This is one of the hardest days of my life so far. I have had to say goodbye to Thor, my buddy for almost 16 years. I personally have been down since it has happened and grateful for all of the fun and interesting memories he helped provide my family with. I will always remember him and these are only a few small glimpses into the many memories I will cherish.
Thor was a Norwegian Lundehund, a breed that looks similar to a fox and was breed to hunt puffins along the cliffs of Norway. The breed has an extra vertebra which allows the neck to bend back further to get into small crevasses. They also have an additional dewclaw which gives them extra grip while climbing on the rocks. The breed is rare and almost disappeared during World War 2. Even now there are only about 1500 dogs.
I don’t remember exactly how it came about but I remember my younger brother, Harri, wanted a dog. He had done all the research and looked up which dog breed would be best for the conditions in which we live. I think part of the choice was that the dog was Nordic and close to our families origins. Take a guess how we came up with the name. My brother was already in contact with the breeders out in the midwest before talking to my parents more about it. Well they finally agreed and we were set to pick up Thor from Regan National Airport. Well 9/11 happened and we all were still grieving and dealing with the tragedy. We finally got Thor about 10 weeks after 9/11 when he was able to fly and he immediately helped me cope. While he was my brother did do all the work in figuring out which breed and everything he was the family dog.
He was always a comfort and was so adorable. He was smaller than most dogs so didn’t roughhouse with other dogs at the park much but he loved playing fetch and being outside. I remember when I would be sleeping in on a day when I was off work he would be scratching on my door to be let into my room so he could sleep on my bed. Even though he was very small he easily took over the bed and made me wake up. While he was still young he also took position by the front window and would lay there all day watching people come and go. It was his spot and you could always see him sitting there.
He was the kind of dog that always came running to the front door when you came home and wanted to play chase around the kitchen. After usually about 7 or so times around the kitchen he would bolt under the dinning room table and hide. He regularly was outside in the front yard and there would be plenty of times when I would take him over to the park to throw the ball a few times. My mom also would do the same plenty of times with him. When it came to snow Thor would be outside for long periods rolling around and digging in the snow.
My mom always the one to really take him on long walks around the block but anytime I was working on something in the backyard he would come out and join. We also had to always make sure the gate for the backyard was closed because he would very quickly run out and hide under the storage shed in back. Trying to get him out of there was always a hassle; treats, water, toys… they only periodically worked. I do wish we had a little more of an obstacle course for him that would mimic some of the cliffs of Norway.
Thor was a regular sight at family events. My mom would be standing on the sideline of a rugby or soccer game and Thor would be right there running around distracting everyone from the game. Anytime we spent the day out in Boyce working on the train station my dad owns, Thor would be right there running around the field.
I remember one time when I came home from work several years ago the front door was left open by someone renting the basement. Well Thor got out and I couldn’t find him anywhere. My heart instantly dropped and I called everyone I could to come help me look for him. We live on a no through street with a park across the street and a lot of friendly neighbors. Luckily after looking for almost an hour and 30 minutes the police told me that an animal control officer had picked him up and he was at the shelter. Since the shelter had closed for the night for pickups I had to wait till the next day to get him. I was relieved when I finally got him the next day and was just glad to have him back.
For the last few years Thor had several health issues pop up from cancer when was removed to joint issues. He would have issues walking and moving around significantly and would regularly lay down for periods at a time. Even with that anytime I came home he did come up and welcome me home. Unfortunately while we were out of the house, Thor fell down the steps to the basement and was badly injured. The vet advised us that it would be time for us to put him to sleep. My mom stayed with him as this happened, I could not go and do it and I had to be alone myself.
Thor is buried right next to our house and is now in a better place. I am working on making a little grave marker right now for him.
Even typing all this I still tear up because I loved him and he will be missed.
Thor will always be apart of the family and for over 15 years he made us happy. He had a great life and was cared for lovingly. If anything I can always take solace in that.