Marie Swanson’s entire life came crashing down when her 33-year-old daughter was murdered and found bound and stabbed in her home five years ago.
For Swanson, the heartache has never gone away, but she has thankfully had a tremendous support system in her dog, Hank the Tank.
Hank, a 280-pound English Mastiff, was just a puppy when this tragedy occurred, but he sensed that something was wrong. He stood by Swanson’s side through the funeral, the investigation, and the trial. Dogs are usually able to sense when something isn’t right, and they do a great job at comforting us and making us feel better. And Swanson needed that more than ever.
“He was my main reason for getting out of bed in the mornings,” Swanson told CTV Winnpeg. “It doesn’t matter what you say to them. It stays with them.”
Now, not only does he comfort Swanson, but he provides that sense of comfort to others as well. The gentle giant graduated from the St. John Ambulance Dog Therapy Program, and once a week, he visits Riverwood Square’s senior home and its residents. Many of them have dementia, but his visits with them bring back a lot of childhood memories. He gets them socially engaged and they all love and adore him!
“I didn’t know he’d be such a big hit,” Swanson told CTV. “I think Gina would want me to find some purpose. And she’d be happy with it, because she was a real animal lover too.”