My Trusty Dog Argo

I’ve been mostly absent from the internet for the past few weeks. It’s hard to dive back in without an explanation, and oh, this is so hard for me to explain.

Argo was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few weeks ago. We rushed him out to a specialist in Buffalo and spent days getting opinions and second opinions. J, Stella and I crowded into Argo’s inpatient kennel for visiting hours, holding his paw, rubbing his belly, feeding him every favorite food we could procure on our binge trips to Wegmans. In the end, there’s nothing we can do to fix him.

We didn’t think we’d be able to take him home again, and when we did, we thought it was just for one last car ride, maybe a night at home cuddling like crazy. But in the morning he was happy and perky and wagging his tail.

He’s not ready to go yet. We’ve had a few rough nights, but we’ve had some brilliant, beautiful days. It’s been a couple weeks of almost normal time, and we’ve clung to every moment.

We don’t know when, but it won’t be long. And of course, it will never be enough.

He can’t jump up on the bed anymore so we’re camping out on the floor. We stop everything for belly rubs. We roast a lot of turkey because it’s his favorite, and I know I will desperately miss how he grumbles protectively at every outside noise when there’s turkey in the oven. We read too much into every sigh, wake up in a panic at the slightest hiccup. The sound of dog snores is bliss.

I’ve been trying to memorize the sweet smell of the downy fuzz behind his ears, the weight of his paw in my palm, the swirly patterns of blue-black fur along his back. I wish I could keep every little tiny thing about him perfectly in my mind. I wish I could keep him. And I wish I could thank him in a way he’d understand.

Argo is my crash course in unconditional love. He’s made it safer for me to love and trust in love. I’ve reached so much further because no matter where I went or what I did — if I failed or succeeded or fell somewhere in between — Argo would greet me at the door and love me just the same. I’m a better person because we’ve belonged to each other. I just wish we had more time.


  1. Oh Alli, I’m so sorry to hear this. But of course the upside is that, as you said, there’s still some time, and I hope it’s A LOT of time. Even though I’ve never had my own dog, I grew up with two dogs (still spend LOTS of time with my mom’s) so I know all about how dogs give unconditional love. Wish I was able to have a dog but damn landlord doesn’t allow them.

  2. Allie — I’m so so sorry about Argo!! What a gift he was to you and vice versa. My heart is breaking. I’ve had german shepherd fever ever since I read STAY a year ago. Hold onto every moment!

  3. I’m so sorry. I hope that you get a little more time with him and that when he’s ready to go that it’s a peaceful passing.

  4. Aw, man. That breaks my heart. It is your relationship with Argo that really showed me how strongly a person can love her dog, and vice versa. Enjoy your time with each other.

  5. So sorry, honey. Sending all of you love. I adore Argo’s sweet, kind face and I’m glad you are having this time to cherish him and shower him with constant love.

  6. Oh, Allie. I am in tears for you. Thinking of you all and your sweet Argo. <3

  7. Oh, Allie… I’m drenched in tears. I’m so sorry and sadly have been in this position myself with cherished pets. It’s so hard. I’m so glad you’re getting that extra time and can look at it as a gift. My heart is with you and your family… and Argo, of course.

  8. Heartbroken for you. I’m thinking of you and yours. Hugs to sweet Argo.

  9. Michelle James says

    Oh Allie,I am so sorry. My heart is breaking for you. I’ve enjoyed hearing about your dogs and I hate to think that Argo is so ill. Enjoy what time you have left. Sending you hugs.

  10. Oh, honey, I feel for you. Just reading this has me in a teary, watery mess. My heart aches for you and your pack up there. Sending you hugs and then some ♥

  11. I’m so sorry to read this. We were where you are now in January when we lost our beautiful pup to bone cancer. You are so right, there can never be enough time with our beloved pups. We all have to make the most of every moment we get. I know you have lots of pictures of him, but be sure to get pictures with you and the whole pack with him. We had pictures taken of all of us together just days before we lost our girl and they are a treasure.

    Spoil him rotten. Hang in there. I know how hard this is. I hope you will have peace in knowing what a wonderful life you shared together.

