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The Mayor of Whelan-Oneida is dead. Long live The Mayor!

Thor, the unofficial Mayor of the corner of Whelan and Oneida, has died at age almost 11 years. He died on February 26, 2021 of liver cancer, surrounded by his loving family who find it hard to let him go. They are profoundly grateful for all the love Thor gave them during his lifetime.

Thor was born in Pennsylvania in April 2010. He was the sire breeding stock of Labradoodles, being equal part black lab and standard poodle. Once fully grown he resembled a small horse. The name given to him on the farm where he was born was, indeed, “Thor.” He was quickly adopted by Richard Olver and his daughter Charlotte Olver, both of Croton-on-Hudson, who realized the perfection of his given name. Over time Thor received other monikers that described aspects of his engaging personality – “Thor Puppy Olver,” “Princess Unicorn Fairy,” “Mister Enthusiasm,” “Good Boy Dog,” and “Little Fluffy.”

Weighing 85 pounds and with a full-throated bark, Thor was the opposite of his fierce Nordic namesake. He may have wielded his bark like a thundering hammer, but more often he resembled a blissed-out hippie lying in the shade of a dogwood tree. He was a big moosh.

A handsome dog with many admirers, his thick black hair cloaked him in debonair elegance. He shed that same coat of hair spectacularly as souvenirs of his illustrious being. Even The FURminator couldn’t stop the flow of Little Fluffy everywhere. No one should be surprised when we eventually find strands of Thor’s hair in deep ice cores removed from the Antarctic.

From his perch in the bay window of the family home, Thor observed the comings and goings of Whelan/Oneida denizens. “They are out there and they are doing stuff!” was his frequent commentary. He guarded the family home and everyone inside as his sacred, faithful duty. No one walked by his house without him announcing the news, or without him begging to be petted.

Every mail delivery person knew the thump of Thor’s tail against the door, anticipating the biscuit of solidarity. Every neighbor felt his affectionate lean into them and braced themselves to accept his heavy love. Every veterinary staff noted Thor’s joyful acceptance of annual shots. Thor even loved going to “Dog Jail,” aka Gracelane Kennels; no matter how often or for how long, he acted like a kid arriving at Disney World for the first time.

During his lifetime, Thor was a fixture on the Croton-on-Hudson scene. On hot summer days he loved nothing more than to visit the dog park at Black Rock Park and fetch tennis balls thrown into the Croton River. He was a flaneur at Croton Landing, a nature lover at the Arboretum, and a ladies’ man in Croton-Harmon where he strut his stuff with confidence and verve. Thor was a dog’s dog and enjoyed special friendships with Misty, Sunny, Nixie, Gracie, Roxie and Elvis who miss him very much.

Thor is survived by his immediate family – Richard Olver, Charlotte Olver, and Anne Dimock who came into his life late and with whom he selflessly shared his favorite humans. They thank the staff at Croton-on-Hudson Veterinary Clinic for their loving care of Thor during his lifetime and especially at the end.

How should we celebrate the life of such a noble dog? Should we weep and thrash, rend our garments, and call down Odin to give us another brother? Should we build a funeral pyre stacked with his toys and send it burning down the Hudson? Beg the Norse gods for his reincarnation, or to enter his name in the great sagas of Canis lupus familiaris?

The family asks for no such memorials but suggests that anyone who has known the love of a dog, reach over and give the same love to a sentient being of any species. A private interment is planned.


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