The only portrait which shows Antinous alongside an animal is by the artist Antonianus of Aphrodisias found at Lanuvium showing Antinous harvesting grapes ... with a small dog looking up at him adoringingly.
Antinous no doubt was familiar with the Haralez, the beneficent canine spirits of the remote mountains of his native Bithynia and Armenia.
While the mountain mythology of that region possesses many heroes, monsters and spirits, the Haralez have always been the most beloved.
The Haralez assume canine form and guide and protect humans in peril.
Few people in modern-day Turkey know of the Harelez, and indeed, these Celtic myths were fading by the time Antinous was born in the 2nd Century AD.
But he might have heard old-timers speak of how, when a valiant man falls in battle, the Haralez comes to his rescue and, by licking his wounds, restores him to life.
The popularity of the Haralez never died out completely. Even today, Armenian folk tales mention the "perpetual lickers" who restore life to the dead.