Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thor's Eulogy

Thor is gone. After 12 years he's out of our life and gone over the rainbow bridge. He stopped eatting and his control over he back legs just got worse and worse. We had to put him to sleep today. his vet said that if he's loosing more control over his back legs, and he has started refusing food that he's given up. He's also starting to act more and more disoriented. Just kind of sitting and looking at this or that and spontaineously wagging for no reason. He seems content and as far as we can tell he's in no pain.

Tomorrow is the first day of summer. I find it ironic that he went before the hottest part of the year, he never could stand the heat.

We buried him here behind the house, overlooking the gully and it's where he liked to lay. He can see the whole of the property from there. We plan on getting a marker to put up, and hubby planted a tree on his grave. his collar now hangs in our living room and his bun-bun (his stuffed rabbit he's had for at least 8 years) is on the shelf so no other dog can tear her up.

We had a small memorial for him for just the two of us. Hubby and I love our dogs as our children and it's so sad that he's gone. I know that dogs don't live as long as humans and while I KNOW in my head that Thor was a dog, in my heart he was my son.

I found Thor in 1997 in Sheridan Oregon. I had gone up to visit my parents for my father's birthday. Not only did I get to tell dad "Happy birthday" but I got to move my pregnant sister in with them while she filed for divorce from her husband, and I got a dog. Thor's mother was a Shar-pei/chow mix who was about 40 - 50 lbs in size. She had wrinkles like the shar-pei, but was quite a bit bigger. They had no clue who or what daddy was, just that he had jumped the fence. There were two boys left still that no none had claimed. one was all black with a white star on his chest with smooth fur. The other was black with a white ring around his neck, white paws and a white tip on his tail. This second pup also had ALOT of long hair. I liked the look of the little black boy with the white chest. I have never really like the "tipped" look of dogs who get that white tip on their tail, it just looks like they brushed a wall with their tail. But this little dog was very stand offish, wouldn't come to me and just gave me the evil eye as he went to stand behind mom and bark at me. The one with the white ring around his neck kind of came up to me and let me pick him up. his nose was RUNNY and I do mean runny. My sister looked at me and said "you know that's the one you like, just take him." So Snotty Dog came into the truck with me. We then went over to my Aunt's house, her grand daughter was there, all of 3 or so years old at the time. She saw the pup and started singing "B I N G O, and Bingo was his nam-o"... So "Snotty Dog" became "Bingo". Back to mom and dad's Bingo and I went, plans were to spend the night there then head the 2 hour drive back home, pup in tow. I called my hubby from there and let him know I got us a dog. he flipped. I paniced. lol. I told him on the phone "You can name him and we'll give him a week, if you can't bond with him we'll find him a new home". Famous last words were then spoken by my hubby "ok, I can deal with that". Poor man... He didn't know what he'd put himself in for.

I brought Bingo home, 9 lbs butterball that he was... and hubby was sold... Not immediately... "He's not going to sleep with us" I got told. the poor pup climbed under our bed and howled the first night... That lasted all of 20 minutes until my husband was climbing under the bed, pulling him out then depositing him on the bed between us. So much for him not sleeping with us.

Either that first day or the next I got "THE SPEECH". The speech has been brought up many times through the years. Sometimes to the embarrassment of my husband. But you have to do that once in a while to keep them in line you know... The speech goes something like this... "This is YOUR DOG! This means that you will walk him, you will feed him, you will clean up after him, you'll play with him, you'll train him... This is NOT MY DOG!" The next day Thor slept in Dad's lap. 3 days later Hubby was walking him at the park. A week later it was dad feeding him... and a day after that Dad was sitting the floor brushing him... After a month, Thor had established exactly who's dog he was and it wasn't mom.

Over the years I can even say he ate more of dad's stuff than mine. Although he really didn't like it whenever I worked outside the home. he would pout the entire day that I was gone. When I wasn't working outside the home he would follow me from room to room as I did housework throughout the day, or lay under my feet when I was sitting or on the computer. My constant companion no matter what the other dogs or cats were doing. He just loved us both I guess, and he showed it.

Thor was 3 months old or so when he decided he was a cat. He walked about 5 steps across the back of the couch (if the cat could do it, so could he right?) and promptly fell down between the back of the couch and the wall... Imagine his surpise at that one. he wasn't hurt, and it didn't stop him from trying again... This time it was the back of the recliner and the couch. It wasn't until we got another dog, Pan, that he decided that maybe he wasn't a cat after all. Pan and Thor remained bosom companions for the rest of Thor's life. Someday, I'll post Pan's story here.

At 7 months old Thor was neutered, probably the most remarkable thing about that was Zeus. When we went to pick up thor, there was another Shar-pei mix in the kennel next to his. Black, white ring around neck, 4 white paws, white chest and white end on his tail. Zeus was about the same age, but looked more Shar-pei in the face, with the nice square muzzle and more wrinkles. He was also leggier. It was kind of nice ot know that Thor wasn't the only one like him in the world.

Over the years Thor has lived in Eugene, Springfield, Tigard, And here in the wilderness of Oregon. He was content whether we lived in 1000 Sf of space, or 200. He never complained, he was only sick one time in his life, and he loved to go in the car. He loved to sleep in the bed next to dad like a real people. He had his own pillow, and loved in the winter to be under the covers and spooned. He loved cats, would beg to be with kids, thought his bunny was a real baby to be toted around, used as a pillow, cleaned and loved on. Many times I would walk into a room only to find him cuddled up with bunny by his belly sleeping, or him using her as a pillow as you would your litter mate in a puppy pile.

He had a rare wit, loved to sneek up and pinch you during play, and to hide dad's socks as he was getting ready to go to work as well as lay on his luggage when he was packing for a business trip. He loved to wrestle, and had an infectious grin that just told you that you had to smile too.

When he went in for his first Dr. visit as a pup, we were told that he had looked at the sun sometime in his very young life, and he had lost some vision. So he spent his life looking at the world through a fog bank. I don't think he ever really saw anything at all with clarity, but he loved to watch TV. he would come and beg me to turn on the TV. He loved anything with lions on it. lion documentaries, and such he would wag so hard when he would hear them roar. I bought the lion king for him... lol. imagine the picture of a 100 lb dog laying in front of the TV while I did housework, wagging at "you could be a big pig too!".

He liked tickles. he would lay on his back with all four feet in the air a lot when he was younger and before he developed arthritis. I loved to sneek up on him and tickle his tum. I would say "tickle, tickle, tickle" while I did it, and he would kick and squirm and fling his head. A huge grin on his face..

I invite anyone who would like, to send whatever comments they like for thor. I am putting together his memory book and all comments will go into it. you can put them here or send them to me privately at I would especially like to hear from you if you knew Thor personally.

He will be sorely missed in our home, but never from our lives and hearts.

Thor Dog-Dog Yelton
12/2/1996 - 6/20/2009

Parents shouldn't outlive their children


Quawana said...

Oh Em I am so sorry. I know you loved Thor so very much. I can't imagine how hard this must be. I love ya friend.

Shawnee G. said...

We all loved Thor so very much. He was always so happy when he saw the kids when we came to see you. I remember being pregnant with Linnea (my oldest) and holding Thor for you when you were taking him from the woman who had his mom. I am so glad the kids all got to see him again before he passed, and that he had some good times watching kids play. He was always such a "grandpa" about happily watching them even when he did not have the energy to keep up (big fat dog vs. a 6 year old.) and they all loved every minute of being around each other.

I hope that each of your dogs has as happy and long of a life as Thor did.
I know I will miss him just as much as if he were my own pet.