Argos from 'The Odyssey'
Do you know how many people die in The Odyssey? Because I don’t. I don’t even have a guess, besides “a lot.” However, I DO know most of those deaths have a point, ranging from “this person got killed because they invoked the wrath of the gods” to “this person got killed for being an idiot.”
Except one: Argos. Argos is Odysseus’s dog who has been neglected and mistreated by the suitors in Odysseus’s decades-long absence. When Odysseus returns home, disguised as a beggar, Argos—who is lying forgotten outside, starving and covered in fleas—RECOGNIZES HIS MASTER. HASN’T SEEN THE GUY IN TWENTY YEARS. KNOWS HIM IMMEDIATELY. Unfortunately, Odysseus can’t go to him, lest he give himself away. The dog only has strength enough to wag his tail as Odysseus passes by, and then Argos DIES. JUST DIES. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT MY HEART DID. Dogs die all the time in books, I get that, but this wasn’t even a book about a dog. This was a book about gods and sea monsters and war, and Homer THREW IN A DEAD DOG JUST BECAUSE.