Molly Clare's Long Journey

Molly Clare

Meet Molly! She is about three, and a big girl at seventy five pounds. Very energetic and with her tail wagging all the time seems to love everyone.She is very willful and needed an Airedale experienced home willing to train her. Thanks to all of the ATRA volunteers and contributors she will get that home.

Molly came to ATRA from the Humane Society in Duluth, Minnesota. The folks who worked at the Duluth Humane Society came to know her and love her in a very short time, called ATRA and said she had to be helped because, although she's a good dog, they would have to put her to sleep as the people who dropped her off, said she had bitten. They were willing to delay putting her to sleep and giving ATRA a chance to evaluate her.

Donna Bjork, an ATRA coordinator in Duluth, went to see her and said she was a great dog. Donna took Molly to a behaviorist to be evaluated. The behaviorist found no aggression, but was just a willful dog that needed an experienced owner, who will lead using praise not punishment. So we took her into Rescue, with one of the folks from the Humane Society volunteering to drive her from Duluth to the Twin Cities.

She was a mess! Very matted coat, almost dreadlocks, and sores where the matted hair had laid on her skin. The groomer tried to keep her furnishings, but no luck. After working one and a half hours on one leg, she had no choice but to shave them off. Through all of this Molly was great. Cleaned up, she looked like a million bucks!

Since we we did not have a foster home, she had to be kenneled.  Mark Jones and I took her on walks and outings. Mark also took her for day trips to play with his dogs. Molly and Mark's German Short Hair played like there is no tomorrow, all the while his female Airedale and Molly ignored each other.

We worked on good dog behavior. She jumped to greet, but got better.  She went to obedience training and worked on Rally Obedience. She pulled on the lead at first, trying to be in charge, but settling down, heeled with a loose lead. Curiously, she did not know "come" and when I put her in a sit/stay and walked away and called "come", she just sat there. I would pound on the floor and get excited and run the other way, hoping to get her to chase, and still she sat there. So we started from the beginning with the lead and a little tug and a lot of praise. She was still slowly hesitant, but when I praised her, she would speed up.

Then the right home came along! Gail and Wally Clare decided they wanted Molly. They would continue her training and she would have a male Aire buddy. But then they said they were in Nova Scotia. I had heard of it but when I found out how far away it was, my heart sank. How would we get her there?

My problem:

Starting Point: Circle Pines, MN   Destination: Home   Arrival Date: 04/10/06 Total Driving Distance: 2193 miles!  Total on the Road Driving Time: 38 hours! Wow! With your good hearts and help Molly did get to her new forever home. All of the following, along with their unnamed individual support groups became a part of Molly's long journey.

Bob McArthur, ATRA Transportation Coordinator worked with me to solve Molly's transportation need. The following complex plan was implemented on April 7, 8, 9, and 10th from St. Paul, MN to Sydney, Nova Scotia via New York State, with the following instructions:  Please transport Molly alone if possible, as this will be a long trip for her. However, if Molly travels with another dog, one of them should be crated. Please be sure to pass her paperwork, as well as her dog food and dish. Molly does not have food or people aggression and does not snap when frightened; is not on medications and rides well in a car without getting sick, but Molly will pull hard when she gets out of a car, so hold on!

Friday April 7th:Mark JonesSt Paul, MN to Elmhurst, IL 400 miles6.5hrs.
 Dale CarlsonElmhurst, ILHold for pickup by Tom Gaines for overnight
Saturday April 8th: Tom GainesElmhurst, IL to Holiday City, Oh200 miles+ 
 Pam VandergriftHoliday City, OH to Freemont, OH83 miles1.75hrs
 Sherri GlassFreemont, OH to Cleveland, OH82 miles1.75hrs
 Connie VersagiCleveland, OH to Conneaut, OH71 miles1.5hrs
 Amy MarinoDunkirk, NY to Rochester, NY115 miles2.25hrs
 Rita KeneghanRochester, NY to Syracuse, NY112miles2hrs+ overnight
Sunday April 9th:Rita KeneghanSyracuse, NY to Utica, NY 55miles1.2hrs
 Lisa AshtonUtica, NY to Schenectady, NY77miles1.5hrs
 Ray AdamsSchenectady, NY to Lee, MA 60miles1.25hrs
 Susan MorawskiLee, MA to Palmer, MA53miles1.5hrs
 Bob MaddenPalmer, MA to Marlborough, MA54miles1.5hrs
 John DonnellyMarlborough, MA to Haverhill, MA46miles1hr
 Diane HowesHaverhill, MA to Wells, ME54miles1.25hrs
 Janice TuckerWells, ME to Yarmouth, ME66miles1.5hrs
 Kay McLaughinYarmouth, ME to Bangor, ME120miles2.5hrs
Monday April 10th: Wally & Gail Clare (Molly's new owners)Bangor, ME to Sydney, NS554miles10Hrs + (after an overnight) 
Although I had become very attached to Molly over the two months I was involved with her, parting was a sweet sorrow as I was very happy that she has found a forever home with people who will give her the attention and love she deserves.

Stephanie Callahan
Minnesota ATRA Coordinator

Editors note:  Stephanie and Bob and the "cast of 1000"  volunteers deserve a big tails up on this one---for they literally went the extra mile and then some!  Stephanie has pictures of the whole transport at:

These are some of the big hearted people working in the trenches!


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