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From the March 14, 1940, Eagle

Eagle Archives, March 14, 1940: Newsboy's dog understands both Greek and English


The Greeks had a name for it, and that describes Rex, the four-year-old chow dog, property of Peter Arlos, 7 Jubilee Terrace, 14, an Eagle newsboy. The monarch-like brown animal, so familiar to people who have occasion to pass down Eagle Street at press-time every afternoon, is the four-footed essence of fidelity.

But dogs are traditionally faithful, and if that were Rex's only quality, he would not be the subject of this article. In addition to his loyalty and his Latin name, he is a student of the classics, for he can understand both Greek and English.

Young Arlos, an eighth-grade student at Tucker School, is the son of Greek-American parents, and both languages are spoken at home. Hence the dog who came into the family at the age of six months now receives commands in both tongues.

And as if that weren't enough by way of mastery for a single animal, Rex serves as the trail blazer on Peter's Eagle route.

"He won't let me go past a customer's house on my route. He knows the route better than I do," says Peter. "He'll wait for hours for me outside a house, store or theatre. He is a friend to everyone."

Rex is interested in people. He's the constant companion of the newsboys waiting for their papers on Eagle Street every afternoon. He allows petting from everyone, which is unusual for this breed of dog.

But he can be stern. He is the very efficient watchman of a shack which Peter and neighborhood friends maintain as a clubhouse, and will allow no one to enter without the permission of his master. His imposing size and massive jaws and teeth serve as his weapons of protection. He has never been challenged.

As far as the photographer and this reporter are concerned, Rex has only one fault. He's camera shy. Peter explains this by recalling that some malicious person threw a flash cracker under him several years ago, and the dog has not forgotten.

This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.

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