Manee Dols

I adopted Manee (Mudge) sight unseen this past June.  A year ago this September I lost my special Airedale Tootsie that I had adopted through ATRA and Donna Bjork here in Duluth. Tootsie was known to have had cancer but it was in remission when she came to live with me three years ago but then it returned with an inoperable tumor and she was lost. I had contacted Donna about another Airedale I had seen online and it was then that I heard about Mudge. Contact was made with Cindi Mysyk and arrangements were made that we would meet in Wisconsin at a half way point between Chicago and Duluth.  We met near Wisconsin Dells and Manee has been with me ever since.  Manee goes everywhere with me as did Tootsie. Including riding the Excursion Train when I am a volunteer narrator.  Evelyn Grey, a volunteer car host, made the vest and I made the Logo that Manee wears on the train. He really enjoys the attention he receives from the passengers. Especially the children.

The name Manito (nickname Manee) is a Native American word which according to Henry Schoolcraft, the man who gave Longfellow the information that was used in his work "The Song of Hiawatha",  means the special presence of the Great Spirit in  Nature. In this case the choice is an Airedale dog.

The valley that the train travels through is called Spirit Valley through which the St. Louis River enters into Lake Superior ( Gitche Gumme).  In the center of the river is a special island called Spirit Island from which a Sioux brave Chaska and an Ojibwa maiden called Wetona who had fallen in love and were being pursued by Wetona's father, a powerful chief in the area who disapproved of the union.  Chaska and Wetona, despite the fact that the island was surrounded, mysteriously disappeared.  Only their moccasins were found. Beautiful music of the Love Spirit was heard and it was said that the Love Spirit had carried the lovers off in his sky canoe to the moon of honey.  So the Spirit in this valley is the Spirit of Love - the most powerful of all spirits. Manee is turning out to be a super companion.  He is sleeping at my feet as I wrote this. For those interested, the web site for the train is                                                

Best regards,  Bill Dols


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