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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.

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Mel Allen


Mel Allen


Mel is the fifth editor of Yankee Magazine since its beginning in 1935. His career at Yankee spans more than three decades, during which he has edited and written for every section of the magazine, including home, food, and travel. In his pursuit of stories, he has raced a sled dog team, crawled into the dens of black bears, fished with the legendary Ted Williams, picked potatoes in Aroostook County, and stood beneath a battleship before it was launched. Mel teaches magazine writing at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and is author of A Coach’s Letter to His Son. His column, “Here in New England,” is a 2012 National City and Regional Magazine Awards Finalist for the category Column.

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5 Responses to Here in New England: Hank, a Well-Traveled Dog

  1. Kelly Ramirez May 9, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    I read this story when it first came out in the magazine and was amased by the story but also how much Hank in the story looked like our Hank, Ours is a beloved member of our family as I’m sure Hank in the story is. Dogs are such precious parts of our families and lives. Thank you for this wonderful story!!!!!

  2. Donna Anderson March 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    I, too, read Hank’s story in Yankee Magazine. It was special then; it is special now. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. jo squire March 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Such a wonderful heart warming story. Thank you so much for letting
    everyone enjoy it.


  4. Jeanne Fournier October 28, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    Please tell me that Hank Dog made it back home somehow! I have a sweet yellow lab and so my
    heart is with you and Hank. Jeanne

  5. Clare Roos December 11, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    Thank you for a very well-written and heart-warming story. We have always been dog lovers and through the years we’ve become convinced that God created them to be our soul partners exhibiting unconditional love! Now I have my own subscription to Yankee Magazine and gave one also to my brother who still lives in Massachusetts!

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