Thor, the Survivor and the Teacher

JF Pryor runs The Real Bark, a Los Angeles-based rescue organization that has helped find homes for countless pets in the area. But the one story that remains to be told after four long years is Thor’s. Pryor signed on to help the pittie who was found homeless and paralyzed on the streets of Mexico the minute he learned of him. You need to see his transformation in the video below to truly understand what an undertaking it has been, and the Pryor has remained committed throughout. Here, Pryor shares his thoughts on the experience and what Thor has taught everyone he touches.


You and I are different. And that is okay. But we have elements, experiences, and emotions that we share, and can agree upon. And THAT is exactly why the unbelievable story of Thor went viral. 30 MILLION plus views, and going. Many countries. So many hearts touched, by this one tragic, broken, dying Pitbull-mix pup from another country. Here is why:You and I most likely do not know what it is to be paralyzed and dying on the streets of a foreign land. For months, ALONE, dragging your broken, pain-filled self around begging for food, for help – starving, diseased, terrified…your body shutting down.



BUT, thankfully, you and I are empathetic. We DO understand struggle. We KNOW what it is to face extreme challenge, loss, heartache, obstacle, and find ourselves thinking that maybe – just maybe – we CANNOT go further, and that we have to give up. Yes, we have been there, and in reading about, and watching Thor’s story – the fact that his spirit did NOT let go…and that he NEVER gave up – Not only do we emphatically cheer that on – but it INSPIRES something very REAL, and very private in us as well.


And so millions of us saw something familiar in the story of Thor, who candidly should not even be alive today, except that he was a destined part of a MIRACLE.


JF Pryor


When a 24 lb skeleton of a paralyzed dog was seen dragging himself through the streets of Mexico, one single picture fired a movement from a group of us that INSTANTLY knew we needed to help. But that was it. We had no answers. No accurate read on his condition. No promise. But we committed. Our original goal was to this poor creature off the streets, and let him die surrounded by goodness, and affection. He WAS that far gone. His body was devastated. But there was a WILL at work. Something more. Divine, perhaps, in its nature.


Instead of helping him finish his life, we began Thor’s EPIC Journey Back. His eyes pleaded for the chance. And rather than going with what we were told by multiple doctors… we listened and followed Thor’s SPIRIT. His absolute determination. Every original doctor said “No.” Let him go. Every indication was that Thor would likely not make it past his secondary illnesses. Beyond the paralysis and starvation, he was brimming with diseases. But even near death, Thor pushed with might. And Light.


Sure, we manually helped him use the bathroom multiple times a day for months, as he was essentially dead from the neck down. Yes, we went full out in pursuit of POSSIBILITY, with zero reassurance other than what we got back from Thor’s eyes. We are animal rescuers. We utilize heart, fact, acceptance, and strategy, when setting expectation for our daily work. Add to that mix a healthy dose of faith and hope.


Never Give Up. Thor showed it to us daily.
Never Give Up. Do not forget what is possible.
Never Give Up. Because Life wants to LIVE.


And when the signs came months later – and did they come – we never got ahead of ourselves. We let Thor create his pace: From being able to use his wheelchair, to the tiniest twitch in his dead tail, to being able to hold his stand so many months later, we told Thor we would celebrate however far he chose to go. Still no promise, but there was something going on. Some HUGE.


JF Pryor


We were forever changed, from this over-three-years project. The Life Lessons Thor taught us – taught many – created a shift. This labor of love was an absolute gift. Nothing prepared us for the day Thor stood and took his first step. Nothing, except Thor. Miracles Happen. Thor reminded all of us at The REAL Bark, and those that have met him, worked with him, and the millions that watched this humble video, that: Never is the Time You Give Up. NEVER.

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Maureen Dempsey

Maureen Dempsey is a freelance writer living in New York with an ancient, 14-year-old chihuahua and a feisty, young dachshund.

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