Mister “Hank”y Panky.

13 Sep

Hank begging for a foster.

Meet Mister Hank. Also known as Hanky Pank (and Hank the Tank, and the list goes on).  Hank will go down in the books as my first foster pitbull(FINALLY!!) .  I found him on Minnesota Pitbull Rescue’s Facebook page begging for a foster so that he could be sprung from puppy prison (animal control).  His picture explained that he was found on the streets of St. Paul about 20 pounds underweight and covered in urine.  One look in his big, soulful, “love-me” eyes and I did just that.  I fell in love.  Considering how underweight he was they may have been “feed-me” eyes.. but I’m going with “love-me”.

I said I would of COURSE foster this peanut, and the very next day volunteers dropped him off with me, in Duluth, at my work.

Hank on his way to me!

First off,  Minnesota Pitbull Rescue volunteers rock.

Second, Hank rocks.

Hank has a very mellow attitude, and adjusts to new situations incredibly well.  He spent 5 hours at the clinic I work at without making a peep.  He did however leave a trail of food, drool and urine from one end of the clinic to the other!  In spite of his messiness the staff fell for him instantly.  He looks so thin and damaged, and yet he has this incredibly sensitive, loving demeanor that is obvious at once.

Hank is about 4 years old, will weigh about 60 pounds, and is very short and stocky.  He has a large head, large feet, short little legs, and a long body.  He is incredibly cute.

I always get a little nervous when I bring new dogs to meet my own two, but Mylo, Chase, and Hank get along just fine.  Hank attempts to follow them around, but Mylo and Chase are much faster than Hank is with his short stubby legs.

Watching Hank run is one of my new favorite things.   He runs so sideways you think he’ll fall over, which he occasionally does.  Hank is not the most graceful dog I’ve ever met.  He is slightly bowl-legged, which is probably increased by his current scrawniness, and stamps his feet all around the house wiggling his butt.  He reminds me of a cute little dinosaur waving his big head around, stamping his feet, and wagging his tail.

We discovered right away that Hank may not have ever lived in a house.  He has probably never known what its like to sleep with his human on the bed, or had a dog bed of his own.  He was not house trained, was afraid of our stairs, and looked at the couches in complete awe.  He couldn’t believe that dogs were allowed on these giant squishy things!

Hank on the couch with Mylo.

Dogs that have never experienced stairs are often afraid of them.. and unfortunately at our house dogs have to go down 2 stairs to get outside.  I’m sure I looked rather humorous trying to carry his underweight, but bulky, 55 pound body down the stairs.  It was either carry him, or let him out the front door and walk him all the way around the house to the fence in the back.  Thankfully, after about 4 days, Hank BRAVED the stairs.  He typically trips not only down them, but also up them, but he’s showing marked improvement.

The first weekend at our house Hank got to go to a friend’s cabin with us.  It was a big weekend for him!  He got to be around 8 new dogs and our two. 11 dogs at one cabin!  Hank did fine with all of the dogs, from the feisty little wiener dog, “Wiener”, to the un-neutered Labrador Retrievers.  He also got to meet a bunch of new people.  It was great to get to bring him with because even people who would typically be afraid of a large headed, cropped eared, pitbull all got to see how gentle he was and how much he loved people.  Everyone wanted to snuggle with him and kept telling him how fast he was going to find a new home.

It was also great for us as fosters because now we know a lot more about Hank.  Now we know that he sticks around off leash, he doesn’t get nervous around large groups of people, he does well with all kinds of dogs, and isn’t bothered by four-wheelers and other loud noises.  This will make many potential new families very happy!

Hank at the cabin.

In spite of his initial habit of creating lakes of urine on our floors (he is now house-broken), and his outright terror of our stairs, Hank has been an absolute joy to be around since minute one.  He gets large amount of joy out of very simple things.  He enjoys chewing on Mylo’s legs, meal times, treats, butt scratches, carrying shoes around the house (which we discovered when sets of shoes were mysteriously one shoe short), running after our dogs, chewing on nylabones, and he especially loves snuggling.  He will push his way into a lap whether there’s room for him or not.

Hank will be an incredible addition to anyone’s home, and because of that will be extremely hard for Gene and I to give up.  Fostering isn’t always a ray of golden sunshine, no matter what I may tell you.  On an obvious level, picking up poop off the floor has its downsides, as does tripping over the mass of 3 dogs crammed in the teeny entry way, or teeny kitchen.  However, those things don’t bother me.  The hardest part is falling in love with a dog who you know you will eventually give up.  Thinking about losing Hank physically hurts me, but in spite of that, I keep my fingers crossed every day, hoping that some great family will fall for my new baby as much as I have, and steal him away from me.  I’ve been here before, many times.  It’s a complicated wish, full of mixed emotions, tears, and happiness.

I vow to enjoy him while I have him. Show him what it means to be loved. Teach him what I can.  And let go of him when he needs me to.


9 Responses to “Mister “Hank”y Panky.”

  1. abbyferri September 14, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    You’re doing a great job with him! He looks so much better in the recent pic, what a sweet guy. A family will adopt him and continue what you’ve started 🙂

  2. Carey Garcia September 19, 2012 at 2:35 am #

    How is he with small children? Has he had a chance to interact wth them?

    • pittiesforyourthoughts September 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

      Hello Carey. This is Hank’s foster. Unfortunately I have not seen Hank around any small children. He was around a 7 year old and a 10 year old briefly and did fine with them, but I haven’t exposed him to any younger than that yet. I think he would do just fine, he adapts well and loud noises don’t bother him, new experiences don’t bother him, and I expect the poking and prodings of young children wouldn’t bother him. My only concern would be that he is slightly puppy-ish and can sometimes be mouthy. NEVER bites, but likes to have things in his mouth.

  3. Hannah September 19, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    My mom and I think Hank is the cutest!!! Are you ever in the twin cities?

    • pittiesforyourthoughts September 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

      If people are interested in meeting Hank between myself and Minnesota Pitbull Rescue we would definitely get him to a meeting!

  4. james October 7, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    I am interested in Hank and wonder if he is still available?

    • pittiesforyourthoughts October 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

      Yes! Hank is still available. Go to mnpitbull.com to learn more about the adoption process. Thanks!


  1. Some words from Hank. « Pitties for your Thoughts - September 19, 2012

    […] Hank wanted to say some things to his adoring fans.  He has a rather large head these days.. and not only physically!  He asked me to type for him though, as he can’t spell very well.  If you haven’t read about Hank yet you should read https://pittiesforyourthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/some-hanky-panky-going-on/ first.  […]

  2. Letter to a Foster Dog- Hank « Pitties for your Thoughts - October 11, 2012

    […] My dear foster baby. (If you haven’t read Hank’s story, read it here:https://pittiesforyourthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/some-hanky-panky-going-on/)   I’ve had you for over a month now, in my house, on my couch, in my lap, outside with our […]

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