At The Ta­ble With Argy Traten

The Phoenix - - COMMUNITY - Bette Ban­jack The Ta­ble Let Bette hear from you: ban­jack303@ver­i­zon. net. Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cook­ing with Bette Ban­jack,” as well phoenixvil­lenews. com (search bar: Ban­jack) for this col­umn. Find Bette on Face­book by search­ing “Bette Ban­jack’s

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.

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