Like most of you who enjoy life in the outdoors, I’ve got a real soft spot in my heart for good dogs—and good dog stories. Here’s a great tale from Maine about a black Lab that went missing three weeks ago after a tragic fatal boating accident and traveled an estimated 200 miles in treacherous backcountry before being reunited with her thankful family.Black_lab2

Molly the retriever was the subject of an extensive search after her owner, Doug Harmon, drowned on Memorial Day when his boat capsized at Chamberlain Lake. The dog was seen swimming toward shore by boaters in the area.

The Bangor Daily News reports today that Molly showed up at the home of Alain and Bernadette Sirois in Millinocket on Saturday, some 200 miles from where she was last seen. The Siroises subsequently posted some “found dog” fliers around town, leading to the dog’s happy reunion with Harmon’s three children.

The Maine Department of Conservation launched a widespread search for the Lab after a game warden reported seeing her at a lake campsite the day following the accident. Later that day, another DoC employee saw Molly some 20 miles from the lake.

Department of Conservation Commissioner Patrick McGowan said Molly’s plight touched many state officials, including Gov. John Baldacci, who asked to be kept briefed on the search.

“Obviously, we could never bring back their father, but bringing their dog back was something we could do,” McGowan said.

McGowan said the presence of bears and coyotes in the rugged backcountry, as well as the seasonal high density of black flies, made Molly’s safe return even more spectacular.

“This is just a great ending. It just gives you goose bumps,” McGowan said.

Sure does.

Good girl, Molly. And welcome home.