ordinary life, nothing exciting. But he was beautiful in my eyes. He was magic.
He loved me the way I was, unconditionally, without expectations, without any rhyme or reason. I had to look into his soft, kind eyes and I would melt. He and Draco taught me that it is ok to cry, cry bitterly when you lose someone who is too dear. He made me feel beautiful, wanted, loved and I was proud of him, so proud and always will be. I loved showing him off to the world, Argos, I am so glad that you happened to me, happened to us.
On Aug 30, 2010, after his lunch, he went out and then after coming indoors, while he was lying on the tiles and I was on the computer I saw him twitching. I thought he was dreaming of chasing rabbits, and when I realised that he was struggling. I rushed to him and while I held him close to myself he twitched more violently. He was writhing and his mouth was foaming and frothing. He had one seizure after the other. After calling the vet I knew I had to take him there, but there was no way I could carry him. I asked Babu, my husband, to come from work and we rushed him to the vet.
I waited alone, while he was taken in to get hooked to an IV and get anti-seizure drugs. The vet came and told me that he can be taken to an emergency clinic and be monitored, but there is no guarantee that he will be cured. And the kind of hour long seizure he had, there is a possibility that it might recur once the medication wears off. I will always second guess myself, did we make the right decision? But this much I know that I could not bear to see him in pain, I would have been heartbroken, if he had another seizure when I was not there. And he would have passed away all alone.
Argos was surrounded by his family that loved him, the children who knew him right from their babyhood/birth, held on to his paws, rubbed his back, kissed him, while he made that final journey, his final adventure. My strong, beautiful boy…we all love you a lot. Someday when it is my time I will meet you and your big brother Draco, at the Rainbow Bridge. And how much it pains me to lose you, if I have to do it all over again. I will do it in a heartbeat.
©Sukanya Juno Biswas
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