Lost and Found: The mystery of the lost and found dog
By Rose Panieri email@example.com January 28, 2013 4:18PM
The statue of Thor that disappeared and reappeared. | Submitted photo
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:40AM
Alicia O’Connor of Plainfield called to share a mystery that began 17 years ago, with a Rottweiler named Thor.
O’Connor and her husband, Bob, were newly married and owners of a modest home near 135th Street and Plainfield-Naperville Road. Because both were animal lovers, they fenced their yard and dreamed of a dog.
“The day the fence was finished, we began our search for a Rottweiler, because we both grew up with them,” she said. “We found a breeder in Bloomington, and that’s where we first laid eyes on Thor.”
At 6 weeks of age, the pup was the runt of the litter — his brothers and sisters were far superior. Still, the O’Connors had fallen in love. As a joke, they named the pup after the Nordic god of thunder. As it turned out, Thor grew into his name.
“Within the next year, Thor grew to the size of a small horse,” O’Connor said. “But he maintained the personality of a runt. When our son was born, he was such a gentle companion and so very protective of him.”
Thor loved his little fenced yard. According to O’Connor, he would snooze in a spot where the warm sun lingered every afternoon.
About five years ago, Thor managed to slip out of the yard. He had been missing a week, and the O’Connors feared the worst, resigning themselves to the sad fact that Thor was gone.
“A couple of days later, I happened to look out, and there was Thor sunning himself in his favorite spot,” she said. “He couldn’t have gotten into the yard because the gate was closed. I never did find out how he got back into the yard.”
The years passed, and the formerly hearty dog began to fail.
“One day, Thor could no longer eat, and we took him to the vet,” O’Connor said. “He found a mass in his throat — it was cancer. We considered chemo, but the vet said there was little chance he would recover.”
As any human in love with a dog knows, having your best friend in the world euthanized is about as painful as it gets. Two years after the fact, O’Connor was still unable to discuss the last day of Thor’s life.
“About a year later, we found a statue of a Rottweiler that reminded us of Thor,” O’Connor said. “We put it in Thor’s favorite place — where we had also buried his ashes. It was comforting to look out and imagine his spirit napping in the sun …”
In the early morning hours July 8, O’Connor looked out the window and noticed the statue was gone. The O’Connors searched the neighborhood, asking if anyone saw the thief. No one had.
“About a week later, I returned from running an errand, and — to my amazement — the statue was back,” she said. “I remembered how Thor had mysteriously returned years before, and I got this really weird feeling — a magical feeling.”
There are times in the wee morning hours when O’Connor gazes out the window and swears she sees a Rottweiler-shaped shadow looking wistfully back at her, wagging its tail.
“There are a lot of things we don’t understand,” she said. “I’m hoping to see Thor again when my own time comes.”
If you’ve lost — or found — something, call 815-773-7178 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.