Today has been a hard day.

Last night we came home and our big buddy Thor our Newfoundland Dog was missing.  We were worried right away because he is not one to wander.  He would rather sleep on a bed of nails outside our front door than go on an adventure away from us.  In fact he is so attached to us that he complains bitterly and very loudly if he has to sleep in the entrance-way rather than in our room.  So when we came home and he was gone we were shocked.  It was dark and we looked around with our flashlights and called for him, but we could not see him anywhere.  James got in his truck and drove around trying to find him, but in the dark he had no luck.  I posted to Facebook and as many groups as I could in the hopes someone would know where he was.

Early the next morning we found a post from a local good Samaritan who said she had seen him about 10 km from our house on the highway.  We threw the kids in the vehicles and took off to look.  James went one way and I went the other.  I found him a long way from home, huddled in the ditch whimpering.  I pulled over and ran to him, he looked terrified and when he heard my voice tried to come to me.  My heart sank.  He could not move his back legs.  I felt sick, I started to cry and just held on to him.  James pulled up behind me and came to help me.  We carried him in to the truck and drove right to the vet.

Thor watching over Little Chef as he washes dishes.

At the vet they did some x-rays and concluded that both of his ACL’s had torn.  In a small dog, this can be corrected with surgery with pretty good results.  But in a 150 lb giant, the results are not as great.  He talked us through some options, and gave us some pain medicine and gave us the green light to take him home and decide.

Thor camping with the family.

It’s been heartbreaking.  We have to hold him up to help him walk outside to pee.  He has spent the day sleeping on a pile of beds we made for him.  As for right now we have some really hard decisions to make.  The surgery the vet suggested is much to large of a financial burden for us to carry, and it is an awful feeling to have to choose.

Thor watching over Little Chef napping as a wee baby.

The part that breaks our hearts the most and confuses us is how he got so far from home.  There is no way that he walked all that way (he wont even do a 2 km hike with us without a nap part way and he was well over 10 km from home) and why he ended up with these injuries.  With the nature of the injuries and the account of the passer-by witness it seems as though he jumped off the back of a truck.  All day we have been trying to figure out a scenario that makes sense.  Did someone pick him up?  And if so why?  Did someone try to steal him and he jumped out of the moving vehicle?  We just don’t know.  All we know is that he had a very scary and painful night alone in the dark, and he will never be the same.  I hope all of this was not for some person to make a buck.

Thor as a puppy.

So keep our sweet boy in your thoughts and we will let you know how he does.  The next little while we will know more, and hopefully he can recover enough to still have a happy life.  Little Chef and Little Sous Chef enjoy him so much it would be so sad to see him go or not be himself.


  • For an update on Thor read HERE

22 Comment

  1. Jeanette says: Reply

    My heart is breaking as I read this blog . I bet he ( being the gentle giant he appears to be) that he went willingly along with someone in their truck and then realizing they were getting further away from his beloved family, he ” jumped” ?!

    It is heartwarming that Thor was able to come home with you. I can’t imagine how he felt lieing in the ditch (trying to get up) to go back to his loved ones. I’m sure that bothered him more than his injuries .

    I strongly encourage you to start a “go fund me page” and try to raise enough money to help your loyal friend . I know I will donate … I’m sure others would too .

    He’s so lucky to be home with you for now … keep him warm and loved … I’m so sorry for you all.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words!

  2. Nicole says: Reply

    My Boy Leroy had both Knees done 8 weeks apart. He is a 70 lb Boxer. The recovery was harder on me then him really and once I got my groove I was good as well. We stayed on the main floor and put a ramp to the back yard. I used a towel with handles added on each end to help hold his rear end as he went out to you the washroom. 1.5 years later and you would never know. He moves better now then he did before. If you want any information from our experience please reach out.

    1. Thank you so much.

  3. Sheri says: Reply

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I know what our Sadie means to my family and cannot imagine the pain that you all have been feeling, I pray there is positive resolve for all of you.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words.

  4. Leanne says: Reply

    I’m so sorry to read about your Thor! I too strongly urge you to look into options. Keep in mind go fund me takes a cut of the donations, but there is organizations that will help with vet bills. As well as maybe some local rescues will help you raise the money. Wishing you good luck and lots of cuddles for Thor!!!

