Thor has always been a name associated with godlike power. In recent years the name has been most commonly associated with Chris Hemsworth’s brawny, bearded, hammer-wielding character in the Marvel movies. Yet this story follows a different Thor, one who wears no cape and isn’t ruggedly handsome (at least not by human standards) but definitely has his strength.
It was New Years Eve. The tiny dachshund was trapped inside a duffel bag at a park in Staten Island, New York. It was freezing cold outside. One of the worst storms in years was in full effect, and his owner abandoned and left him for dead.
Inside the bag was a bed and a tennis ball but nothing else. While certainly better than an empty bag, this wouldn’t be enough to keep the poor pup from freezing to death, in the long run. The tiny dog let out some worried barks which fortunately were enough to catch the attention of someone passing by. That person opened the bag and tried to save him but the dog ran away frightened.
Fortunately, that person had the number for Melissa Chapman, editor of The Staten Island Family and a major figure in New York’s animal rescue community. At 2 pm, as she was driving her kids to a New Year’s party, she received a text from the dog-finder informing her of the situation. She immediately called a group of rescuers for help.
The rescuers didn’t have an exact location for the animal, but they did have a crude map drawn by the dog’s discoverer. The rescue operation took about 2.5 hours and only 1 of those hours was spent actually looking for him. The remaining hour and a half was spent trying to get the pooch to come in close, as he didn’t know if he could trust the people offering help. Yet the rescuers refused to give up.
“All these people were not apathetic at all and were determined to get this poor discarded pup to safety,” Chapman told TODAY.
Ultimately it was the promise of a good meal that led to his rescue. The rescue team drew him out with hamburgers and he eventually learned that he could trust them. While the hours that the pup spent outside were certainly rough, the rescue team is grateful that somebody had spotted him so quickly. Had someone not stopped by at that time, it might have been too late.
“He was at Allison Pond in Staten Island. His duffel bag, ball and bed had been placed by a high brick wall out of the path of people. His chances of being found would have been slim,” said Millie Acosta, a rescuer and member of Fur Friends in Need. “Where he was dumped there were no cameras — houses around but no one saw anything.”
Rescuer Doreen Murphy took it from there. She wrapped blankets around the dog, picked him up, and was met with a delightful surprise.
“No sooner than I picked him, he relaxed,” she said. “He licked my face.”
Murphy took the dog to the veterinarian. He slept on her lap throughout the whole ride. That was the day he earned the name Thor, not just because he was strong for overcoming challenges but also because of an awful pun:
“[It’s a] pun on thaw,” Murphy explained. “Like he was thawing out.”
The appointment with the vet went well. The vet deduced that Thor is roughly 6 or 7 years old. His heart and lungs seemed to be in good condition, although the same cannot be said for his eyes and hind legs. Fortunately Murphy was informed that, Thor may get better with care and time — and, even if not, the problems would go away with a bit of medical attention.
Right now, 45-year-old Murphy is looking after Thor as a foster parent. She’s happy to report that Thor is eating well and gets along with her other dogs.
“He’s a really, really good boy,” she assured. “I’m trying to make up for everything he went through.”
She intends to keep Thor for at least one more month, since she wants to make sure that he’s received all of the veterinary care he needs and will be capable of living a good healthy life with another family. Once Thor goes up for adoption, Murphy isn’t going to let him go to just anybody. She’s very picky about his adopter but is prepared to let go, once Thor’s found the right person.
Until that day comes, though, Thor is content to just climb into bed with Murphy and nuzzle his snout into her neck. Sometimes he’ll even chase away her other dogs to “protect” his foster mom. She’s already protected him, and now he feels the need to return the favor.
Murphy tells him, “You’re fine; you’re safe.”
How wonderful it is that Thor can hear that.