We said goodbye to our best friend today. Hank died peacefully at home and faced his euthanasia the same way he faced everything he ever encountered in his entire life and the only way he knew how – Head on and WITHOUT FEAR.
We were his rescuers and trainers, but Hank taught us far more than we ever taught him during the last 14 years. About seeing the beauty in every new place. About never letting fear stand between you and anything. About unconditional love and loyalty. About living, aging, and dying gracefully. And most importantly about how to live in the present moment and to be happy all the time no matter what!
Hank loved to walk, hike and retrieve more than anything and he could do it for hours and hours without getting tired. He was just as happy and confident navigating around broken glass in a rundown city neighborhood park as he was leading the way to the top of a 14,000-foot mountain in a pristine national forest in Colorado or strutting down the beach with the star’s dogs in Carmel, California. I can’t even to begin to guess the number of miles we logged around City Park in Denver which was probably his favorite place on earth. He was also about the fastest runner of his size that you could imagine, and watching him snatch a tennis ball or frisbee out of mid-air in stride was truly something to behold!
He also really loved to swim. Hank got to swim in the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and in countless, swimming pools, streams, lakes, and catfish ponds in between. In fact, I like to think Hank is probably locked onto and treading full steam towards a floating tennis ball right now!
If you ever encountered Hank you probably remember his infectious spirit and love for every single person he ever met, even if the same could not be said for every single dog he ever met. His adopted brother Rufus was the unwavering exception. He will be missed by us all and our hearts are broken more than words can say.
If you have a good boy or girl at home, give them their favorite treat and tell them that one was from Hank.