  5. Lisa says: Reply

    I feel for you and your beloved Thor. My 10 year old dog, Gus, had both his back cruciate ligaments repaired with orthopaedic surgery 8 weeks apart from one another. I understand having to make the decisions surrounding the surgery – to do or not, the expense, and then there’s the recovery. I had to carry him up and down our stairs for months. And he is not a 150 pound dog. I’m not certain if you are near Edmonton but I highly recommend the Veterinarian I found to do the surgery. He specializes in orthopaedic surgeries and does dogs of all sizes. Exceptional service, very caring and compassionate. Also, he does not believe in overcharging his clients. Very reasonable prices and I had quotes from other vets. They did not even compare. He will also tell you the truth about the situation and spend the time to explain your dogs situation walking you thru the X-rays, exam, etc.. If you would like his name please feel free to email me for contact info. I now use this vet exclusively, and am so happy with him and his clinic I do not hesitate to recommend him. He was a real life saver for my Gus.

    1. Thank you so much.

      1. Lisa says: Reply

        Here is the link to the website:

  6. Christine W says: Reply

    I myself have a loving dog he is like my kid his name is Scooby and if something like that happened to him I would be devastated. So I feel for u and hope he will be ok glad he’s home with his family .

  7. Terri says: Reply

    Many people have commented on the FB post (share of this). Please read some comments and maybe something might help.
    Personally my Catahoula 125 pounds needed both legs done (like yours). Instead of doing the surgery as the rehab was going to be impossible I kept him very quiet with very little activity. And you would never know (after 6-12 months) he ever needed the surgery.

    Good luck with whatever choice you make. It is nice to see you trying and not opting for euthanasia.

  8. K Bernard says: Reply

    Hi Stephanie – First of all – I am soooo glad you found him!! Sweet sweet boy. Also wanted to let you know this blog post was shared to the Facebook page Alberta Lost Pet and Rescue Society. There are a number of people who have been through similar situations and have shared some ideas in the comments. May or may not be helpful but just thought you may like to have a look. Hoping Thor is doing better tonight. He is gorgeous!!

  9. dcamfam says: Reply

    I don’t know you but my heart hurts for you and your beautiful boy. Vet bills are very costly. I pray someone in your circle of family and friends does a Go Fund Me for you. 💕

  10. Bridgette Hennig says: Reply

    I would definitely start a go fund me or something and opt for the surgery! Even if you did one at a time and did them a few weeks apart. It is definitely worth it and our dog had to have the surgery on one of her knees and she was 10 or 11 at the time and she lived 4 more years!!! She passed away to cancer so it wasn’t even related to her knee! Definitely worth doing the surgery if you can get the funds. Sorry that you are in the situation 🙁 my thoughts are with your family! Hugs

  11. Leah says: Reply

    Can I start you a go fund me ? That poor dog 🙁 heartbreaking I’m so sorry.
    Maybe that go fund me would help with the surgery <3

