After five years of caring for Titan from afar, the Alfaro family was finally able to pet the German Shepherd who lived on his own for half a decade.
Titan lived in an auto auction lot where Jorge and Enrique Alfaro work, but the dog always kept his distance. In five years living on his own, Titan survived hurricanes, flooding, hurricanes, an earthquake and blizzards.
Enrique Alfaro recalls that he appeared for work a little late one day when he heard footsteps. He looked around and saw Titan, who was skin and bones.
“I mentioned it to my mother and ever since then we started bringing him food,” he says.
They don't know how he got into the fenced, five-acre lot. But every day, Elizabeth sent food for him.
“He's like my son - I love him," she says. “I love him so much."
Whenever anyone tried to approach Titan, he'd run away. Yet, every afternoon, he'd wait at the auto auction knowing the close of business meant food.
“This was a time clock for us,” Jorge says. “When we saw him walking over there, it was 4:30...time for us to go.”
A few months ago, the Alfaros were told animal control would be coming to get Titan. To save Titan, they turned to Craig Sparry, a Metro Transit K-9 officer.
“They came when they said they had to get him out of the lot and they were doing to put him to sleep,” Sparry says. “I came and got him, took him home and trained him.”
At first, Titan resisted. He didn't trust anybody; he was very independent and it was clear he could survive on his own.
But as Sparry worked to socialize Titan, the German Shepherd changed.
“Once he started getting around people, he just loved being around something else other than just by himself in the woods,” Sparry says. “It was kind of fun to see how a dog like him could transform into something amazing like he is today.”
That’s the type of dog the Alfaros always hoped he'd be, given the chance.
A veterinarian says Titan is about six years old and is very healthy, but he needs heartworm medication.
The Alfaros, though, aren't able to adopt Titan, so Sparry is looking for a home for him. Though Titan is big, Sparry says he's very sweet and loves toys and children.