  12. Oh allie! I am so sorry to hear about this, but you are really turning this into the best it can be. Youre a fabulous dog mommy. Thinking of you guys & sending you all hugs <3

  13. Sweet boy. I’m so happy you’re having this time with him, even though I know it’s so hard. Been thinking about you guys. I also love that Argo is your crash course in unconditional love. :”’) xo

  14. Allie, I’m so sorry to hear this- my heart is breaking for you. Every dog should be as loved as your Argo. You’ll be in my thoughts, may his time left be measured in memories and not minutes. xoxox

  15. Allie I am so sorry. I almost feel as if I know Argo personally from all you have written about him. You guys and Argo are in my thoughts and prayers

  16. I, too, am so, so sorry you all are going through this. Bless sweet Argo- he has done such a good job of loving and supporting you guys, and I know you are doing the same for him during this time. One of our cats suddenly grew a tumor a few weeks ago, and we are in a similar situation. Even if she were bigger and it was in a place that would make it more feasible to remove it, it is further compounded by the fact that it is actually TWO tumors and two different types of cancer- the second makes the first one worse, makes it grow faster, and makes it that much more serious. Even if it were operable, they’d have to take too much healthy tissue and still run the risk of not getting it all. So… we wait, and just let her keep being herself for as long as she can. ((Hugs))

  17. I’m so sorry to hear this. My mom’s dog (and my best friend during high school) lost his battle with cancer last fall and it was one of the hardest things I had to go through. I hope you enjoy and treasure the moments you have with Argo, and always remember the unconditional love he brings to your family. A lot of people say they’re “just dogs,” but they really are family.
    Thinking of you :)

  18. This was a really sweet post about something so sad… Argo is lucky to have such loving parents.

  19. Kim Territo says

    So sorry to hear about Argo. My daughter warned me not to read this because I would cry. I did it anyways and she was right, I did cry. Heartbroken.

  20. Argo will always be with you, Allie, and live in your heart forever.

    Loving hugs to both of you —

  21. Allie my heart breaks for you. I still think about my dog Ozzie often, and he passed away when I was 12. Losing a dog is so hard.

  22. Allie, I am so, so, so sorry about Argo. It’s such a tough spot to be in — knowing that he doesn’t have much time and trying to savor every moment he still has. It’s very clear how much love you have for Argo, and I know he loves you back unconditionally. Hugs and prayers for you, J and Stella.

  23. I am so sorry to read this…thinking of you…

  24. Oh Allie, my heart hurts for you as my soul knows your souls pain. <3

  25. I am so sorry for what you are going through :( Though I don’t know you, I am almost in tears from reading this post. I have a German Shepherd as well, and I know what loving, loyal companions they are, and how utterly heartbreaking it is when you have to say goodbye. Argo and Stella are lucky to have such a loving family.

  26. I am so sorry to hear about Argo. I understand and empathize everything you said in your post about Argo. We had good days and bad days with Blitzkrieg too. Pets and cuddles should take precedence over everything else. Take lots of pictures while you can if you don’t have a bunch already. Having a mountain of pictures of Blitzkrieg helps me get through my bad days (which are fewer, thankfully.)

    I’m an email away if you want to talk to someone who’s been there or need support.

  27. Been thinking a lot about you, J, Stella, and of course Argo since reading this the other day. I can’t even express how sorry I am. Enjoy your precious time with him. He knows he is LOVED!

  28. BroccoliMama says

    So sorry to hear this news about Argo. My prayers to all of you.

  29. I’m very sorry to hear about your beloved Argo. I love his pictures and esp love those big ol’ ears (all the better for listening, I bet).
    Big hugs to you, J, Stella and especially sweet Argo.

  30. Allie,
    I think you will be ok…..whatever ok is….as I have been where you are and I honestly can say I still hurt for my boy Bubba. If you have time, read about him here:'s_story.htm
    I hope you have many many many days and nights with your Argo….I shall say prayers each day for you both as as much as you do not want to let him go, he wants to stay….next to you where he feels best….but….he will only go when you say OK…..God Bless you and many hugs!!

  31. Sweet Girl…my heart aches for you. Their paw prints are all over our hearts. We lost our beloved Boarder Collie very suddenly when her back end gave out…her hip & knee had crumbled. We rescued her from a horribly abusive life. Your Argo, knows you love for him. He needs no words. You are showering him with love. We had to let our Mia know that it was ok for her to go. The doctor siad she was not even whimpering because she wanted to make us happy. As hard as it is for us, we need to turn them over to a pain free life on the other side of The Rainbow Bridge, where they pay (pain free) & wait to hear the sound of our voice as we come to join them. You & Argo are in our prayers.

  32. Chris Petty says

    I am so sorry you have to go through this but at least you didn’t just wake up one day and your beloved Argo was gone. My heart goes out to youGive him a kiss behind the ear for me, Dozer and Nickolai. Our prayers are with you.


  1. […] she posted this (click): that Argo, her beloved shepherd, was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few weeks ago.  They know […]

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