All Hail the Mighty Thor!

Ask most folks to name Colorado's next celebrity resident and they'll likely namecheck terroristic wannabe Zacarias Moussaoui, who's expected to take up residence at Supermax, the Florence lockup that's the current home of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and plenty of other well-known psychopaths. (Here's the Los Angeles Times' piece about what he's likely to face.) But thanks to a member of Westword's extended family -- my mother -- we can now reveal the identity of a famous arrival who's beaten Moussaoui to the state: Thor the Minpin.

My mom, who resides in Grand Junction, is the proud owner of two West Highland White Terriers who are rapidly ascending the familial food chain; in the beginning, she referred to them as the "granddogs," but she now calls them my "brother and sister." She was playing with them at a nearby park when she chanced to meet onetime New Jersey resident Sally Benson, who moved to GJ in March -- and attached to Benson's leash was Thor, a miniature pinscher ("minpin" for short) who she says saved her life. Turns out that in February, Benson, who's a diabetic, accidentally gave herself too large a dose of insulin and blacked out. Fortunately, she'd trained Thor as a puppy to dial 911 by putting cream cheese on her phone, and he apparently remembered what to do, since she was awakened by a police officer pounding on her door.

This tale was recounted by WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, whose web link includes a photo of the heroic pooch, and Benson's woofer even got a brief mention in the Mirror, one of the United Kingdom's most widely read publications. Benson also told my mom that an article is slated for an upcoming edition of Woman's World magazine.

So forget about Moussaoui. All hail the mighty Thor! -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts