Hank, The Baseball Dog
Hank's story is something of a Cinderella fairy tale. He was a skinny stray with matted fur when he wandered into the ball, er, well, ballgame. It was spring training in Arizona to be precise. It was the Milwaukee Brewers' training field. The team took to the scruffy little fur ball and, without having to try out, he became a team member.
They named him Hank after baseball great Hank Aaron, who started his illustrious career in Milwaukee. They couldn't find him a fairy godmother but they did take him to the vet for a check-up and a bath. The vet couldn't be sure of his breed, but estimated that Hank is some sort of bichon frise mix. He had a tail injury and showed signs that he may have been run over by a vehicle.
The Brewers' did their due diligence and put up posters in the neighborhood to try to locate his family. As spring training went on it became clear that he had no family to come get him, but he had found himself a whole new band of brothers --all of whom like to play fetch. Hank became a regular on the field, working out with the team, and he even received his own little dog-sized jersey. His number? Well, it's K-9 of course.
The Brewers' hearts aren't the only ones he has captured. When the regular season began, Hank flew to Milwaukee with the rest of the team. The entire city, nay, the entire state took the pup to heart. Team merchandising has gone nuts for the mutt. Tiny stuffed Hanks are selling like crazy, as are the t-shirts with his likeness and the jerseys sporting his number. They are actually having trouble keeping up with the demand. A total of 20% of the proceeds will go to benefit the Wisconsin Humane Society. This has made Hank an MVP -- Most Valuable Pooch.
Hank now even suits up for the strange tradition of the sausage races that are a part of their home games. He has his own hot dog costume and runs right along with the other weenies. Perhaps at the end of this race he gets a Snausage or two.
The Brewers are a responsible bunch -- the day after Opening Day Hank was taken in to be neutered. He is officially owned by team vice president and general counsel, Marti Wronski, and lives with her family in Whitefish Bay when not on duty.
Hopefully there is no midnight for this little "Cinderfella's" ball game and that this is just the first inning of rhis happily ever after.
Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger