Rescue dog Thor beats the odds to make full recovery
THE little terrier is named after a Norse god to honour his courage and determination to beat the odds.
Thor, tortured and left close to death by a brutal Cork dog fighting ring, is now revelling in his new adopted home and return to health.
"It is a miracle that he not only survived but recovered to be as well as he is today," said dog behaviour expert, Nanci Creedon.
Thor was found abandoned last March with injuries so severe it was feared he couldn't survive.
"When he was found first he had flesh torn from his neck, flesh missing where ropes had been tied around his legs and his hind leg had to be removed at the hip as the bone was smashed into pieces," Nanci said.
Dog Action Welfare Group (DAWG) supported Thor and his medical care was provided by veterinary physiotherapist, Emma Robertson.
DAWG's Margaret Twohig coined the name Thor: "A big name for a small dog but fully deserved because of his huge heart and the incredible courage he showed in enduring what he did."
After six weeks in intensive care, a veterinary nurse took Thor home to care for him and then Nanci took over looking after him.
The biggest challenge was helping the terrier overcome his terror of humans.
"We believe from the injuries he sustained that he was used as a 'bait' dog which meant he was dangled over a dog fighting pit and mauled by other dogs to get their blood lust up," Nanci added.
"It took weeks before Thor would trust me enough to allow me to touch him.
When photos of Thor were published in the Irish Independent, he became an Internet sensation with hundreds of people from across Ireland and the UK wanting to adopt him.
A Garda probe was also launched into the suspected dog fighting ring that cruelly abused him.
"Lots of Thor's online fans came forward to re-home him but I was ridiculously fussy waiting for the ideal home to come along – and it has," Nanci added.
Thor's new guardian is Daragh Quinn whose Cork home provides Thor with ample gardens to roam around and the security of a wall and gates.
Daragh has another terrier, Andy, who has become Thor's best friend in the space of their first week together.
"I took it slowly and carefully but it has worked out wonderfully. Thor loves it here, we love caring for him and he is great company for Andy," Daragh said.
The terrier now proudly sleeps in an Angry Birds kennel he took over from one of Daragh's cats.
"Thor's recovery is such that he now loves to have his old wounds scratched.
"It is hilarious to scratch him on his left side," Nanci laughed.
"He loves it because, without his left rear leg, it's an area he cannot reach. When you scratch him on his side, he stays frozen and the stump of his leg works overtime as if he believes he is itching himself."