200? – 2016
Hank came to us with a grin on his face so big, you would have thought he had just won the lottery. It was a sunny day around lunchtime in March of 2012. This little guy was prancing around in the middle of Vincent Drive (our street) down a ways. I was on my way to have lunch with my friend Robby when I turned around and scooped the little fur-ball up. I approached gently, but he came right up to me wagging is tail. He had a collar on, but no tag. He road shotgun until I picked up Robby. I can’t remember where we ate that day, but I know Hank was there and Robby laughed as I pulled up. After lunch, I went back home and called local vets, the animal shelter, etc. to see if anyone was missing a shih tzu mix. Marie got home from school and saw Hank’s little head peaking out the window and smiled at me with a “what did you just do?” look. We put an add in the “found pets” section of the local publications. We had a few calls, but no matches. Finally we drove around the next neighborhood to ours near where I found him. We asked a couple of people that were walking if they recognized this dog. Two different people said yeah, that looks like that lady’s dog that lives at that house. We went to the house and knocked on the door. A young lady finally answered the door and she said, “No, that’s not my dog. I found my dog”. Mind you we heard no barking, nor saw any dog in her house or in the yard. It’s just strange that two people identified the little guy we found as being hers. We even put up fliers in that neighborhood and the next day, every single one of them was torn down. Very strange.
As hard as we tried to find the original human guardians, it became clear that the mini-mop was going to be a member of our pack. I named him “Hank” after Hank Williams. We introduced him first to Rushmore and Mr. Furley, then Lola and Leeloo. He fit right in and they all accepted him. About a year later we adopted a dumpster kitty, Loretta. She and Hank were best pals for a long time. Hank was very interested in other animals but we suspect he was from a one-animal household. He was a bit of a loner but content to be with everyone. He enjoyed Loretta’s company the most I think because they were about the same size. Hank had a bit of little-man syndrome as we would often bark at Leeloo (our late rescue Great Dane) when she would come running down the hallway like Scooby-Doo.
Hank was absolutely terrified of the rain and thunderstorms. We bought him a thundercoat to help and would give him some rescue remedy to help him calm down during these times. Hank was also an escape artist. He got out of our 6 foot privacy fence a handful of times, finding any breaches that I was unaware of. Once he had gotten out in the middle of the night while we were visiting Marie’s father in Dallas, GA. The caller asked, “Uh, yes, do you have a dog named ‘Honk’? After we got home and settled down, Marie and I got a kick out of calling him “Honk” from time to time.
Hank had the worst teeth ever none to man. Even worse than Rushmore’s. He had to have 13 teeth removed one time. Because of his smashed up face, the most horrible gunk would build up on his limited snout which I cleaned daily. We didn’t really know much about his history as he was estimated at being about 10 years old when we first took him in. One veterinarian found out he was chipped, but the chip was never registered to anyone. Hank was quite an enigma. He hated to be touched on his face, but loved for his ears to be rubbed which also calmed him down during thunderstorms. Hank also loved licking your nose, peanut butter and running up and down the hall playing an odd version of “Hide and Seek”. He would run as fast as his short little legs would carry him.My dad affectionally called him “Hankenstein” because of his overall jankiness. His absolute favorite thing to do was police everybody. He took over alarm duties after Rushmore passed. He would alert and respond to crises around the household on cue. Very punctual and quick to respond, Marie and I would call him Sergeant Hank. He was diagnosed with a severe heart murmur a couple of years ago. We had him on as much medication as allowed. He eventually developed severe coughing sessions and we would then call him “Hack”. In recent months he would let out a fart when he would hack or cough at times giving himself a scare, which cracked us up. His heart eventually grew so big that his lungs didn’t have adequate room to work sufficiently. Hank had an enormous heart and I am going to miss listening to it beat. Love you buddy, say hello to Mr. Furley and the rest.