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Vital Signs

Man and dog are like peas in a pod

Dr. Athos Rassias, an anesthesiologist at DHMC, suspects that his wife has a greater-than-average interest in gray-streaked curly black hair. That would explain, he says, the strong resemblance he bears to Phoebe, the couple's year-and a- half old Portuguese water dog. Man and dog look enough alike that they won third prize in the dog-and-owner look-alike competition at the Green Mountain Humane Society's annual Bark in the Park festivities this past fall.

"I think I'll be participating in the Bark in the Park until I turn more gray than the dog," Rassias says. "It's a lot of fun, and it was one of those events where I saw a lot of people I knew from both the community and work."

Rassias's wife, Dr. Marcia Procopio, also an anesthesiologist at DHMC, chose both Phoebe and her predecessor, another Portuguese water dog, after falling in love with the breed on a sailing trip, Rassias says. As might be assumed from the name, Phoebe and her ilk love the water, as do Rassias and Procopio, who go sailing, he says, "any time someone invites us to."

Is it that Athos Rassias looks like his dog, Phoebe? Or the other way around?

Breed: Rassias says that Phoebe is typical of her breed--she's high-energy, intense, and eager to be part of whatever's going on. The couple have two children, ages seven and five, which ensures that the energy level in their household comes up to Phoebe's standards for a good time. And if readers are wondering who else they're reminded

of by the anesthesiologist's curly locks, it's Professor John Rassias, longtime chair of Dartmouth's Department of French and Italian. A nationally renowned language teacher, Rassias pere is pictured periodically in these pages at DMS's graduation ceremonies, where every year he performs—in the original Greek—a rousing rendition of the Hippocratic Oath. M.M.

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