At The Table With Argy Traten
You may not know Argy by name, but many of you see him early each morning checking out Reeves Park. He is the self-proclaimed mayor of the park. Argy and his human owner and companion, Sam Traten, spend almost an hour surveying the park. He likes to check out all the new smells and is known to sniff the entire park on good weather days.
Argy mentioned to me that he likes children and ladies and most other dogs (but not all). He is not crazy about things with wheels that go ‘round and ‘round. His chase instinct plugs in.
Several years ago, as Sam lives alone, he decided he wanted an animal companion to bring life into his household. So for two years, the search went on. Just when he almost gave up, Argy came along through a connection from a neighbor friend of one of Sam’s daughters. With Sam, he has found his forever home.
Argy and Sam met when Argy (short for Argus) was 2½ years old. Today, he is 3years old. Argy (not Sam) first belonged to a lady, who, due to ill health, had to find him a new home. Argy mentioned to me because his formative years were with this lady as the reason he likes ladies better than men.
Argy is a black Scottish terrier. This breed of dogs is known to be aloof and independent. They are excellent in what is called being a “ratter” (hunting rats and mice and other burrowing vermin) in native Scotland’s sheep, cattle and other livestock barns and lots. They have an excellent sense of smell, which enables them to be great hunters. Stout bones and muscled legs make them great diggers. They were turned out to hunt on their own, without human direction, which may explain their strong self-reliance. It may also account for their resistance to a spoken command.
Scotties are a high-energy dog. The average Scottish Terrier weighs between 19 to 22 pounds. Argy would not disclose his weight for this interview.
Not having grown up with any animals or pets, I am not what you would call a dog lover. When I was about 3 years old, a 5-pound ball (dog) of fluff knock me over, and I have never quite recovered from it. But I fell in love with Argy. I could not stop petting his silky coat. And he did not seem to mind my doing so.
Argy’s domain, Reeves Park, was opened on July 6, 1878. It is bordered by Main and Starr streets and Second and Third avenues. Samuel Reeves donated the land to town to house a statue to honor his father, David Reeves. The senior Reeves founded the Phoenixville Iron Co. Most noted is the park’s bandshell, which continues to offer outstanding events to enjoy. Over the years, gazebos and other additions were added.
Argy’s diet is mainly dry commercial kibbled salmon and sweet potatoes with no grains at all. He supplements this with raw cheap beef soup bones heavy with marrow. His special dish substitutes raw lamb necks, bone-in, also cheap. Whatever his diet, he thrives. He dines twice a day and spends the rest of his day making Sam fetch and throw the balls and toys he digs out of the basket his previous lady owner provided as a going away present.
Argy Traten and Bette Banjack.