Missing Mr. Hanks


Dearest Readers:

It has been a tough, sad week for me. Losing my little Hanks the Tank, as I called him when he first arrived at our home, I’ve found myself looking for him this week, realizing he was not here anymore. Others knew him as Hank, but I called him Mr. Hanks. He rushed to me, happy with a personal name from me.

Hanks, the Tank…At Last, he has a happy home!

Mr. Hanks was protective of me, from the beginning. If my husband crossed his path, Hanks rushed to stop him. Now, I ask you, just how can a small mini-schnauzer manage to bite my husband like he did so often. We tried scolding him – never spanking him, just letting him know his behavior of biting was not acceptable. Occasionally, when I could, I grabbed Hanks harness, holding him back. Never did he bite anyone else, not even the pet sitters. Two years ago, he stopped biting. If Phil startled him, he rushed to grab his pant leg or shoe, only to place his mouth on Phil’s leg or foot, but he didn’t chop down on it like before. I suppose he finally realized my husband was not like the Phil who owned him previously. 

When I became the foster for “Hank” I was told he did not like to be crated. At our home, we do not use crates. We have a gated area for all of the pups. It seems to work well. I purchased dog beds, placing them on the floors so they would not sleep or play on the cold tile floors. They were demolished within a week! 

Finding a stack of old pillows, I washed them, placing each inside a pillow case or pillow sham. Mr. Hanks crawled up on two of them and that is where he slept when he did not sleep with me. All of our dogs enjoy the pillows. I suppose because they must contain hair particles or our scents. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve washed those pillows, and none of them shred them. I suppose they realize these pillows are for them, our four-legged family members. Each of our pups has a special place where they sleep. Now, Sandy Bear sleeps on Mr. Hanks pillows. Sandy Bear and Hanks were close buddies.

Mr. Hanks was an interesting character. How I wish I could’ve heard the stories he held within his heart. Stories of ill treatment. Stories of fear. Stories of how he felt when his family members took him to a kill shelter to have him euthanized over seven years ago. He still had life to live, and with us, he did. Fortunately, Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas saved him, contacting me to see if I could open my heart to a special needs rescue. 

When I served as Hanks foster, he was adopted; however, I had dreams about him. I’ve never had dreams from other fosters I kept. One night, I awoke hearing a bark at the front door. You must understand, my grandmother gave me the gift of visions when she went to Heaven. On the night I was having a vision about Hank, I opened the front door, but he wasn’t there. I contacted the person who adopted him, wanting to know how he was. At the time, he was ok.

I realized Hanks was communicating with me, and so, I listened to every dream I had about him. One dream told me he wasn’t happy where he was, and when I contacted the owner, I discovered why. 

Later, I drove to rescue Hanks from the owner and we adopted him. When he saw us, he recognized us. Rushing into the house, he ran to the toy box, picking out a tennis ball, Mr. Hanks was home!

Mr. Hanks loved the treadmill. Every morning when I stepped to get on it, I had someone behind me, ready to walk. Mr. Hanks. I have no idea how he knew how to work a treadmill, but that was Mr. Hanks! He observed life with excitement and happiness with us. I stepped off, and let Mr. Hanks walk. He was such a delight!

Mr. Hanks stopped playing with the treadmill and tennis balls last year. His legs hurt him. There were times we still played our little game, “I’m gonna get you Mr. Hanks,” and I rushed near him. He barked his happy bark, attempting to rush at me. His little, tender legs made him squeal. 

Last week, he decided it was time to go. On Monday, he ate and drank. Then, his tired body rested. Tuesday morning, he didn’t want me to pick him up to go outside. He growled that mean growl he knew so well.  He refused to eat or drink. The lights in his eyes were dark. I held him close telling him to fight. He turned his head away. No food. No drink – all day.

Wednesday morning, I called the vet, asking for an emergency check-up even though Thanksgiving was the next day. Arriving at the vets office, I had Mr. Hanks bundled up in a blanket, holding him close to me. They examined him telling me it was time. And so, I leaned into Mr. Hanks asking him if he was ready to go see Shamus and Shakespeare. He did not respond. His body was shutting down. My vet said it was only a matter of time, and the only humane thing to do was to grant him peace. I whispered sweet love words to him, while rubbing him. Minutes later, he took his last breath and I cried so hard.

Now, I must adjust to my life without Mr. Hanks. I am crying while writing this. How does one learn to stop grieving and move forward? Rest in peace, Mr. Hanks. I pray you will communicate with me once again soon.

I love you and miss you. I hope you send me a vision soon. My love to you always, “Mr. Hanks, the Tank!”

Thanksgiving, 2018


Dearest Readers:

I realize this is Thanksgiving week; however, I wanted to share a bit of a touching, sad story. This morning, Wednesday, November 21, 2018, we had to let our precious little 14-year-old+ mini schnauzer go to doggie heaven. Since Monday evening, he deteriorated rather quickly. He ate his dinner. Drank water, and on Tuesday morning, he could hardly walk. I lifted him gently, carried him outside and watched him struggling to stand  just to potty. His legs were like spaghetti. Although he wobbled to stand, he couldn’t.

I watched him all day, noticing he would not move. He lay in his urine, I cleaned him and did all I could. At dinner time, he turned his face away. Refusing to eat, even when I tried to hand feed him. He rested on his side. His breathing was labored and he was lethargic. This was not Mr. Hanks.  

All night long, I watched him. He hadn’t moved at all. I had his favorite pillow next to him. A blanket and a beach towel. No movement. Hank loved pillows and blankets! Early this morning, with no response and no movement, I made a phone call I prayed I would not have to make. I asked the receptionist if the vet would check him over. He would.

Arriving at the veterinary hospital, Hank was examined. His breathing was labored and short, like he had raced, or been on the treadmill with me. Yes, Mr. Hanks the Tank loved the treadmill. He would always jump on it before I could! Hanks truly had a delightful personality when he was happy, which was all of the time with us.

Prior to us adopting him, or maybe it was him adopting us, he lived a life of cruelty when his family member passed away, and the relatives did not want Hank, so they took him to a shelter to euthanize him. Fortunately, he was saved when Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas intercepted, saving his life. 

Hanks, the Tank…At Last, he has a happy home!

After we adopted Mr. Hanks, he was a bit reluctant to accept my husband. When I reviewed his papers, I realized his former owner and my husband had the same first name. That’s when I realized in Hank’s eyes, he was fearful of someone named “Phil.” It took us many months to get Hank to stop nipping and biting at Phil. I don’t recall him biting him in over two years. Sometimes, he would rush at him, I suppose to protect me, which he didn’t need to do, and he would place his mouth over Phil’s toe, or foot, growl and walk away. Obviously, he grew up in an abusive family; nevertheless, when I touched him, or moved away, he would grumble and follow me around the house. 

Mr. Hanks the Tank was a special needs schnauzer. All he really needed was for someone to reach him gently, touch and rub him and speak softly to him. In our home, he did not see abuse, only kindness, love, respect and acceptance.

Tomorrow at Thanksgiving, I will give thanks for God providing Mr. Hanks to come into our lives. While I write this, I am crying my heart out over losing him. It was one of the toughest and most heart breaking decisions I’ve made. My animals are my family!

Happy Thanksgiving in Heaven, Mr. Hanks, the Tank. I pray you are with Sir Shakespeare Hemingway, and Prince Marmaduke Shamus. Mommy loves all of you. I give thanks for God sharing our lives for only a while. I love and miss all of you.