Monday, February 23, 2009

Simply Put......Hank.

This is Hank. Hank is 10 months old. Hank is a goof ball, he is goofy. He is fun, and funny, happy, playful, joyful, out of control, attentive and just darn sweet. He isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but dammit he tries. Hank had always been a bit of a thorn in my side. His presence came about because of faulty judgement on my part, and Ive never really been able to, until recently, completely forgive him for being born.
But, in his favor, I have to say, he has tried very hard to make his presence in my house hold, and in my life, not only noticed, but enjoyable. As a pup, Hank was a model puppy. Only chewing on the things he was suppose to, crate training and house breaking quickly and easily, listening and learning and trying his earnest to be a good puppy. He and his sister Rose at 4 months old both came down with Parvo at the same time, and sadly, I had secretly hoped that if one had to die, that it would have been him, as Rose was absolutely my heart from the day she was born. As it turned out Rose passed away, leaving me heart broken and left with this gangly, goofy, ugly, (yes, Hank is ugly, just ask anyone that has seen him) puppy, that I harbored ill will towards for being the strong one and living. It has taken me quite awhile to come to terms with the fact that I have a Hank. Longer even more so, to figure out what to do with this Hank.
Especially, since Id never really put the time and effort into him as a pup after Rose died that I would normally put into a pup of mine, so his manners and training, have been.....lacking. Still, that hasn't stopped him from continuing to try to win me over. He is if nothing else, persistent. I wonder some times if he's ever felt how differently I felt towards him as opposed to how I felt and treated the other dogs. It could have been the very reason he has tried so hard to prove to me that he was just as worthy as everyone else for my love, attention and affections. Hank's biggest drawback, is that he isn't a squeaky wheel. He doesn't try to vie for attention, he isn't needy and constantly looking for approval, or affection. He is happy as long as he can be in the same room with me to just play by himself, and while away the time. Now Hank still has many qualities that are well known to be collie traits, in that if I get up, he will eagerly and uninvited follow, always hoping to be a part of the action, but not one to sulk if he isn't invited. In short, what I am finding out about Hank recently, now that I can no longer ignore his ......"exuberant presence," and have had to start to really pay attention to, is that Hank is happy just to be alive every second of every day, and if I ever had a time in my life where I could take a lesson from a dog, Hank would be a most excellent teacher. He takes his lumps and knocks and doesn't let them get him down. He has this whats next attitude, that is hard to ignore. The happiness and forgiving nature that he brings with him everywhere he goes, is phenomenal, and I have to chastise myself daily for not allowing him into my heart earlier. But, the wonderful thing about Hank is that He doesn't hold a grudge. He is happy for any thing that comes his way. I wouldn't even venture to say he acts grateful, as he doesn't appear to have missed anything to be grateful for, so I'm the one trying to make up for lost time, and harboring guilty feelings. Ive never neglected Hank, he has always been well cared for and has had the same routines and freedoms as the other dogs, except that I was emotionally not as there for him as I have been the other dogs. It hasn't appeared to have scared him in the least. I couldn't fault the dog for anything, and in fact, can only find fault in myself for not spending more time nurturing and getting to know such a wonderful soul. Hank has an ability that I have recently found to be intriguing, as well as rather disturbing. He will look you straight in the eye, and hold you there and try to look straight into you heart, mind and soul, and study what he finds and sees. It appears, that He is constantly searching out what it is you want from him that will make you happy. Gone when he does this is the goofy puppy look, and the ADHD attention span and he is very earnest, serious, and unflappable in his quest. In the times that he has done this with me, it is always me that breaks the eye contact first, as I become quite uncomfortable with his scrutiny, though I wish I could hold his eye longer, and see how long it takes before he breaks the spell. What he takes from these stare fests that seem to come more regularly with each passing day, I do not know. As, soon as they are over, he is back to being his goofy happy self again, and appears to carry no baggage from it. I have a feeling though, that with Hank there is more there than meets the "eye."
Hank has been to sheep now a number of times, and while turned on and wanting to work, Ive seen nothing really stand out about him. He is rather up right, and has a loose eye, is always wide and because of his long legs and gangly body, he appears to be clumsy and rather clown like in his movements. But he is still quite young and that could change to some degree. Still, I have a hard time not laughing at him. Which he doesn't seem to mind and appears to take as a compliment, or that I some how am appreciating what I'm seeing as when I laugh, that's when he seems to try even harder. But, all things aside, it looks at the moment, as if he has some thing to offer, some thing to work with, so we will roll with it, until, he tells me otherwise. So, this is my Hank. My dark horse, my long shot, my closet dog, who no longer wishes to just exist among the other dogs, but who is determined to over come any obstacle I put in his path, who is no longer content with being last on my list, who is putting his paw in the game, and coming out a winner. What he has offered me I can no longer refuse or resist. And that is the heart and soul of a good and honest dog. Welcome to the fold Hank, I think we are destine to play out the hand that has been dealt us, and with your unfaltering willingness and eager persona, we just might make one hell of a team, and you can keep teaching me how to become more human while humbly continuing to take on the appearance of a doG.


Dancing shepherdess said...

What's odd, is that I was just this past weekend, thinking about Rose, and Hank. How sad it was for you to lose Rose, and how Hank is now the up and comer. Sometimes, we get the dogs we need, not the ones we want. I hope that you two have wonderful times to come, and many memories to cherish.

Darci said...

Ive just been noticing lately, that hank seems to live on the outskirts of the other dogs when we all interact. I caught a glimpse of him last week, acting like he was on the outside looking in, and realized Ive been letting him for so long. I finally had to think about the whys, not that I didnt already know them, but had to acknowledge that I have this lovely dog here and I need to quit allowing it to happen. No matter how he got here, and wether or not I like the reasons, I still have this sweet and happy dog that deserves to be included more and appreciated more for who he is than what he is a product of and what he came from. Thoughts of my Rose are still always with me. I dont think Ive ever been so taken with a puppy before.Not even Chris!

Loretta Mueller said...

Awww....welcome home Hank :)

Katy said...

I love this post! I think I'd love Hank.

Anonymous said...

As much as my heart still aches for the loss of your little Rose, today it aches for little Hank. Having read this post (with tears rolling down my cheeks), I feel that Hank is trying to tell you that Rose lives in him and he wants you to accept that he will, in fact, give to you all you ever wanted or expected from his little sister. God sent Hank home to you with the spirit of little Rose to guide him. She lives on in Hank, the goofy, playful, loving little pup that he is.

Darci said...

Little?? LITTLE!!!!
Hank is a horse! LOL
And he eats like one too!
I have my work cut out for me with this fella. He is waaaay to happy for everyones own good! He is like a bull in a China shop!
The Goofy guy! LOL

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