As it turns out, the third time is a charm.
Argo, a big bullmastiff previously featured in The Star, was returned to the Greater Sudbury Animal Shelter twice – staff admitted he made a bad first impression. But finally, he has found a home with Randi Anthony and her family.
Anthony adopted the big cuddle bug about a week ago. He has been settling in very well with the family, getting to know the cat and Callie, a husky mix. In fact, Argo and Callie get on so well, there may be romance in the air.
“They had a date night, sitting on the couch curled up watching a movie together, with me on the other couch,” Anthony quipped Friday.
Anthony recently had two other dogs, but they both passed away within a four-month period, leaving Callie feeling very lonely. Anthony knew she wanted a new buddy for her pup, but first, she had to make sure Argo could get along with the husky.
Anthony and her family decided to adopt Argo, “by accident,” she laughed. She joined the shelter’s Facebook page as a stray cat had wandered into their yard and she saw several posts about the boisterous bellower.
“I kind of fell in love,” she said. “It was his big face.”
Argo is a big fella. He currently tips the scales at about 115 pounds. Despite his size, he fancies himself a lap dog.
“He’s this big dog who has no concept of how large he is,” Anthony said. “He wants to sit on your lap, but his nails are digging into you, he’s got his elbows digging into you and he’s slobbering all over your face trying to give you kisses.”
The feelings of love are definitely mutual. Anthony said during his first weekend in his new home, Argo – who is actually a gentle giant – was quite affectionate.
“We spent most of the weekend getting drooled on and getting kisses,” Anthony wrote on the shelter’s Facebook page. “We’ve been working diligently on behaviour modification to deter him from bellowing at pedestrians and cars passing by. He shakes a paw, lays down and stays on command.”
Argo, a drool monster, did have some behavioural issues. He liked to bark aggressively at everything. Anthony said he would bark at pedestrians walking along their Copper Cliff street, and at cars, birds and squirrels. Argo spent months living at the shelter on Kari Road in Wahnapitae. Out there, he could bellow freely but in Anthony’s family-oriented neighbourhood, that kind of thing would not do.
“Having him bark at people walking with strollers, it just makes for a terrible impression,” she said. “He looks like this big aggressive dog.”
Growing up, Anthony’s family-owned another vocal canine. Her father trained the pooch by spraying her bum with water whenever she barked. Anthony tried the same thing with Argo and it seemed to work. In a video she shared to Facebook, Argo sits on the lawn like a gentleman quietly watching passerby.
“He still barks when people come into the yard, which I’m Ok with,” she said. “It has a sense of security that I want.”
Anthony has had several rescue dogs. In fact, Callie was a rescue through 4Champ Rescue.
“There are dogs that need homes that have been in a shelter or have been rehomed,” she said. “Everybody deserves a second chance or a chance at love. It pulls at my heartstrings. I figure you might as well help out an animal without having to break the bank on a $2,000 designer breed. The best animals I’ve ever had have been rescues or strays.”
As with many canines, Argo is guided by his nose and an insatiable appetite. During his first week in the Anthony household, he got into a bit of trouble.
“In regards to the diet, there was a slight hiccup. Left the dogs alone while I dropped off my daughter at her grandma’s,” Anthony wrote on Facebook. “I was gone an hour-and-a-half. Argo ate three-quarters of a tray of lasagna that was cooling on the counter before I could refrigerate it. He jumped up and pulled the tray right off the counter and ate the bloody thing.”
There was some vomiting and there were some foul droppings, but Anthony thinks Argo may have learned his lesson.
“He gave himself a bellyache,” she wrote. “I’ve learned that he is a binge eater and I must have things stored properly before going anywhere (I never had to worry about that before as my husky couldn’t reach), and that his farts can clear a room.”
Despite the slobber and his nuclear-strength gas, Argo has found his forever home.
“We’re not giving him back, so I hope he’ll keep us,” Anthony said.
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