Ever Faithful: A Glimpse at Enduring Love through the eyes of Odysseus

Dearest Odyssians,

odysseus and argos rennited via eyesofodysseus

Odysseus, in disguise to all, returns home to his castle, accompanied by Eumaeus. They stop outside the castle gates to talk, with Eumaeus none the wiser of our hero’s identity. What follows next is Homer’s touching tale of enduring love between man and animal.


Excerpt from Homer’s ‘Odyssey’, Book 17: 260-327 by  

As they spoke, a dog who was lying there lifted his headand pricked up his ears. It was Argos, Odysseus’ dog; he had trained him and brought him up as a puppy, but never hunted with him before he sailed off to Troy. In earlier times the young men had taken him out with them to hunt for wild goats and deer and hares, but he had grown old in his master’s absence, and now he lay abandoned on one of the heaps of mule and cattle dung that piled up outside the front gates until the farmhands could come by and cart it off to manure the fields. And so the dog Argos lay there, covered with ticks.

As soon as he was aware of Odysseus, he wagged his tail and flattened his ears, but he lacked the strength to get up and go to his master. Odysseus wiped a tear away, turning aside to keep the swineherd from seeing it, and he said,“Eumaeus, it is surprising that such a dog, of such quality, should be lying here on a dunghill. He is a beauty, but I can’t tell if his looks were matched by his speed or if he was one of those pampered table dogs, which are kept around just for show.”

Then, in response to his words, Eumaeus, you said, “This is the dog of a man who died far away. If he were now what he used to be when Odysseus left and sailed off to Troy, you would be astonished at his power and speed. No animal could escape him in the deep forest once he began to track it. What an amazing nose he had! But misfortune has fallen upon him now that his master is dead in some far-distant land, and the women are all too thoughtless to take any care of him. Servants are always like that: when their masters aren’t right there to give them their orders, they slack off, get lazy, and no longer do an honest day’s work, for Zeus almighty takes half the good out of a man on the day he becomes a slave.”

With these words he entered the palace and went to the hall where the suitors were assembled at one of their banquets. And just then death came and darkened the eyes of Argos, who had seen Odysseus again after twenty years.

Translation by  Stephen Mitchell


Keep your furry friends closer tonight. Heck, let them sleep on the bed for once, if not always from now on. Tell them how much you love them. For they hold more faithful love for us than those who have the ability to speak such words telling us they do.


O and OM.

(Translated, from the Greek, by Stephen Mitchell.)

7 thoughts on “Ever Faithful: A Glimpse at Enduring Love through the eyes of Odysseus

  1. What a sad story. When I have a pet, I commit to them for life. I keep my dog, Mattie, very close. She recently went through a double knee replacement, which required 12 weeks of constant care. She has been off leash and not crated for a week and a half now. Happy girl!! She had no way of knowing it wasn’t forever, but she was so trusting and patient. She is only 2. It is so nice to see her run again. She could barely walk before surgery, and had been so active before she blew her knees out. Anyway, OM, I will tell her 20 times instead of ten today that I love her. Thanks!

    • Hi wmp,
      I replied to this comment a long time ago, and wordpress never posted my response. Argh!!
      So.. I’ll try to do a short version if what was my original long response here that shows how much I was touched by your devotion to your pet baby, and vice versa.

      Im so glad and my heart is lifted you two have each other and are giving each other true love.

      Thank you for sharing your caring story. And thank you for hugging her closer tonight.

      Hugs,. O and om.

      • Thank you O and om. This is my 4th true love animal experience. My beautiful dog, Abina, I got when I was 18, and had her for 16 years. She grew me up. It took 10 years to get another dog. I just couldn’t see myself getting through that kind of grief again. I did get a bunny, who was with me for 7 years. During the time I had her, I did get another dog, Rosie, who I had for 14 1/2 years. Grief never gets easier when they go, but I know I can get through it, and that it is so worth it. Mattie showed up at 6 weeks old thrown out of a truck and abandoned in the ditch that runs onto our land with 2 siblings. She may have been born the day Rosie died, so it seemed like fate. I wish I could have kept all three, but I’m a one dog person, and they were cute and adoptable. I will have to post some pictures of Mattie one of these days. She grew into a big big dog! Never had a BIG dog before. Anyway, that makes 4 – Abina, Trinabinabunny, Rosie and Matilda Rose (Mattie). Thanks for your comment, from one that understands animal true love to another. Love in a body, they are.

      • Thank you fur sharing!! And for taking in those in need. I’m sure the other two stays found a loving home.
        It was fate, as far as I’m concerned. As it is destiny for us to have lives with the animals we do. And they with us. Each lifetime together leaves an indelible mark in our hearts. They are Gone, but never forgotten. And are happy to look down on us from the heavens and see us sharing our long lived lives with more loved ones.
        O and om 🐈

    • Hi sue,
      Yes. A sad and true story. Akitas are renowned for their loyalty.
      Did you happen to see the movie starring Richard Gere, called Hatchi?? It’s something you could watch with the grandkids.

      I think Odysseus loved his dog, though he went to war. And it’s clear that the dog was able to let go of life in this realm once he knew his master and the castle were safe. A sad story, but inspiring all the same.

      Perhaps it says more about people than it does about dogs.

      Hugs from one devoted animal lover to another.
      O and om 🐈


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