Charlie is eight and bored with a broken leg when his father first brings the St. Bernard pup home; more than five years later, he has to send Molly farther into the back country of (of Canada) because the Magistrate thinks she's a threat, but Charlie--and any reader--won't forget the times between. Molly is more lovable than any we've seen in a dog's age--waiting in line to toboggan, learning about teams in baseball, carrying on with a tamed timber wolf. There is no basis for dispute over her character but a few of the townspeople judge without all the facts and she acquires a ""sometimes-dangerous"" reputation. A canny police sergeant tries to forestall the opposition by housing Molly in the barracks but she becomes a victim of circumstances when, nursing her newborn pups, she is stumbled on by an escaped prisoner looking for protection: he grabs a pitchfork, Molly acts to safeguard her pups, both are badly hurt. Charlie remembers it all with an appealing nostalgia although frequently his interpretive remarks are ascribed to the youngster instead of to the older person looking back (and many could be deleted altogether). Except for that distraction, a bone-us for kennel clubbers.