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Epilogue for Hank

To the editor

   Judy and I took Hank for the last time to Dr. Ray Habermann's veterinary clinic this morning, Tuesday, Dec. 5.

letter Hank
Hank. Photo courtesy of Judy and Bob Allen

   Hank was a Boykin Spaniel, age in the 14- to 15-year range. His failing condition became obviously critical this past weekend. Age and a fast-growing spindle cell tumor on his left front leg were primary causes.  There was no doubt he was suffering, and his time had come.
   Hank came to us as an 11-year old rescue dog. He had lived a charmed life at Sea Island on the Georgia Coast. His widowed owner died in February 2014, and close friends brought Hank home to Atlanta from the funeral. As it turned out, they could not keep Hank, and they called us. We picked up Hank on Valentine’s Day 2014.
   Hank was used to riding in the front seat of a car and in a golf cart at the Ocean Forest Country Club. The verified story was that Hank had his own water bowl at the club, and that restaurants in the area allowed him inside. We found that he was used to sleeping on couches and chairs inside the house.

   A Big Canoe friend said that "Hank came to you with exaggerated expectations".

   Notwithstanding, Hank adapted well at Big Canoe and quickly settled into becoming a family member.
   A word about the Boykin Spaniel breed, which is the state dog of South Carolina.  They are bred to retrieve water fowl, work from smaller boats than a lab, and retrieve in heavy cover. I don't think that Hank ever experienced the sport of hunting or retrieving water fowl. I did see him make efforts to chase squirrels and once, flushed a large cat from heavy cover.
   If you Google Boykin Spaniel, they describe temperament as Intelligent, Trainable, Energetic, Eager, and Companionable. All true, and I would add: Early Risers, Independent Minded, and Surly, when awakened from a nap. Hank, in particular, was loaded with attitude and personality.
   Boykin Spaniel Rescue, Inc in Charleston, SC says that when a Boykin dies, they cross the "Rainbow Bridge". Certainly, a sweet metaphor, and I hope something like that happens. Dogs like Hank touch our hearts, and it hurts to let them go.
   We want to thank Dr. Ray Habermann, the most dedicated vet we have known. If there is a hall of fame for veterinary medicine, Ray should be in it. Also, Shelly Johnston and Bob Garston of "The Red Barn", and Rose Horseley; all of whom gave Hank loving care when needed.

God Speed Old Friend.

Judy and Bob Allen

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