Some of these animals are life sustaining as well as obedient servants. Thor can sacrifice His goats, Tooth - gnasher and Gap- tooth, and as long as the bones are not damaged He can resurrect them the next day with his mighty hammer Mjolinir. The boar, Saehrimnir, is boiled every day to feed the dead of Valhalla, and comes alive every evening. It is said that never is there too big a crowd in Valhalla that they do not get enough to eat from it. The warriors of Valhalla also get their drink from a goat named Heidrun, who, " stands up on its hind legs in Valhalla biting the buds off the branches of that very famous tree called Laerad". From her teats she, "everyday fills a cauldron so big that all of the einherjar can drink their fill from it". Even in the earliest time in the Eddas life giving fluids flowed from the cow called Audhumla ,which fed the Giant Ymir.
Even more animals live in the great ash tree Yggdrasil. Nidhogg gnaws at its roots from below; and eagle sits in the branches of the ash, " and it is very knowledgable"; and between its eyes sits a hawk called Vedrfolnir. A squirrel, Ratatosk, runs up and down the tree conveying insulting messages between the eagle and Nidhogg. Also four harts leap about the branches of the ash and eat the shoots, their names are listed as Dain, Dvalin, Duneyr and Durathror.
In the Spring of Urd two birds are nourished , they are called swans and from them have come the birds of this name. The Eddas also list all of the horses that the Gods ride to the Thing, however I will not list all of them here. Though I am humored by the fact that one of the horses is named Glen.
O'k, I think I have made my point that the animals of the Eddas deserve more recognition for their many contributions to the eight worlds and the services that they provide to the Gods and Goddesses. To honor these great God - pets and beasts of burden I am currently writing a short Ritual to honor, not only these ,"eight - world", animals but the ones that reside in our ninth world and provide us with not only laborious service but companionship as well. I think they well deserve it ! Don't you ?
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !