Every morning, residents of Cacapava do Sud, Brazil, can expect to see Thor, a white Akita Inu dog, trotting through the town center on his daily walk. The dog walks alone, taking the same route that he and his owner would walk every day for years.
When Thor's owner, artist Claudio Cantarelli, died in December 2015 at age 58, the Daily Mail reports that the dog became depressed. Cantarelli's family took ownership of the dog, but neighbor Saionara Freitas noticed that they never had time to walk the dog or spend quality time with it.
"Thor stopped eating when Claudio died," she said, according to Metro. "He would lie in the courtyard of his house without moving for days on end."
That's when Freitas decided to take matters into her own hands and offered to adopt the dog from the Cantarellis.
"I was already used to Thor, so I asked if I could take him. He was sick and terribly sad," she said, according to the Mail. "It's like he is trying to overcome his longing, or waiting for his master to return."
Two years later, Thor has slowly began to overcome his grief. But, in what is seen by locals as a tribute to his owner, he still walks on the same route he and Cantarelli used take each day on their morning walk.
"[Cantarelli] went for a walk every day. He was everyone's friend, an artist," said friend and local hairstylist Airton Oliveira. "Now Thor walks along the same route. I notice he always stops in the same places. It's impressive."
Metro reports that Thor now goes on his daily walks alone, and never strays from the path he knows.
"I have followed him many times to see where he goes and to see if he takes a different road but he never changes it," says Freitas. "His journey always takes him past the vet’s clinic, the lottery, along the high street and past the diner where Claudio used to have his lunch."
Cantarelli used to make Thor wait outside the lottery office while he would step inside to purchase a ticket. Now, when Thor walks to the lottery office, he will still wait outside, sitting in the same spot he would when waiting for Cantarelli.
"He looks like he’s hoping Claudio will turn up and I swear I have seen tears in his eyes," says Freitas.
Freitas believes that Thor's daily walks have helped him work through his grief. She says that the dog seems much happier since he started taking his walks.
"When Claudio was dying, he talked about missing his dog so much," says Freitas. "I’m glad for his sake, even though I am old, I’m able to take care of Thor for him."
"While I care for [Thor] every day, his heart still belongs to Claudio," she adds.