Hank had the most adorable goofy face and sweetest brown eyes, with huge goofy paws and personality to match, that instantly won over hearts and incited smiles and pets of affection from most everyone he encountered. But he wasn’t just ‘goofy’ – he was also, and more so, an extremely smart dog.

I had the privilege and joy of being his ‘human mom’ for two years, and there is no way to measure the depth and breadth of his impact on my life. He stole my heart the second I laid eyes on him and from that moment he was a constant friend and companion who, I’m sure, had no idea just how much love and joy he created in ou r lives. Hank was such a happy and content dog, so very well behaved, with a laid back disposition. He adored and was endlessly devoted to his ‘human dad’, and loved riding in the car with him (and later, the three of us) anywhere and everywhere. He had the funniest howl he’d sometimes do when William and I would stand in the kitchen hugging in the morning (or sometimes when he’d have to stay home alone), and Hank wanted to make it perfectly clear he didn’t appreciate the delay in having his breakfast served. Even his howl was goofy and he sounded like a cross between a foghorn and the canine version of Walter Matthau, and so he earned the nickname ‘Foghorn Frank’.

I can’t find the words to convey the impact of losing Hank and not having him here with us anymore. Both his presence in my life and the hole created by his loss were and are profound, and while I know I will eventually grow accustomed to his physical absence, the hole left by him no longer being here with us cannot be filled – I will forever miss his companionship and making me laugh, how he loved so unconditionally, and how he loved, loved, loved his ‘cookies’ after dinner. I will love and miss him for the rest of my life, will cherish and be grateful for all the wonderful days we had with him, grateful for all the sweet, treasured memories, grateful for the gift of the privilege of getting to be a part of his life, and the privilege of getting to love and give him joy as he gave to us.

These are three of my favorite pictures of Hank: one of him snoozing and sunbathing on the deck, one taken at the dog park – one of his favorite places, and one taken on ‘our’ honeymoon (the three of us) when we’d just arrived at our destination and he sat up from having been asleep in the backseat with a look similar to that of a child asking, ‘Are we there yet?? Are we??’.

Tori Towers – Hank’s ‘Momma’

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