It is with great sadness to report that Argos of Crystal Creek passed away of bloat a few weeks ago in Belgium. He would've been 8 in Sep (parents
Shahala and Terminator).
It happened when we took him out of the kennel where he had been for a month (housing is so difficult to find here) and within 4 hours, the country vets out here could do nothing for him and he died.
My entire family and extended family and even friends are very shook up about it. I never would've thought a dog could influence so many lives!
I got mail and packages from Colorado, Florida and Germany, all former duty stations. I heard so many stories of what he did. He was the BEST dog I have ever known....100% obedient, never got in trouble, was so intuitive and could understand full sentences, "go get toy x and then bring toy y", and even when we spelled, he learned that too.
He had some memorable visits and vacations and traveled all over Europe with us (very dog friendly), such as Hitler's Eagle's Nest, where he rode the
special bus on the winding road and crammed into Hitler's brass elevator, playing in the snow up top but watching the children so they wouldn't go close to the edge...he was always watching and always needed to keep
everyone in sight. He rescued a toddler from a wolf in the tree line in Colorado, which none of us saw and ignored me when I yelled at him to let go of that child's shirt as he dragged him back to us....we had
He jumped in and saved a 220 lb adult male who was flailing in a Florida pool...letting the man grab his tail as he pulled him to the shallow end. He LOVED childrens' playgrounds and climbed up stairs, ladders (if the rungs were wide enough) and go down slides...children would always squeal in delight and yell "again, again" and he would oblige them. He was the cultured gentlemen who rotated among the guests at our parties, putting out his paw for a tummy rub as he sat in front of them...never begging for food, because he was too classy for that....but he would strike the fear of God in anyone who came to the door when we were not home. I had friends and neighbors tell me he was all teeth and hackles raised if you looked in the window.
I can't imagine there ever being another dog like him!
You had a huge part in making him who he was, as we are no dog experts, and the only official training we did with him was the basic obedience class when he was an older puppy....he never forgot a thing, and somehow always knew what we wanted...he cared nothing other than being with you...would rather sit at the backdoor and wait for you to come get him rather than scamper around the backyard and if you left the house, he would be laying at the door you left thru...I have never seen a more loyal dog.
Thank you, thank you....if only I could get over the guilt and sadness....I feel with bloat, we should've noticed more what was going on. The Belgian
vet said the change of food and stress of moving probably did him in (too long in the kennel we think too)...he also refused to mess in his kennel area and we tried to visit him as often as we could to let him know
he would not be left there permanently and to go on long walks.
When he became sick, he was restless as we went to bed and dry heaved a few times, which he has done before, because sometimes he would skip meals. I have been educating myself on the bloat/diet connection and wish I had known more about it and how subtle and quick it can be. Please make sure your new puppy owners are aware of some of the subtle bloat symptoms...Argos only had those two symptoms and like I said, it progressed quickly....something woke me up in the night, and I caught him only a few minutes before he died. His stomach was not bloated when we went to bed....only when I saw it then.
Anyway, we have two years over here...and then a few more elsewhere, and then sometime in the next 3-4 years, we are due to come back to Colorado Springs.
We would love to come by again to see your dogs. We have such happy memories of coming to your place and picking out Argos. It was an immediate attraction! Thank you for the wonderful memories, and please keep doing what you are doing because you are obviously turning out some awesome and top quality dogs. I can't tell you how many times someone said he was a beautiful dog and well behaved, and you cannot imagine all the Germans, in the land of German Shepherds, who wanted to know more about him.
For two years he was also the unofficial escort of the USO Stuttgart (people came just to see him and pet him or to see him do his tricks), and he attended
all of our promotional events with his USO bandana...he even did a commercial! I think I have a photo somewhere of him hiking thru the Partnachklamm Gorge and I will surely miss taking him to jampacked
fleamarkets...I always felt so safe....he would stick like glue to my side and get in packed trains and buses going downtown without saying a word.....he did whatever you wanted to do and was never afraid of trying
anything new...he even went down a cable car and of course elevators and escalators, you name it...I don't know if this is a GSD trait, to want to please you, as he is really the only GSD we knew.
Thank you again, and I hope we do meet again....please keep doing what you are doing and know that even the Germans are impressed with what you are doing
there! Argos was that popular:-)