Argos underwent the most incredible transformation. Nearly paralyzed due to his old age, this 11-year-old Beauceron had become "cumbersome" for his previous family, who decided to abandon him at the SPCA in Montpellier, France in November.Like many other senior dogs who know the pain of abandonment, Argos reacted particularly badly to this traumatic episode. After a few weeks, he stopped eating and became very depressed. The poor dog seemed to have given up on life completely and was being consumed by his grief.
"When I told the volunteer I wanted to adopt Argos, she burst into tears"
But Argoshad another thing coming. On November 11, a man and his son visited the shelter while a French comedian,Rémi Gaillard, was performing a show there to protest the abandonment of animals. Dominique, the father, saw Argos. He spoke tothe French foundation,30 Millions d'Amis:
I noticed a volunteer walking an old dog. He had a lot of trouble walking and they had to push his rear end to get him to move forward. Then Argos looked at me... and we connected.
Without a second thought, Dominique decided to adopt him, to the delight of everyone working at the shelter."When I told the volunteer I wanted to adopt Argos, she burst into tears! She was really happy that such a sweet dog had finally found a family!", he remembered.
Everyone who has adopted a senior dog knows that it tests one's patience. Still traumatized by being dumped at the shelter, the pup neededa lot of time to adapt to his new environment, as is generally the case with older dogs:
He was so afraid that he was going to be left behind again that he was stuck to my side. When walking, he would look back every minute to check that I was following him and that he wasn't getting away from me. In the house, he would follow me everywhere too!
But the old dog soon gave the most promising and moving sign that he was learning to trust again. Ten days after his arrival at his new home, even though he was still having trouble walking and was still nearly paralyzed, Argos overcame a great obstacle. That morning, Dominique was sick in bed upstairs, when he heard "steps" on the stairs"
I was worried and called my son to find out if he had come home or not... When my bedroom door opened, I saw Argos. He had managed to climb all the stairs! He stayed at my side, with his head resting on the bed, keeping me company for 48 hours.
It was a magical moment in which the old dog showed that he felt completely at home. His health condition started to improve rapidly and the new Argos looks nothing like the sad, paralyzed and traumatized pup limping around at the shelter."Now, against all odds, he is playing, running and jumping!", laughsDominique."I realize that it was not him who needed me, but if fact me that needed the love that he brings me every day. He takes me higher! Since he came home, I go out three times a day and we are growing together!"
Argos was part of the programme of 30 Millions d'Amis that has found homes for 6800 senior dogs in the past decade. To help them continue giving abandoned dogs second chances, make a donation here.Visit the RSPCA if you live in England or the ASPCA if you live in America in order to adopt a pet. "Adopt them, they give 10 times more love than the others!" assuresDominique.