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Talos is a dog I rescued from Dixon Correctional Institute
on December 8th, 2011. He is a black and tan German Shepherd Dog, weighs 80 pounds, and has a loving personality.
He was originally called Caesar but we renamed him "Talos". In the Cretan dialect, Talos means "sun". In Greek mythology,
he was the guardian of the island of Crete. In the movie "Jason and the Argonauts", Talos is a giant bronze statue that comes
to life to defend the treasures of the gods when Jason's crew attempts to steal them. His
Canine Partners number is MA38647001.
Today, Talos is approximately 8 years, 7 months old.
Click here to read his story! Click on a thumbnail to view the photo. This page was updated on Wednesday, August 19, 2015.
Caesar's first trip was to the veterinarian, where he received a clean bill of health. Next, we went to the Zachary Dog Park so that he could burn off excess energy before meeting the rest of his new family. He played chase and tag with the other dogs for over an hour, running at amazing speeds. My husband brought our retired military working dog, Saber, for a meet-and-greet on neutral ground. At first there was a little jealousy over our attention. By the time we took both dogs home, they were getting along well. Saber explained to Caesar that the tug toys are off limits and offered tennis balls and Kong toys to play with instead. Caesar didn't feel up to eating dinner but he did munch on a giant Milkbone treat. He very much enjoyed being brushed and pet. Caesar also learned several new commands very quickly, including how to tap the back door knob to let us know he needs outside. He slept on a fancy bed in an XL crate with a nice, den-like cover. Once we're sure he's safe alone in the house, he'll be able to sleep in the bedroom with the rest of us.
Caesar slept quietly and made no fuss at all. In the morning, he went outside and played chase with Saber until we went to work. He also had a good sniff around the digging box. He picked up a bit of a cough in the cold weather, but that is normal for dogs that have been under a lot of stress. After a great deal of thought, we have renamed him Talos, after a powerful guardian from "Jason and the Argonauts". He marked the back of a couch out of territorial instinct, but this was a good opportunity to work on his house training. Talos was very well behaved during dinner and didn't try to steal any food. He made up for his day of fasting and chowed down on dog food. He also discovered the joy of chewing a knobby vibram ball. We started his basic obedience training today.
I took Talos to see a veterinarian about the hernia on his lower abdomen. He determined that the large bump is purely cosmetic. He also recommended waiting until Talos has a tooth cleaning to have it repaired. Talos is very sensitive about having his paws touched, so I have begun fake nail trims on a daily basis. He is rewarded with hot dog chunks when he lies down, lets me handle his paws and touch the clippers briefly to his nails. I am going to give him more time to settle in before I give him a real clip and a bath. Talos is starting to play with tennis balls like a cat, batting them around and chasing them. He is afraid to come in the back door without my express permission. Saber is helping teach him that he is free to come and go as he pleases when the door is open.
Talos is a snuggler. He loves to nap with his head and front paws in my lap. He has also started asking for tummy rubs. He rolls over with all four paws flailing and his tongue lolling out on the floor. We put a big, fluffy blanket in his dogloo on the patio now that I know he won't tear it up. He is doing well on house training, but I did have to shoo him off of the kitchen counter once. He doesn't bark when friends arrive to visit, but he will "chat" across the fence with the neighbor's dogs. (Saber is the complete opposite.) Talos is coughing less when he spends time outside in the cold air. At this rate, he will be fully recovered before the weekend.
Talos is getting used to our daily routine. He walked straight outside in the morning and tucked himself into bed on time at night. He likes to chew on me gently and affectionately but I don't allow it. Visitors would probably think he was trying to eat them. He is, after all, a very large dog with impressive teeth. Making a scared squeak sound is enough to deter him. We are still teaching him to sit at the back door instead of jumping on it. He forgets if he is excited. He has been slowly introduced to the vacuum cleaner and is no longer concerned by it. He makes such sad noises when I leave for work that it is difficult not to take a vacation day.
Talos has had only two days of simple training and two days of actual obedience training. At the end of today's session, he was able to sit-stay off leash while I walked 15' away, put food on a marker and returned. On command, he went to the marker, touched it, ate the reward, and returned to a sit in front of me. It normally takes two weeks to teach a dog that sort of discipline. In addition, he is nearly 100% on Sit, Down, Up, Off, In, and Out. He is starting to get the gist of Drop It and Fetch. He knows to eat only from his own bowl. Either Talos' previous owners trained him or he is absolutely brilliant. I am beginning to think that he is wasted as a house pet. He really should've been a service dog.
