Featured Station Mascot: Argus, the watchful hound of Milford Haven

Argus keeping watch by Station Milford Haven's front door.

Argus keeping watch by Station Milford Haven’s front door.

In a small town on the Chesapeake Bay across the water from Gwynn’s Island sits Coast Guard Station Milford Haven on more than eight acres of wooded property. The station’s crew stands watch over the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, and renders assistance to the local watermen and recreational boaters. Keeping a watchful eye on the crew since 2011 is K-9 Third Class Argus.

Argus is the third in the proud tradition of beloved mascots at Coast Guard Station Milford Haven. A book of photographs of the station’s first mascot, Master Chief Jake, a golden retriever, sits on the table in the entryway of the station. After Jake, came Samson, a large black lab, who loved children of crewmembers and delighted in performing tricks for them. In a small shady corner of the station, lays the final resting place of these two adored mascots; it seems Argus has big shoes to fill.

Photographs of Master Chief Jake, one of Argus' predecessors.

Photographs of Master Chief Jake, one of Argus’ predecessors.

From Argus’ arrival to the station from the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society, he seemed determined to live up to the reputations of these two mascots, despite his smaller size. Originally named Kole, the crew searched for a unique name that would reflect the history and traditions of the Coast Guard yet fitting for their new mascot. They settled on Argus, one of the original ten Revenue Cutter Service vessels, which drew its name from a hero of Greek mythology. Argus was said to have 100 eyes allowing him to be a sleepless, watchful guardian.

Argus is quite a watchful guardian over the grounds of Station Milford Haven and protects it from what he perceives is the biggest threat; moles. Argus is a skilled mole-catcher, digging deep into the earth to catch the poor little varmints. He then proudly trots back to the station and presents the unfortunate creature to the crew as an enthusiastic token of his gratitude for providing such a wonderful home.

When Argus isn’t policing the grounds for small creatures, he enjoys getting underway with the crew on one of their three small boats. However, he prefers though to get underway on his own and will often swim across the waterway to Gwynn’s Island. He’s struck up a friendship with two labs, Hershey and Coal, who will also swim across the waterway to pay a return visit to Argus and the station crew. Argus seems to have picked up some skills from the coxswains at the station, as he has been witnessed riding across the waterway on the backs of the two labs, as if they were his own personal small boat.

Argus on the prowl around the station's grounds for moles.

Argus on the prowl around the station’s grounds for moles.

Despite his Greek namesake, Argus is eager to rest after days full of hunting and swimming. He generally shuns the dog beds the crew provides and will snuggle up under the blankets with one of his favorite crewmembers on duty. If you spend any time at Station Milford Haven, it becomes abundantly clear Argus adores his family in blue and the feeling is mutual. This holiday season, Argus will be standing the watch alongside the men and women at Station Milford Haven just as his predecessors Master Chief Jake and Samson did long before him. Who knows, maybe he’ll even bring a little furry treat for his human friends for the holiday dinner!

Argus resting in one of his favorite spots.

Argus resting in one of his favorite spots.