Argus (In Memoriam:1989?-2003)

Siberian Husky/German Shepherd
Picture of Argus (In Memoriam:1989?-2003), a male Siberian Husky/German Shepherd

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Home:Somerville, MA  
Sex: Male   Weight: 51-100 lbs

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   Leave a bone for Argus (In Memoriam:1989?-2003)

Argums, "Puppy Love"

Quick Bio:
-mutt-pound dog-dog rescue

October 21st 1989

Rolling in deer dung, Thunder Runs, and Baking his Brains in the Sun

Scary Bees

Favorite Toy:
No toys. Why waste time putting something in your mouth if you can't eat it? Just treats.

Favorite Food:

Favorite Walk:
Willard Woods, Lexington, and Mt. Misery Reservation, Lincoln, MA

Best Tricks:
Singing "Happy Birthday"

Arrival Story:
Argus was the only dog in the shelter that wasn't jumping, barking, and banging against the bars saying "take me! take me!" He didn't even lift his head and looked very depressed. So gaunt and wolf-like he was a bit scary to approach. Little did we know he could put this look on whenever he wasn't getting enough of what he wanted, whether treats or walks. He was about 5 at the time. We walked him in back of the shelter and he already knew how to heel, didn't pull on the leash, and was a real gentleman. The shelter didn't want us to adopt him: we were renters, lived in separate apartments, and he was a large dog. But we persevered, and in the end he hopped into the back seat of our car as if he had owned it his whole life.

Argus had two beautiful blue eyes, a two-toned nose with a pink stripe down the middle; hot pink ears lined in white and trimmed in black; fur, soft as a chinchilla's, charcoal grey on the back and white underneath; with beautiful huskie markings. He was the most intelligent dog we ever knew. He was a real gentleman: quiet and pensive, never jumping, licking, or in any way annoying or embarrassing to his human companions. He used to go with his mommy to work ever day at MIT, where he was admired (and even hugged and kissed) by more than one Nobel Prize winner. He was extremely respectful towards the cats and actually afraid of kittens. He was smart enough to learn to give up on chasing birds and squirrels as soon as he discovered he would never catch them: he never wasted his time on repeating mistakes. He was great with children, even letting a 3-year-old stick her arm up to the elbow down his throat to retrieve some cheese doodles that she wanted back, and tolerating many manhandlings from children of various ages. The most striking example came when once he was even bitten by a 2-year-old girl in his ear , leaving little human tooth-marks, but he did nothing but pull his ear out of er mouth and thump her cheek with his snout. to ask her to stop. He never barked, but sang beautifully along with "Happy Birthday", "On the Street Where you Live", "If Ever I would Leave You", "The Way You Look Tonight", "These Foolish Things", and above all, "You're the Top". Strangely, he only liked some songs and not others, and would even howl along with the lyrics when spoken in a monotone. Like many Huskies, he was also a "talker", making a kind of grumbly yodle typical of huskies, especially if he wanted to give us lip, like "what's taking you so long, haven't you found your keys yet? I want my walk?" or "Oh. You're home. It's about time. Don't expect me to be excited to see you after you left me alone like this. Humph." I don't know if there is such a thing as a soul, and if so, whether all dogs have souls -- come to think of it sometimes I wonder if all people have souls :-) -- but if any dog ever did, Argus had one, with eyes that looked right into yours. A beautiful soul. Unfortunately Argus developed a brain tumor in 2002. It was benign and removed without incident by a wonderful veterinary neurosurgeon in Portland Maine in May 2003 (he was standing and eating the same day!), and he had a great six months, getting at least 3 walks a day every day and being spoiled rotten. Unfortunately, at the six month mark in November 2003 , Argus suffered five severe back-to-back seizures and lost the ability to walk or stand unaided. An MRI showed no clear sign of regrowth of the tumor, but did show a lot of swelling and edema in the brain, which we tried to bring down with prednisone together with phenobarb to keep the seizures from returning. He improved bit by bit, day by day, for the next three weeks (and never lost his appetite for food!) but in the end the prednisone was eating up his guts and causing severe anemia: we had run out of options: if we had kept him on the prednisone he would have eventually suffered a perforated bowel and died painfully of peritonitis, but if we took him off it, his brain edema and seizures would return. We couldn't let him suffer any longer, and had to put him down the day before Thanksgiving, November 26, 2003. The night before, we gave him his favorite food: lobster, which he gobbled up so voraciously he almost bit the plate in two, so at least he still had life in him to the end. He was the love and light of our lives, and the center of our family, and we were lucky to have met and to have spent ten years together on this earth. There are no words but to say that we miss him sorely. (See lots more photos for Argus at Flickr)

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He's the Top

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