Talos has finally figured out how to get the Milkbone out of the Kong! That puzzle toy has been vexing him for a week. He was left indoors without close supervision for a short time today. Nothing bad happened and he is gradually building my confidence in him. I am doing exercises to help improve his attention span and impulse resistance - in other words, he's learning to think before he leaps. He is fascinated by watching me and Saber jog on the treadmill, so one day I may teach him to do the same. Talos doesn't shed much. With his sleek coat, blunt face and stranger-friendly temperament, he seems more like a Lab than a German Shepherd. Fortunately, my husband and I also love Labs.
Talos is now sleeping in the bedroom with the rest of the family. In the middle of the night, Saber and Talos agreed to swap beds. We are also trusting Talos alone in the house for short periods of time. Soon, we will be able to put the crate away. Talos had his first bath. At first, he didn't want any part of it. I gave Saber a bath and made a huge fuss over it, so Talos pushed his way into the shower at the first opportunity. Now both dogs are clean with soft, shiny coats. He also had a nail trim. He is very sensitive about his feet but I am working with him to improve that. It took a handful of treats to convince Talos to hold still for five seconds so that I could take his annual holiday photo with antlers. Fortunately, Ranell McAllister Ivy took a picture of him with Santa! Talos' cough is completely gone.
Talos is starting to feel that this is his new home. He runs around the yard with his tail held high, barking at any crittes who come near. He has learned to play with more toys and has discovered that knotted rawhide chews are fun. He doesn't cry when we go to work anymore - he knows we will always come back. Talos had his first visit with a small child and did very well. He has also learned that the best (only) way to successfully beg for food is to lie quietly and wait. Talos has figured out that jumping on the back door makes the blinds close - the door only opens if he sits. One morning, I found Talos asleep next to the bed, using Saber's fluffy tail as a pillow.
Talos was very polite with holiday guests. His basic obedience training is going well. He still needs a lot of practice with fetch. When he is very excited, he still thinks we are playing "keep away". Talos and Saber were startled by a small, plushy Santa that danced and sang "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" when touched. They tore out Santa's electronics and hid the evidence under a piece of furniture. Santa is back on the side table, this time with a large can of baked beans inside. Santa looks normal again but his singing days are over. Saber helped me show Talos that fireworks are nothing to be concerned about.
Talos loves training sessions and going for walks on the leash. He has learned to "shake" with his left paw. He is getting better at not trying to drag me around when I use a normal collar. He had a little outburst the first few times when visitors came over, but now he seems to understand that visitors are safe and fun. He had his first ride in the back of the Honda with Saber when we took him to the dog park. He went completely crazy with excitement when we arrived. He is still a bit pushy with other dogs if Saber is with him. Talos had a little scare during a severe thunderstorm, but calmed down after Saber let him sleep in his bed. He loves to join in a "family howl" if we start making wolf noises. His howl is really quite funny - no Canine American Idol for him! Talos has finally decided that grooming and nail-trims are a great time to relax, soak up the attention, and snack on chunks of tasty hot dog.
Talos enjoys trips to Tractor Supply with the family. He is fascinated by the dog toy aisle. He tries to sneak up and sit in the front seat on the way home. Talos has learned to stay clear of the lawn mower and no longer thinks it's a giant green monster. He can shake with both paws and will stay even when I walk out of sight. He has finally learned all of the household commands, like leaving the room or getting off of furniture. He doesn't pace and whimper during storms anymore. He has also become very talkative and outgoing. Talos loves to wear Mardi Gras beads any chance he gets.
I have enrolled Talos in dog obedience class, basic and advanced. He is very smart so I'm sure he won't have any trouble. The most important part is giving him a chance to socialize with other people and dogs. He also needs to learn to pay attention with distractions. Unfortunately, we discovered that he absolutely loves to eat June bugs. He knows I don't like that, so he tries to sneak them off the window sill when I'm not looking. He doesn't bolt anymore when a door is open and stays near us under the car port. Talos loves to play in swimming pools, even the small plastic ones for children.
Talos has grown! He is now 3" taller than Saber at the shoulder. His feet are still a bit large for him, so we wonder how big he will get. He had episodes of paint-peeling flatulence that drove everyone from the room. Fortuantely, a round of parasite-killing medications solved the problem. His favorite hobbies are patrolling the yard with Saber, barking at cows, snuggling on the couch, standing up to hug visitors, visiting all of his friends at Tractor Supply, and chewing on puzzle toys. His howl has improved and he is teaching Saber how to sound more like a wolf. He is allowed to walk the property with us off-leash with supervision. We took him on an off-leash trip to the bayou but he forgot what "come" means at the first squirrel sighting, so we'll be working on our long-distance recalls. Saber is getting too old to herd Talos back to me when he runs astray.