Hank Williams has a new home in BE
It turns out that Hank Williams moved from California to Blue Earth last week.
But, before local Country Western music fans get too excited, it should be made clear that this Hank Williams is a German Shepherd dog.
Hank, as his new owners call him, has come to live at the Mike and Marilyn Anderson rural Blue Earth home. How he got here is pretty interesting.
“He is a rescue dog,” says Marilyn Anderson. “I found him on the Internet at an animal shelter in Lancaster, California. He was scheduled to be euthanized.”
It was love at first sight, and Anderson decided he was the dog they were looking for. So she sent $1,500 to the shelter to get Hank and have him flown to Minnesota. But, the money was stolen and that caused a big problem.
Then Anderson found a company called “Haulin’ Paws.” They are a pet transport company based outside Fort Worth, Texas, in Boyd.
“They take pets all over the U.S., for a fee,” Anderson says. “But they will transport rescue animals just for very little.”
On this past Monday afternoon, at a little after 2 p.m., a white van pulled into the parking lot at Giant Park. And, under the watchful eyes of the Jolly Green Giant himself, Hank leaped out of the van into the arms of Anderson and two of her foster girls, Mari Curi and Julia Baldwin.
It was like they already knew each other. There were hugs and kisses all around.
“We are going to turn Hank into a service animal,” Anderson said. “And Julia is going to be in charge of his training.”
The Andersons have five foster girls, but have had as many as seven foster girls at one time. Having a dog around just helps out with keeping everyone happy and doing OK, Anderson explains.
The Haulin’ Paws driver and co-owner Todd Grippe says he sees lots of happy folks get introduced to, or reunited with, their pets.
“Our goal is to provide low stress, door-to-door delivery of pet animals all across the country,” Grippe says. “And we haul lots of animals, not just dogs and cats. I have hauled baby emus, pigs, you name it.”
His sister is the business manager and schedules the trips, while Grippe and his brother-in-law do all the hauling.
This trip took Grippe to California, up to Oregon, to South Dakota, now Minnesota and then on to Missouri and then Tennessee before heading back home to Texas.
“I usually go out for 10 days straight, then back home for a week, then out again,” he says. There are numerous rest stops along the way, he says, both for the animals and himself.
And in case you were wondering, he sleeps in the van on a mattress, back with the animals that are all in travel kennels.
“It is how I can track whether they need anything, and it keeps them calm,” he says. And, you just get used to the smell.
Grippe says Hank Williams was a good travel companion, except he was a bit of an escape artist, always trying to get loose.
As far as the name goes, Anderson says they needed to give Hank a middle name on the adoption papers, and the name Hank Williams just seemed to be perfect.
So, officially his name is Hank Williams Anderson. Although his new trainer, Julia Baldwin, says his name is really Hank Williams Baldwin.
At any rate, welcome to Minnesota, Hank.