???Mother, don???t you have any self respect???? Asked the sleepy and bewildered puppies, as the bark of their mother has awakened them in the middle of the night once again. Every day you are caned and kicked out of this place for no fault .Yet you choose to sleep here with your ears on duty to protect those who harm us? This contradicts your training. Why are you so vindictive of the male dogs which come to harm us then? With composed and sparkling fluorescent green eyes the mother cuddled its puppies while letting out his routine midnight bark to keep the burglars away. Behind the back gate of the church, the thieves cursed the most responsible volunteer of the church who is unfortunately not allowed inside.???What???s with this dog???? said the thief in frustration as he walked away frustrated.
???Children, it???s time for you to understand our bond with human. There is good and evil everywhere. Like the dogs which harm my children are evil. But our ancestors have taught us one thing. People are our masters, our parents. They are holy being who feed us and give us shelter. What if some of them are harsh to us? Don???t you see the way, Father look at us when he enters the church every day? It???s not them; it???s their religion which taught them to prohibit us from church. We eat our meat raw, we fight in clans and become ferocious while sharing food with others, they have every reason to be scared of us. But we should show them our love and wait for them to reciprocate. If we can turn one into our friend, that???s our success. We have lived with them, for them, for generations and you should learn the same as we were born to follow and protect them.???
???Are these the things you make up when we are busy sleeping in the noon? Don???t you realise that the Father feeds us because you protect the church, not because you wag your tail to him and his followers.??? The mother laughed,??? It???s on the way we see things that make all the difference???. I know the Father loves me by the way he looks into my eyes everyday when he enters the church. I see how he puts his head down with guilt and shame when his religion prevents him to save me from getting beaten up during the Service. Let me tell you an ancient story I heard once from the Father when I was alone with him in the church.???
???I will tell you about Argos, one of our ancestors whose name has been etched in the history for faithfulness. ??Argos was Odysseus, the legendary Greek king???s faithful??dog. After ten years fighting in Troy, followed by ten more years struggling to get home to Ithaca, Odysseus finally arrives at his homeland. In his absence, reckless suitors have taken over his house in hopes of marrying his wife??Penelope. In order to secretly re-enter his house to ultimately spring a surprise attack on the suitors, Odysseus disguises himself as a beggar, and only his son??Telemachus??is told of his true identity. As Odysseus approaches his home, he finds Argos lying neglected on a pile of cow manure, infested with lice, old and very tired. This is a sharp contrast to the dog Odysseus left behind; Argos used to be known for his speed and strength and his superior tracking skills. Unlike everyone else, including??Eumaeus, a lifelong friend, Argos recognizes Odysseus at once and he has just enough strength to drop his ears and wag his tail but cannot get up to greet his master. Unable to greet his beloved dog, as this would betray who he really was, Odysseus passes by (but not without shedding a tear) and enters his house, and Argos dies a peaceful death after meeting his master for the one last time.
The simplicity of the relationship between Argos and Odysseus allows their reunion to be immediate and sincere and beautiful enough to be carried down the history of anecdotes of love and faithfulness between man and dog. Argos was never furious with his master as he suffered for years. He never bothered to leave the place with the belief that his master would come back and give that loving glance which was enough for him to die in peace.???
Is this how we should think mother???? asked the awestruck puppies.
???You already think this way. You just don???t know it!??? It???s in our blood to love human. We follow them, we protect them and we live for them no matter how they treat us. Love is very contaminating! We have come a long way. Don???t you see now so many children feed us with bread and their share of biscuit as we wag their tails to them?
Children understand us better because they are closer to God. They know that it???s not God who restrict us as consider us sinful. It???s all in the mind of some rigid human. After all God created us just like he created men, how can he ever resent us? Very soon all men will realise this. Till then our duty is to be the harbinger of love and stand for and protect them with our lives.???
And then the morning dawned and they all cuddled together to a peaceful sleep as now the church is safe.
???As they were speaking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised his head and picked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Odysseus had bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any enjoyment from him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come and draw it away to manure the great close; and he was full of fleas. As soon as he saw Odysseus standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When Odysseus saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaeus seeing it, and said:
???Eumaeus, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show????
???This dog,??? answered Eumaeus, ???belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Odysseus left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their work when their master???s hand is no longer over them, for Zeus takes half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him.???
So saying he entered the well-built mansion, and made straight for the riotous pretenders in the hall. But Argos passed into the darkness of death, now that he had fulfilled his destiny of faith and seen his master once more after twenty years.???
???Homer,??Odyssey, Book 17, lines 290-327