Welcome to Daneville

The Road Trip
By Ella Belair, February 2011, Updated February 2015

Two years ago I bought my first Subaru. I always wanted a Subaru WRC, the sleek lines… the turbo! But The family that I have didn't allow for such a small sporty car. My family consists of four, yes four Great Danes, so two years ago I bought a 2003 Subaru Forester.

I have had these gentle giants in my life forever. My parents rescued and I chose to do the same. I am a veterinary technician and moved from Pittsburgh, PA. to Charleston, SC. to follow my dream job. Last year I loaded my three great danes into the Forester and moved 800 miles from home. It was a great drive, fourteen hours with the wind in my hair and the dogs heads out the windows. We ran into some snags in the trip sure, Loki my largest and oldest male got a bit car sick. But the Subaru's great interior washed clean in the truck stop parking lot and we continued our journey.

Although that is not the story I have to tell. In the year that I have lived in Charleston, SC I have taken in my greatest challenge. I added a fourth to the equation of Danes. In February of 2009, I became the proud caregiver to Possum. Possum was taken from terrible conditions and was set to be euthanized, but one amazing police officer couldn't let that happen. He took her in and found me. Possum was suffering from malnourishment, heart worm disease, Demodecosis mange, staff and other bacterial infections covering her entire body. She was given a five percent chance to live. I took her in knowing I would only be able to make her comfortable in her last months. I still tried everything I could to heal her. The treatments were expensive, lengthly and time consuming. But everyday I bathed her, and weekly she hopped in the Subaru and rode to see the vet for her check ups. She was doing what everyone said she couldn't do. She was getting better!

That was when i decided she had to go to Daneville and meet the rest of her family. Daneville is what I call my family's rescue. My parents live on an 11 acre farm where the dogs have free reign. Possum deserved the chance to go there and know what it felt like to be a real dog. Until this point in her life all that she knew was a small house and a dirty, grassless back yard. When she moved in with me sure, conditions were better, but she deserved to experience my parents farm. The grass as far as the eye could see, a pond, geese, goats and more Great Danes! I took a weekend off of work and started to load the Subaru.


Sign up for our newsletter and stay in the know.

Email Address:

I knew I had a lot to take. Clothes, and yes I pack like every other girl out there, 2 weeks worth of outfits for every occasion and shoes to match! dog food, bowls, dog beds, snacks and toys!! Possum couldn't leave the stuffed pig at home!!! Not to mention all of the lovely things from Charleston I wanted to take to mom! My little Subaru was loaded! The space between the seats full, the drivers seat, full, and so I set off to Pennsylvania, approximately 800 miles and fourteen hours, in a Subaru with 180,000 miles on her!

The dogs were comfortable, they all had room to stretch out back there, but chose to lay criss crossed all over each other. When I would slow for an exit one or two would look up to see where we were and then go right back to sleep. At rest stops all eyes were on my "Ruby Subie" what I have named my ruby red Subaru!!!!! People would ask the same question every time, "how do they all fit?" but after a glance inside they were impressed with the fact that they did in fact fit, and quite comfortably!!! We climbed the mountains at noon, the fog was so thick you could barely see, I had a chance to turn on my fog lights! The dogs all had their heads out the windows taking in the smells of the forest. Ruby Subie never struggled! A steady sixty to seventy miles an hour with over five hundred pounds of dog and another one hundred pounds of additional cargo!

We arrived in Pennsylvania in record time. Possum was finally at Daneville! For three days she romped, played, even tested the waters of the pond! My parents had a chance to meet her. Possum had a chance to meet more humans that love her, because she isn't out of the woods yet. There is still that chance she will never recover. But for today she is happy, comfortable and spoiled.

That dream could never have come true if it wasn't for my "Ruby Subie".