Have you ever pulled into the parking lot of the Clearwater Historic Lodge and wondered about those two “wolf look alike” dogs?
Well, their names are Marla and Scroggy, and they belong to lodge general manager Erik Danielson and his wife Tori Danielson who manages the Clearwater Bakery.
The dogs, now “retired,” played their own important role on the Gunflint Trail in the past. Erik used to be a dogsled guide near Ely, MN during the winters, and Marla and Scroggy were his lead dogs in his first few years of guiding. The relationship between a musher and his/her lead dogs is a special thing, so Erik started bringing Marla over to the lodge in the summertime five years ago. Scroggy was a more recent addition to the family.
When Erik and Tori were engaged, they spent the winters in Babbitt, MN. Tori stayed home, as she was a recent college graduate and didn’t have a winter job. Marla was retired at this point, so they spent their days at home together — this time off work was much more enjoyable for Tori than Marla! Marla was very much Erik’s dog, and she did not warm up to Tori very quickly. So one day Erik brought home a dog just for Tori. He chose Scroggy, the perfect match for Marla, and she’s been with the family for three years now.
Today you’ll find the dogs living out their retirement at the lodge almost year round. They spend time at their grandparents’ house — Craig and Candy Danielson who are also an integral part of the Clearwater staff — when Erik and Tori are vacationing. Candy, Erik’s mom, is also known by the dogs as “the treat lady.” She keeps the treats in the laundry room, where the dogs will spend most of the day begging with their irresistible eyes and wagging tails. Their time away from the lodge is pampered and treat-filled as well.
Marla and Skroggy consider themselves official Clearwater greeters. They wander aimlessly around the parking lot, waiting for people to arrive and *hopefully* drop a few crumbs. Occasionally, a guest’s dog arrives, and they’ll sniff and waltz about for a minute, especially Marla who favors small dogs. They don’t know it, but they are also the main source of staff entertainment on slow days at the lodge. They have endearing yet quirky personalities and seem more cat-like sometimes with their behaviors. Marla is known to have a *mostly* benign penchant for hoarding small items like kitchen sponges and stray socks. She can be spied occasionally scurrying off with her latest treasure and a very determined glint in her eye!
When you visit the lodge, we encourage you to pay the dogs a visit, too, and give them a little petting behind the ears if you are so inclined. But only take a picture if you have to — Marla is camera shy. Also, do not be discouraged if Scroggy is not interested. The only way into her heart is milk bones!
Clearwater Historic Lodge & Canoe Outfitters is pet-friendly. To learn more about our pet-friendly cabins and fees, please read our Reservation Policies.