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The Honolulu Advertiser

By Leslie Kawamoto

Posted on: Sunday, January 3, 2010

Titan is a celebrity of giant proportions

 • Adoptables
Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Island Tails columnist Leslie Kawamoto, right, met Titan, the world's tallest dog, on a recent trip to San Diego's Dog Beach.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Kawamoto

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I got to meet a celebrity in the animal world on my recent trip to San Diego.

While at Dog Beach, the famous off-leash beach just for dogs, I was fortunate to see Titan, the world's tallest dog.

The 5-year-old Great Dane, snowy white with a few black spots, couldn't be missed as he slowly lumbered from the parking lot. He's 42 inches at his shoulder and 190 pounds. Calling him "big" would be an understatement. As he approached the sand, crowds flocked in awe to see him, snapping photos with their camera phones.

Titan is a celebrity. Wherever he goes, people recognize him.

I got up close to the gentle giant. I gave him scratches on his chin and pats on his head. How did he pay me back? He stepped on my feet and it hurt! He's so heavy.

Diana Taylor got Titan as a rescue when he was 3 months old and already 55 pounds. She wasn't particularly looking for a real large dog, just a dog that could play with her 120-pound German shepherd. Ever since he came to live with Taylor, Titan has gotten a lot of love and attention, exactly what he craves.

Titan has difficulty walking. His spine was injured in a dog attack when he was very young, Taylor says. With a slow, uneven gait, Titan walks on the sand, while his sister, Ari, another white Great Dane, trots happily by his side.

He gets regular acupuncture and chiropractic treatments, massages and sees a holistic vet. His health has improved with all that extra tender-loving care.

Besides neurological issues, Titan has other health problems. Being born white, he's deaf and almost blind. Taylor says he can see a little, but not much. But that doesn't stop this sweet giant from enjoying himself.

Last year in the San Diego holiday pet parade, Titan dressed up as a camel, his hump holding frankincense, and Taylor got in costume as a wise man. Titan won first place! So this year, he opened the parade as the grand marshal. Titan dressed up as "Snoopy, the red baron," doggles and all, and Taylor was dressed as Charlie Brown.

Taylor is continually thinking up costumes for Titan and even though she's not a seamstress, considers her costumes are "pretty good."

Right after Christmas, Taylor planned to drive all the way to New York with Titan for an appearance on the "Today Show." Taylor didn't want him to fly in the cargo area of a commercial plane and sending him on Pet Airways got to be too complicated. He would have had to endure several stopovers. "I don't want to be separated from him," Taylor says.

Animal lover Leslie Kawamoto has been with the Advertiser for 19 years, or 133 in dog years. Check out her blog at http://islandtails.honadvblogs.com and our other blogs at www.HonoluluAdvertiser.com/Blogs.