  12. Samantha says: Reply

    HI I would like to say our thoughts and prayers are with you all right now, it is a very difficult decision to make.
    We have had a similar situation with our pup, I would like to share a little with you it might easeven some worries and help you decide.
    Our dog is a doberman/lab cross, she is now 5 going to be 6 soon, she slipped on our deck last winter and tore her right Asl, which was extremely uncomfortable for her to say the lest but it was mostly managable, with a lot of bed rest. With all the bed rest though came weight gain. Which 2 mths later resulted in her tearing her left ASL, we were devestated , she was pretty much paralyzed so to speak from the hips down, she could not bear any weight at all on her hind legs. The vets gave us a grim outcome, surgery was pointless in her case the vet said to us because she has a genetic disorder that has caused muscle degeneration ( basically her muscles were shrinking ) surgery wouldn’t work. Our options were to put her down or live with a 4 yr old handicapped dog, we weren’t ready to say goodbye yet, everything about her made us smile, even though her hind refused to work properly she was the happiest silly dog she always was. So we decided to give it our best shot with what we could do financially and supportively. The first while was brutal, I had to sling her back end anytime she needed to move ( switch sides she laid on to prevent bed sores), to walk her up and down the flight of stairs off our back deck , then around our yard so she could go potty, this was no easy task being she was about 80 pds mostly doberman /lab cross. As well as it still being winter, which meant trucking through snowith. We soon realized we needed to change a few things to make life easier the first was to shovel away snow and make a clearing type spot for us to easily access for potty breaks, next was to build a long low grade ramp like a wheelchair ramp on our both sets of stairs that was carpeted for traction, we purchased a professional sling from our vet, we started out with a home made one.
    The vet wanted her on medicam for pain management, glucosamine as a supplement, as well as a complete diet change. She needed to drop about 10 -15 pds. The vet recommended we put her on a lean ground turkey and fish diet with rice made from scratch from that we could add other things depending on what she needed such as pumpkin puree and willow bark powder to loosen her stool to make potty breaks less strenuous, eggs and cottagecottage cheese for added calcium, cranberries and yogurt for urinary health, peanut butter for extra protein and a veggie, with a splash of bRoth to mix her glucosamine ( it was a powder) in. This became her supper every night. She does really well on it, we slowly weened her off the medicam for the most part because she seemed to hurt herself more on it and forget she was sore.
    This went on well into the summer, however we started to see major muscle loss or shrinkage due to not bearing her weight, the vet wanted to see her up more now being more active, daily walks started from that point still using the sling but where she was touching the ground standing but being supported weight wise by my husband and I on either end of her sling. She would get the movement without the full weight of her body. We started to the end of our block and back , slowly increasing our walks further each week or so. We started to see muscle improvement and growth which was amazing. We bought her a life jacket to use for water therapy when we made it to the beach, which she was not to keen on , but it did help. After each exercise she would be rewarded with a muscle massage and stretch. She loved that part. by the end of the summer she was doing her normal walk distance with the exception of many breaks in between for both our sakes. And using less and less of the sling other then on the return home she would start to drag her feet a bit ( she would not fully lift her foot so she would drag the top part a bit as she stepped ), each time we would go farther and farther.
    By late fall she was walking unassisted by her sling and had lost 10 pds but also gained back some muscle mass on her hind and hip area.
    From there it was walks everyday a small flight of stairs twice once going up once going down.
    We still keep this routine with her now but less in the winter due to me working away from the house, she has healed I would say about 85% , she tries easily and gets stiff, she still has issues with lying down and getting up from lying down which causes her to have issues with peeing. Much like a child waiting too long then they need to go now when they get up sometimes they have an accident, she does have times where she may move wrong and hurt herself this usually involves stepping up onto something like the couch. Other then that she is great.
    I hope my long post helps in some way, we did a lot of research on YouTube as well to find ways to help including different places that sell custom leg braces or wheelchairs or how to make them yourself if you chose too.

  13. Tara says: Reply

    Have you thought to start a gofund me? Or mbna does 0% interest in cash advances for 1 year. That’s what we used last year when we were in a pickle. We still are paying it and have until July without interest, but if we don’t make it then my partner will open one in his name and transfer my balance to that one buying us more time. Just a thought.

  14. Jill says: Reply

    Please start a go fund me page! I would love to help out! Sending my love

  15. Tammu says: Reply

    If u r anywhere near Edmonton
    I have heard amazing things about them. If you are near Calgary the Canine Rehab Centre is amazing.
    So glad you found him. Imagine being a good dog and doing what your told then realizing this is not right and risking your life to get home. He is home. Thank you for sharing his story. If you decide to go ahead w surgery – I’d bet a bunch of us would chip in to Go Fund me for Thor…

  16. says: Reply

    If anyone is wanting to donate for Thor, a Go Fund Me account was created by some caring people to help out. Here is the link!

  17. Jasmin says: Reply

    I’m not sure if anyone else had mentioned it ,as there are a lot of comments but have you thought about crowd funding or whatever that website is that lets people donate money to you? It would help you a lot for the surgery and for medication for your puppers. I hope he gets well and try not to give up on him, I could never imagine what it must be like and I hope you guys all the best.

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