Argos – “The” Italian Mother

Mar 27,

I am one of six or one of 10.  I’m like an Italian mother.  I take care of everyone.  My mum said I was born a 40-year-old. She always said I had an “ice cream face,” whatever that meant.  I like ice cream; no flavor, all of them work for me.  She said, “No chocolate or bubble gum, only fruit,” but I’ve tried all the other flavors, which are quite tasty. Or so I think?  Who am I?

My name is Argos, and I am named after the faithful dog in the Iliad by Homer.  In the seminal novel, Argos waited ten years until his master returned from the Trojan War.

I first came to my latest or current family when I was about thirteen months old.  I like the mountains and cold weather, and I lived in Dallas with my dad and brother, Ajax.  My dad was always concerned that the air conditioning might give out and we would expire from the heat, even though we had a beautiful pool that we could swim in.  He just constantly worried about us.  We were his “sons.”

 My mom said I’m extraordinary, so here goes….

My mom was our pet sitter and thought we were very cool.  We look like black teddy bears, big, fluffy, black cotton balls. She said there’s nothing cuter than a Newfoundland, a Golden, or a Bernese Mountain Dog.  I think that’s because that was our family. We stopped traffic in the little town of Park City, where we lived for many years.  Part of the reason is that we are big, good-looking guys with four brothers of different colors.  They came long before us and are loved by many tourists and people visiting us in our pet boutique.  

When I first met my mom, she wouldn’t take her eyes off us.  She would say the same thing ad nauseum, “I’ve always wanted one of these dogs she would enthuse.”  She would say that there was a guy in Marina Del Rey where she had lived, and he had a Newfoundland that sat in his red Rolls Royce.   She had promised herself one day; she would have the same dog sans red RR.  Well, she got two of us, (me and my brother, Ajax), then a brown named Kodiak, then (Atlas and Apollo, (again brothers like Ajax and me), then Ferguson, then Oliver and now, Dreamer (for a total of eight), but no Rolls Royce, just a suburban with a vanity plate that read “ROCKSTRZ and a lot of drool.

Our friend Marian said,” I’m Keith Richards, Ollie is Paul McCartney, Ferguson is Billy Idol, Apollo is Bruce Springsteen, and Atlas is Jim Morrison.”    

My mom has a pretty good gig.  She started a company for dogs’ and cats’ nutritional needs.  I don’t care too much about that. Yes, I work there and love to see the people.  I can’t worry about making nutritionally complete raw dog and cat foods.  Come on; I just want to sleep for a short walk and lay in the snow.

I like that I get to work every day with my five brothers, and the “raw dog food is good.”  She likes us to eat raw food; it’s super tasty, but Ajax is a cookie man, and I’m a jerky man.  She makes the best wild game jerky.  I feel a little embarrassed to say this; “I’ll take your hand off for a piece of it.  Ajax, on the other hand, has no dignity; he dumpster dives and sticks his head in the bungeed-down cookie barrels and takes as many as possible before the lid slams shut.  Right now, he’s saying indignantly, wait until I tell about the things you do.  We’ll get to that later.”

Our Dad, Brian, brought us back to Park City in September.  He wore sunglasses the entire way.  He had asked Valarie, my mom, if she could take us.  He was a little reticent because he had already given her another of our brothers, Luke, a Bernese Mountain Dog.  She had three golden retrievers, Jackson, Boomer, and Gunner.

 She started a nutritional center for dogs and cats because Jackson nearly died, and she wasn’t getting much help from any vets.  They said to put him down; he had a grand mal seizure for about 45 minutes.  He was only eighteen months at the time.  She wouldn’t do that. Jackson relearned how to walk, finally passing when he was 18 years old.

 He was our pack leader.

He was our pack leader. Sometimes, I wondered why someone more strapping shouldn’t have the job like Boomer or me.  My brother, Ajax, and Boomer’s brother, Gunner, were lazy. They didn’t want to oversee anything except the fun.  They always called themselves the “fun ones.” That left the natural choice of Boomer and me.

Boomer was a bit intimidating, I understand he’s just a Golden Retriever, but this dude was a massive 125 pounds and my same height.  If anyone messed with his “posse,” he would take them out.  I had tremendous respect for Boomer. Mom finally acquiesced, and Boomer became “da boss.”

“After Boomer passed, I took over his job.  It is a lot of responsibility, but somebody had to look after these fools. I thought I was a naughty pup, but man, these guys, whoa!!! Enough said.”

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