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'The Yenisey began life with a groan and ended with a boldness we could never dream of'
A.P. Chekhov, 1890

Hero dog that saved owner during three weeks lost in chilly Siberian wilderness has died

By The Siberian Times reporter
29 October 2018

Vets failed to save bullterrier who kept his master warm on cold nights as pair avoided attack by bears and wolves.

Tor underwent surgery and was in unstable condition for days afterwards; last night the dog died. Picture: Instagram

Vladimir Vinogradov, 65, from Kranosyarsk and his white dog Tor went missing in early October. 

A hunt by the Emergencies Ministry and some 100 searchers failed to locate them, and they were given up for dead.  

Rescuers spent three weeks checking 100 square kilometres of forest but believed  it was impossible to survive for so long. 

There were fears the pair had been attacked by wild animals. 

But on 21 October Vladimir and his dog walked out of the forest close to the village of Kuskun some 54km east of Krasnoyarsk. 

Viktor and Tor in clinic

Viktor Vinogradov brought Tor to yhe clinic. Picture:KP

They were very thin and exhausted, but otherwise seemed well.

They survived by hugging each other and warming each other up in a hut made of fir tree branches. 

Vladimir was drinking vegetable oil and chewed fir tree tar. 

Luckily, Vladimir had a box of matches with him and managed to cook and catch mice for Tor to eat.

Yet the hunger was so strong that the bullterrier was chewing on owner’s coat and backpack. 

Tor was checked by Krasnoyarsk vet and was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction. 

He underwent surgery and was in unstable condition for days afterwards; last night the dog died.

Viktor with Tor Tatiana and Tor

Tatiana posted Tor's pics in her social media. 

‘Tor is gone; doctors did all in their power but the miracle didn’t happen’, Vladimir’s daughter Tatiana posted on her social networks.

People in Krasnoyarsk who helped with searches and worried for the man and his dog went to social media to express condolences. 

‘Really lost for words to support you and express our heartfelt condolences. Wishing you all to be strong. Thor was loved by everyone in your family, he knew it and was happy to be with you for as long as he could’, said one of the commentators. 

Marina from Krasnoyarsk said in comment: ‘Your dog showed us yet again that dogs have hearts of gold. Thor stayed with your father all the way through their ordeal, he is a hero and will be remembered by all us’. 

Jacket that Tor tried to eat


The hunger was so strong that the bullterrier was chewing on owner’s coat‘It is incredible that they managed to survive. 

The pensioner told how the scariest moment was when they suddenly saw a mother bear and its cub.

‘I was frightened, for myself and Tor,’ he said. 

‘I rushed at the dog, and covered him, clamping his mouth. 

‘If he had started barking, the bear would have torn him apart. 

‘Then it would have got me. But we happily escaped.’

He told how in the cold ‘we slept, hugging each other’ in a makeshift shelter  he made of tree branches.

‘It was easier with (Tor) next to me.’

‘Tor is gone; doctors did all in their power but the miracle didn’t happen’

Tor and Tatiana

Tor and Tatiana

Tor and Tatiana

Tor the dog

Tor and Tatiana

Tor the dog

Tor the puppy

Comments (8)

Os cães aqui no Brasil são conhecidos como "o melhores amigos do homem" e na Sibéria não é diferente. Precisamos valorizar , compreender e respeitar mais os animais. No Brasil há milhares de cães abandonados e maltratados pelas pessoas. O Tor é mais um exemplo de que nós, humanos, precisamos entender melhor o amor incondicional que os cães tem para conosco. Parabéns, Sr. Vinogradov!
Natercio Inacio da Silva, Guaratuba - Brasil
06/11/2018 07:57
Yes, Benedikt is so right that the Bull Terrier is a people-love-muffin, an indoors-dog that is comfortable with confinement, and has a tight, minimal coat to minimize shedding & housekeeping.

But the harsh weather of Siberia also keeps many humans indoors, a lot. Homes are bigger now, better-equipped, and more comfortable to remained confine in. Thus, large companion dogs are becoming ever more-common, not 'even', but ESPECIALLY in regions with adverse weather.

The big deal here, though, is that Tor died not from being wimpy, but of an intestinal/bowel "obstruction". This is an all-too-common ailment for normal dogs, everywhere. Dogs eat 'junk' that often isn't even food ... and this can lead to a blockage in the digestive system. It's an emergency situation, and often fatal.

We know Tor was chew on clothing, because he was hungry; any cloth, thread ... rocks, sticks he gets down are all to the bad. Northern 'utility dogs', very rugged & well-adapted sled-dogs & village dogs, likewise are often bad 'chewers'. Most mushers don't allow team-dogs to wander or explore, in part for fear of them devouring pieces of rope, chewed-stick-fragments, 'Oh yum - a glove!'.

Ok - I'm old-school. I prefer dogs to be outside; like Karina Chikitova's little mutt (but check out the $1,000 fur-coat it wears!) - they let it in the house for certain photographs they wanted ... and it was plainly anxious because it knows it is not supposed to be inside! Cats too ... wut, I need to share the room with a poop-pee box? Eww.

Well, it's not right, Benedikt, is it? But what can we do... ;)
Ted Clayton, Forks, USA
02/11/2018 01:20
Totally agree with Mr. Benedikt. People who really loves their pets gets the proper animal for the environment they live in. Ornamental dogs are not made for cold or forest. Rest in peace the loyal dog.
I-need-a-Russian-name, St. Petesburg
01/11/2018 01:58
unfortunately, Bull terriers have no - fur- and no -fat reserves-. They are basically not made to live under this harsh conditions in Siberia. Will survive only when fed every day and can be kept warm inside a heated place. I feel in one way sorry for the dog because he gave his life to keep his owner warm, while himself starving and slowly dying. Thor was -fashion dog- and was never supposed to be there where he was. - Tatiana- who is seen dressed up p with coat and cloves and a cap is taking basically a -naked- Thor for a walk. These people have no idea what they are supposed to do. Or how to care PROPERLY and correctly for their animals.
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
31/10/2018 09:02
Todo un guerrero que pena ,su partida pero de seguro Dios quería ese ángel a su lado por esa razón viendo que había acompañado y salvado a su dueño se lo llevo a descansar allí junto a él en su paraíso vivirá por siempre en los corazones de su familia que tanto lo amooo y amará hasta que un día se vuelvan a encontrar en un abrazo eterno..
Ruth, Argentina
31/10/2018 07:47
Although his passing is heartbreaking, Tor lived a full and happy life and his soul is at peace. I realize not everyone believes that animals have souls. I believe they do. The intelligence and emotion in his eyes as he looks at his human companions in the pictures can be felt.
Pamela K Tetarenko, United States
30/10/2018 23:31
Que pena ..pobre perro ,que hizo lo más bonito de la amistad de lo hombres y los perros , proteger a su compañero de fatigas en la taiga.
Juan , España
30/10/2018 19:49
Very sad ...Tor was a wonderful friend for this family.
Bon rétablissement à Mr Vinogradov
Jocelyne, FRANCE
30/10/2018 16:29

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