So this past weekend in Memphis was in-cred-i-ble in terms of weather. We've had the typical hot, nasty summer, but thanks to an awesome cool-wave, temps this weekend topped out around 90 (which is straight-up arctic compared to 105). So on Saturday, we decided to take Bates to the park about a mile-ish from our house. (We wanted to see if he would be into the baby swing. It was decent for him, but there wasn't really a way we could put him in it without the sun shining in his face, so that made him like it less I think.)
More exciting than the baby swing, though, was our walk down to the park. We passed a house that had a couple kids playing in the front yard and a dog tied up on a long leash. As we approached, per normal, the dog came running over to greet Hank. As he did, the kids called out, "don't worry, she won't hurt you" (not that I thought she would). But anyway, as she ran over, I noticed she looked just like Hank!
This was sort of a weird thing, because I've never seen another dog who resembles him so much. I said to the kids, "whoa - your dog looks just like mine!" The kids' mom, then came out and was like, "oh my gosh, you have a Hovawart, too!" She called her other dog out from the house and WOW - that one looked even more like Hankdog!
It turns out "Hovawart" is a breed and the woman found out her dogs were Hovawarts in almost the same way I was finding out about Hank (that is, a stranger mentioned it). This woman's family happened to be in Albany NY last year when there was a national Hovawart convention, so they attended. They became so smitten with the breed that they decided to adopt another one (the one who was running in the yard).
The dogs can be Hank's coloring, all black, or all blonde. I'm sure he's not pure bred (because why on Earth would a rare German breed of dog be at a shelter in Memphis), but I've never seen another breed of dog he resembles so much. (We thought all along he was half Gordon Setter - but he looks so much more like a Hovawart than GS it's crazy!)
Check it out: