We adopted Hank in February of 2016 at the ripe age of 5 years old. He was rescued by LightShine Canine from a desolate life on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where a dog rarely has a chance to be loved. We found him online and as fate would have it, 1,700 mi. later, he has a home in Charleston, SC.
In the short amount of time we have spent with Hank, he has tranformed from a socially awkward stray, to the best boy anyone could ask for. Sure, he may been a turd on a few occasions, but our lives have been enriched by having him as our "son".
Most of you that have met him know what I mean when I say that he is a special dog. If you haven't met him here are a few stats to help paint a picture:
Name: Hank "Chief" Wharton
Parents: Brooks and Lisa
Breed: Special Blend (wolfhound/lab)
Age: 6-7 (we think)
Weight: 85 lbs.
Hobbies: swimming, hanging out with humans
Favorite Food: Salmon
Education: The Streets
Loves: Car/boat rides, snacks, people, water, walks
Hates: Baths, veggies, Lisa's office
Nicknames: Hanky, Hankerchief, Big Head, Hank the Tank
Hank is one of those dogs that you can take everywhere with you. He is just a chill dude that doesn't cause much trouble. He never barks, and he doesnt really need a leash. He just wants to be with the crew, wherever, and whenever. He goes to work with us every day. He goes to the bank with us, and to shops - he is welcome everywhere! Many of the employees at our frequent stops have gotten to know him and love him as much as we do! The mailman loves him and brings him a treat everyday! He likes going to happy hour, he likes walking to his aunt's house and seeing his young nephews Will and Cam. He LOVES the James Island Park, and the beach, and boat rides...any water activity. Basically he is forever grateful to have gotten the hell out of South Dakota.
My Dad's favorite Hank story...
One evening I was early in bed and Lisa got home from work well after dark. She was creeping through the dark hallway, careful not to turn on the lights and wake me. What she didn't know was that Hank was sleeping right in the middle of the hallway. Lisa tripped on him and he let out a loud shriek. Lisa fell into the doorway and hit the floor, leaving a 12" scrape down her back and side, leaving her in some serious pain! The commotion woke me and as Lisa was calling out for help I sat up and shouted... "Is Hank okay???!!!" Dad gets a kick out of that...Lisa doesn't find it as funny.
So...on the sad part.
Hank got a really bad haircut one day. We were petting him, telling him that..."it'll grow back buddy", when we noticed some abnormal lumps in his neck. After a trip to the vet, we were sent to an Oncologist only to find out he has B-cell Lymphoma, an incurable cancer in dogs. It was a shock to us, but thankfully we caught it before it had run rampant.
Without hesitation, we opted to treat him with chemotherapy. We initially forecasted it may cost $4k and with this treatment he could live another year as a happy dog! Without it, the cancer will rapidly make him very ill, and ultimately take his life much too soon. He has a family now, and we chose to fight it.
This is our story since beginning treatment:
In the first week of July Hank had two emergency chemo treatments and almost immeditely his lymphnodes shrunk to normal size. He was feeling great and we were impressed with how he was handling everything. On the second week something went terribly wrong. Hank was sick...real sick. We initially took it as a normal reaction to the treatment, and we assumed in 24-48 hours he would bounce back. He ended up spendnig 3 nights in the emergency room with pneumonia. They had to pump the fluids out of him and get him on some heavy anti-biotics. His platelet count had gotten so low that was bleeding in and around his lungs. Poor guy was so down but he handled like a champion and pulled through, each day getting better and better. July 25th was his third chemo treatment, and we are praying that this time things will be different. Because of the pneumonia, he is on some heavy daily medications for 4 weeks, we are now in the tail end of the 3rd week. He has been real good about taking his pills! We have to sneak them in hot dog buns. The good kind...Pepperidge Farms, top split to be exact. We just stick with what works becuase initially it was a challenge to get the pills down...so hot dog buns it is!
The good news is...Hank is happy. Right now he is the Hank we knew before all this went down. It's working. Having him happy makes it all worth it. This is the best we can do for him, and I am thankful we are making it happen!
How can you help?
As of today, July 28, 2017, we have paid upwards of $6k, and there is more to come. We did not plan for this, we were not finincially prepared for this, but we are going to fight for him. He is on schedule for 3-4 more chemo treatments, on top of having to do 4 weeks of expensive antibiotic medication for the pnemonia.
As I mentioned earlier, the disease cannot be cured, but with the treatment the cancer is likely to go into remission, giving him a chance at an extended, happy life with us. This is our goal.
Lisa and I are making sacrifices. This illness is costing, and the incidentals (the pneumonia) are doubling the expected costs. We are going to make it happen for him, and see it to the end no matter what. At this rate, we may end up at $10k for the treatments he needs. We hope not, but this is very unpredictable.
We are struggling with it financially. We unfortunately do not have insurance on him. We have a wedding in October and an unfinished home. Needless to say, the stress and worry is taking it's toll.
We are reaching out for donations from our friends, family, and dog lovers like us who would do anything for thier boy/girl!
This is a first for us, asking for help like this, and it is quite humbling. All we can say is THANK YOU! Hank is a good dog - we took him in from a dark place and he deserves this chance. He is strong, he can do this, but he needs our help.
I will continue to update his progress.
Thank you for your time, your concern, your prayers, and your donation if you are in a position to do so!
Long live Hanky!
- Darcie Mullinax
- Kelly Moore
- Michelle Woods
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