Friday, May 8, 2009

OH MY DOG. . . OF THUNDER ( Thor Houston Exum)

Thor is the Norse god of thunder. He is a son of Odin, god of the Norse gods, and Jord, one of the most powerful gods. He married to Lady Sif, a fertility goddess and leader of the women warriors. His mistress was said to be the giantess Jarnsaxa, and their sons were Magni and Modi and his daughter is Thrud. Thor is helped by Hermod, his servant and the messenger of the gods. Thor was usually portrayed as a large, powerful man with eyes of lightning. He was very popular as the protector of both gods and humans against the forces of evil. He even surpassed his father Odin in popularity. The Norse believed that during a thunderstorm, Thor rode through the heavens on his chariot pulled by the goats. Lightning flashed whenever he threw his hammer Mjollnir. At the day of Ragnarok, Thor will kill this serpent but will die from its poison. His sons will inherit his hammer after his death.
Thor Houston Exum is slightly different from the Norse god of thunder though. Thor was born on February 4th, 2007 to Angel and Sox, both pure bred German Miniature Schnauzers. Originally given Tony, Thor was the fourth out of five in his litter of puppies. He was born very small and quite. The first time I met the former Tony was at a meeting for work. At the time I was unsure if I could handle having a dog because I keep a very busy schedule. Once I laid my eyes on Tony I knew I had to have him. He was initially very small and timid. At that time he didn’t have a bark so that made him very cute. Thor is the rarest kind of Schnauzer because his fur coat is completely black rather than the very common salt and pepper or silver color. I ended up taking Thor home a little earlier than I thought because his mother, Angel, was weaning her puppies off her because they were growing teeth. Even though it’s not encouraged to take a pup away from his family before eight weeks I got him at seven weeks old. The night that I took him home I wasn’t sure about anything not having any supplies at the time, the one thing I did know was that I had to change his name immediately from Tony. A few names stuck out and I was torn on what his new name should be but I knew the name had to start with a T; it’s a tradition in my family for first names to begin with T. After about five minutes and numerous T names my puppy lifted his head and looked at me all three times that I said Thor. From then on Tony has been Thor. His middle and last name were much easier to decide, I as well as my father and one of my brothers has the middle name Houston. And with the surname of Exum Tony officially became Thor Houston Exum.
Initially I was worried about having to house break Thor but one of the things he learned while being with his family was waiting to go outside to relieve himself. Although it was still rough because of the small size of his bladder Thor quickly picked up the rest and had very few accidents. One thing that was rough for Thor though was being alone. Our very first week together I had to shower with the curtain open so that he could see me and wouldn’t cry, I slept on the couch, once again so he could see me and wouldn’t cry, and he followed me around my apartment night and day or else he would cry. I didn’t realize how much he cried until I would come home from work and hear him crying. The crying continued into barking which became less cute and very loud for my neighbors. Which as a pet owner I must warn people, if you don’t like animals don’t move into an area that allows animals.
I was a coworker with the woman who sold me Thor and in a way I was bamboozled. I was told that he would be the perfect puppy for me because he had such a laid back and relaxed personality, very quiet and well mannered. When I first met him at my meeting for work he was very small and quiet and that was when I knew he was right for me. I found out the truth about his personality after I fell in love with him. Perhaps it is my fault but Thor lives up to his name. He has a very commanding personality. This is a dog that is not intimidated by any dog, big or small. His bark further shows it, while he will bark at people his bark reaches a new volume if he sees a dog and cannot get to that dog. He gets very jealous whenever he sees me on my phone, once he even got between the phone and me and knocked it out of my hand. But he does live up to be a protector and watcher like the Norse god Thor. Thor will stand guard all day and night at any patio window and watch for people passing by. Once he sees them he barks until they are gone. If someone is at the door, before they can knock he barks. This is a dog who decides when he plays fetch. Sometimes I will throw his bone and he will look at me and walk off. Other times he will grab his bone, open up my hand, and drop the bone in it then look at me in anticipation of throwing the bone. His personality is far from laid back and relaxed.
While he can be a handful Thor is a delight to have. He is the perfect example of why people, especially the elderly should adapt a dog. There have been plenty of mornings and nights I have been too tired to get up for me, but knowing I have a responsibility to take him outside I summon the discipline I need to get up and get out. Thor constantly looks out for me and is very eager to see me at any time of the day. He may be a picky dog, but my life is much richer with him in it. He may not be perfect but anyone who spends five minutes with Thor understands why it’s no wonder we are a team, Theron and Thor.

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