Here in New England: Hank, a Well-Traveled Dog
Again, the girls would later admit that what they did may have been foolish. Rabid animals do live in the woods. Scared animals can be dangerous and unpredictable. But that was later reflection. Sara lowered herself onto the beam and slowly backed the dog down to the ground. Then, from behind, she urged him up again, lifting him the final few feet into the arms of her friends. Sara fashioned a leash from her belt, and even though the dog was so weak he kept falling over, he pulled her up the hill, across the stream, onto the lush grass where he rolled and rolled, as the girls shrieked, “We found a dog!”
The call reached the Woods from campus security. A dog was found only 100 yards from their house, in a ravine the family did not know existed. The tag matched Hank’s. He had been gone 48 days, no doubt toppling into the hole in the darkness, in his terror of a thunderstorm, kept alive, the vet later surmised, by eating moss and dirt. He had lost more than 20 pounds.
For days, Hank would not let Marianne out of his sight. He slowly regained his weight and strength. Marianne drove him around the county, thanking all the people who had helped search. She called the dog’s previous owner and said, “We’ve decided that Hank belongs to us.” Driving home after they found Hank, the girls all had the same thought: “Something big just happened here.” Something they will always remember about a day when they wandered to a gloomy ravine and found a dog who will surely travel farther than they can imagine, all the way from that deep, water-logged hole, bounding up and over the stream, bounding into the sunlight, bounding back home, traveling all the way into legend.