Argos

Argos was found when he was a tiny puppy on the island of Samos. He was such a sweet little dog that I could not resist adopting him.

He was, of course, a pure blooded mutt. He loved the water and he swam for hours, often going far out to sea.

He would even swim during the night just for fun. His mortal enemies were the jet-skis (PWC). He would passionately chase them away. If some jet-ski rider happened to fall in the water, then Argos would swim faster in the hope to catch his quarry alive.

 

Argos peeking from “Faneromeni’s” porthole.

Approaching the island of Rhodes, August 1991.

(Archive of Nikos E. Riginos)

 

Argos was little Naxos’ tutor in all things nautical. He always came with me in all of “Faneromeni’s” cruises until he reached the ripe old age of 17.

Argos had a sweet temper and was very intelligent. We were very close to each other and when his life ended I was very depressed.

The most moving piece about the behavior of an animal comes from Homer and is nearly three thousand years old. Homer describes Argos, Odysseus’ dog who waited for twenty years for the return of his master before giving up his soul.

There the dog Argos lay in the dung, all covered with dog ticks.
Now, he perceived that Odysseus had come close to him,
he wagged his tail, and laid both his ears back; only
he no longer had the strength to move any closer
to his master, who, watching him from a distance, without Eumaios
noticing, secretly wiped a tear away,…

But the doom of dark death now closed over the dog, Argos,
when, after nineteen years had gone by, he had seen Odysseus.


Odyssey book 17, translation by Richard Lattimore.