GreatDaneHank was my first son, a gentle soul that kids loved and animals were attracted to. We were inseparable, spending every moment of our day together except when I went to work. They wouldn’t accept his kind because, well, Hank was a Great Dane.

Hank was what most folks would consider a lemon. He had Addison’s disease and dilated cardiomyopathy, demanding a regimen of shots and pills. His large brown eyes, which when pointed directly at you, were slightly crossed. The top of Hank’s head had ridge that made him look as if he were wearing an ill-fitting yarmulke. His fur was brown with a black mask, which meant he was a fawn like Scooby Doo though unlike Scooby Hank’s ears weren’t cropped and hung like an elephant’s. A dense swath of curly hair ran along his back like a bad toupee. But Hank’s gentle disposition and lumbering playfulness made him a neighborhood superstar. During our walks folks I didn’t know would approach us and stop to swoon over Hank, clearly knowing who he was as I stood to the side, ignored.

My dog had more friends than me.

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