Every day, Thor walks the same route he and his owner, Claudio, used to do every day before he died, walking along the streets of Capaçava do Sul in south east Brazil.
He’s become a local celebrity thanks to his daily tribute to Claudio. News of his daily walk spread last week when a local vet highlighted his case, explaining that when Claudio died at the age of 58 in 2015, Thor missed his friend so much he became sick with grief.
Claudio’s neighbour, Saionara Freitas, adopted Thor after seeing just how miserable the dog had become. ‘Thor stopped eating when Claudio died,’ she said. ‘He would lie in the courtyard of his house without moving for days on end.
‘It was obvious he was depressed and missing his lifelong friend. I was so upset to see how sad he was I asked Claudio’s family if I could look after him. ‘Because Thor was already used to me he came to stay without any problems. ‘But while I care for him every day, his heart still belongs to Claudio.’
Two years after Claudio’s death, Thor is slowly getting over his grief. But he still remembers Claudio with his daily walk along the route he walked with Claudio for over a decade. ‘He always follows the same route that Claudio used to take with him,’ said Saionara.
‘I have followed him many times to see where he goes and to see if he takes a different road but he never changes it.
‘His journey always takes him past the vet’s clinic, the lottery, along the high street and past the diner where Claudio used to have his lunch.’
When Thor reaches the lottery office, he always pauses to sit in the same spot outside the building, where his owner always popped in to place his bets, and wait for his friend. ‘I have watched as he lies down outside the clinic where Claudio would stop and chat and sits and waits outside the lottery,’ says Saionara. ‘He looks like he’s hoping Claudio will turn up and I swear I have seen tears in his eyes.
‘Every morning I get up early and give him his food, then I open the gate and let him out and off he goes. Since he started his daily journeys on his own, Thor has got better and he isn’t as sad as before. ‘His walk takes him all morning and then he returns at noon to eat. He rests a little as he is now quite an old dog and then goes out for a stroll again.’
Thor still misses Claudio, but thankfully, he’s found a loving home with Saionara. ‘Thor is like a son to me, I adore him,’ she said. ‘When Claudio was dying, he talked about missing his dog so much. I’m glad for his sake, even though I am old, I’m able to take care of Thor for him.’