By Star Staff
For the Hollywood Star News
Hollywood Hank, the canine correspondent who contributed dozens of columns to the Star, died in December. What was Hollywood Hank like, and what was it like to be interviewed by him? Some of Hank’s interviewees (and Kathy Eaton, the reporter behind the Boxer) share their recollections:
Julie Rae, with No Bonz About It: “Hank was one of those special dogs that only comes around just once in a while. He was a sweet soul, a lot of fun, a part of our Thursday crew, and he will be truly missed at No Bonz about it and all over Northeast Portland.”
Symon Lee, with Furever Pets: “I remember Hank. He was a very friendly and handsome dog, especially in his sweater, and it was an honor to be photographed with him.”
Roberta Dyer, with Broadway Books: “The interview was a lot of fun. Hank just marched in the store like he owned it and, by that attitude, endeared himself to everyone around him. He was a great lover of everything, I think. He was affectionate and intimate and interested in everything around him.”
Marla Watson, with I Heart Retro: “He was particularly adorable, especially in his reindeer antlers. He was so patient with the three-year-old kid in the picture with him. We will miss him.”
Cheryl Howard, with the Hollywood Post Office: “Hank was an extrovert. He was always friendly. He would let almost anyone pet him. He liked treats, but he didn’t demand them. He made you want to give them to him.”
Linda Seals, with Posh Designs and Furnishings: “He was a sweetheart. He had problems with his health, but he was always so happy to see you. He wagged the stump of a tail off his little butt. He liked to come around my desk and say hello. Even when we were closed, he would look in the window to see if I was there. He was always fun to have around. He loved it when kids were around; he was not too fond of men, but he loved the ladies. Being interviewed by Kathy was always nice. He knew the neighborhood. He will be missed.”
Paul Clark, with Township Properties and the Hollywood Boosters: “He was a friendly puppy who liked people and liked being around the neighborhood. He was Hollywood’s canine character and added memories to our neighborhood.”
Kathy Eaton, Hollywood Hank’s “interpreter and secretary”: “What made Hank a great companion dog? He was easy-going, always happy to see you and enjoyed walks in familiar territory. When we were out walking and I commanded Hank to do something (sit, stay or leave it), he’d often turn around and give me this sincere look with soulful eyes, as if to say, ‘What? Are you talking to me?’ I miss that look, almost as much as I miss his short stubby tail wagging to show his delight with some treat or toy. When he combined that wag with a happy dance spinning himself around, it was pure joy to watch. Hank had the ability to make my day better if I was stressed or just feeling blue.
“Hank was great to run errands with to the post office, Rite Aid, the bank, numerous coffee shops, always chatting with favorite business owners along our walking route. He made them smile, too.
“People we’d meet would inquire, ‘How’s Hank today?’ and offer a hand for him to sniff. He’d check p-mail on trees, bushes and street corners. Sometimes he’d leave a message. Strangers would inquire about his breed, standard Boxer, and comment on his handsome good looks. One lady recently commented ‘Nice socks,’ referring to Hank’s paws, not my wool socks.
“It always brightened my day when someone would stop us on our walk and ask if that was the dog they saw in the newspaper. Then they’d fuss over Hank, asking to pet him and calling him a celebrity. I think Hank knew he was special. Always well-mannered and friendly toward children and adults of all ages, we generated story material along the way. Hank articulated the new dog policy for the Hollywood Farmers Market, and KeyBank changed their policy about offering dog treats to canine visitors when Hank dropped by. The owners of Region Bedroom Furniture started carrying a line of canine beds when Hank suggested it. He loved visiting Posh Designs and Furnishings because owner Linda Seals kept a supply of dog treats in the back of her store for Hank and other canines.
“Hank always told the truth, even about the time he didn’t pass the test for registration as a therapy assistance dog after weeks of training. When I told Hank’s owner Ben that Hank was merely expressing his opinions, Ben, smiling broadly, responded, ‘Opinions are being expressed, but they’re not necessarily my dog’s.’ Hank and I shared a sense of humor. Snarky, yes, but we always had a message to share or a point to make.
“I was rewarded when the community contacted the Star and asked if Hank could drop by to visit. One of my favorite requests came from the daughter of a 100-year-old resident of the Alameda Ridge. According to her daughter, Lillian loved reading Hank’s column and wanted him to come visit her. So we did. Lillian, aka ‘Babe,’ wore her best blue dress and a string of pearls to meet Hank. She had a bag of treats for him and stories to tell us. Alicia Dickerson of Four-Legged Photo requested to professionally photograph Hank so he could share the photos with readers of his monthly column. Hank showed he had star power at Dickerson’s studio.
“I learned so much about the Hollywood neighborhood by walking Hank and meeting so many interesting people. With my faithful companion, a standard Boxer named Hank, we wrote 46 columns accompanied by wonderful photos that captured the joy of living in a neighborhood named for a movie theater. We had a list of ideas for his 2013 columns; Hank just left us too soon.”