dog vagrancy

Thor the Wayward Pit Bull Returns Home to Texas After 4,000-Mile Walkabout

Thor, home again. Photo: Sarah Navoy

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Blanco River in Texas overflowed and swamped buildings near the town of San Marcos. Thor the pit bull was left in the backyard of his owners’ home when they were evacuated. The dog wasn’t there when the family returned, but he’s found his way home now, after an almost-4,000 mile round trip.

Thor’s story is a bit like the directionally challenged version of the film Homeward Bound. The first leg of his escape was a 2,000-mile jaunt up to Crescent City, in Northern California. Odd, for a dog, as they usually wander no more than one to two miles from their home. 

In the small town, just 20 miles south of Oregon, a police officer noticed the wandering gray pit bull after he jumped out of a pickup truck. It’s unclear if he had hitched a ride. After being taken to a local shelter, workers there discovered Thor was microchipped, enabling them to contact his owner, Eddie Hurtado, who was, of course, relieved at the news, after months of assuming his dog was gone for good. Still, getting Thor home would pose a challenge for Hurtado, whose finances were strained as a result of the massive damage to his flooded property. It would cost nearly $2,000 to truck the wandering pup home. 

So, Thor stayed in California at the Del Norte County Animal Shelter, eating double-portion meals to fill out his now-skinny frame. His dull, flea-bitten coat slowly returned to the shiny gunmetal-gray he was known for. Meanwhile, Hurtado started getting the word out about Thor’s predicament and donations slowly trickled in. 

A languid cross-country journey, in the passenger seat of a diesel truck with a driver who seems to have taken to the pit, brought Thor back the 2,000 miles he came. And just last night, like the climatic end to a Disney movie, Thor returned home. 

Thor the Wandering Pit Bull Returns to Texas