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Matt Cory, Forum Communications Co., Published July 04 2010

Stray stays after storm

HATTON, N.D. – She may not have been whisked away like Toto, but Tori finds herself in a strange, new world just the same.

Tori, age undetermined, but a female, chocolate Lab, was spotted around the Owen Dahl farmstead along State Highway 15 near Northwood, N.D., a few days before June 17.

But after a tornado blasted through Dahl’s home and welding business that Thursday afternoon, she wanted to stick around for good.

“She was never a bother, even with dozens of people and big machinery around,” said Lance Dahl, 48, Owen’s brother who eventually took the dog home to Hatton.

That night and the next day, she stayed close to the farmstead.

“She’d find a package of meat that had been tossed from the freezer, and go lay down, and be fine. She never bothered a soul,” said Lance Dahl.

Dahl figures Tori (named for tornado) was abandoned some time before June 17. There wasn’t a collar, let alone any tags attached. She was too skinny, looking a little down and out. And living through a tornado couldn’t help.

Dahl knew that first night he’d be taking the dog home.

But with two dogs of his own – Jack, 5, a rottweiler-Lab mix, and Jill, 3, a basset hound-German shepherd mix, Dahl wants to find Tori a new home. He’ll give the dog away, he said, hopefully to someone on a farm or at least with a large backyard.

“I don’t want to see her in a 6-by-10 kennel or something like that,” he said. “That can’t be called living.”

Anyone interested in adopting Tori can call Dahl at (701) 430-1960 or find Dahl on Facebook, he said.

Dahl made calls to the Grand Forks and Traill county sheriff’s departments and the Grand Forks Humane Society to see if anyone had reported a lost, mid-sized chocolate Lab. With no results, he figured Tori would live out her days with Jack and Jill.

“But it gets to be a lot of work,” Dahl said of having three dogs at his home in the Hatton city limits.

To the vet

Soon after she arrived in Hatton, Dahl noticed Tori had a problem with her bowels. She was going to the bathroom a lot, and her urine had a sickly smell. With her low weight and who knows what else she’d been into, Lance realized Tori might be worse off than he thought.

Dahl thought he might even have to put the dog down, he said. But she perked up as soon as she got some regular meals, he said, and he took her to Peterson Veterinary Clinic in East Grand Forks.

Tori’s incontinence will require two pills a week, but she’s otherwise in good health, Dahl said. She’s responded to the pills, urinating less, and the odor has cleared up.

The two weeks with Dahl has improved Tori’s outlook considerably. She’s got some of her weight back, and with it, some energy. Tori’s well-behaved in and outside the house, with other dogs and with people, Dahl said. If he can’t find any takers for Tori, Dahl figures she’ll live in Hatton.

“She’s a good dog,” he said.

Adopt Tori

Cory writes for the Grand Forks Herald