HANCEVILLE, Ala. – There’s been a lot of talk about a new handsome blonde-haired fellow around the city of Hanceville. Whispers of his soulful brown eyes and gorgeous smile were heard at the last city council meeting. Hopes of catching a glimpse of the new resident were high, but alas, he did not come. Who is this mystery guy and where did he come from?
His name is Hancen and he is the newest and sweetest boy at Hanceville City Hall (sorry Mayor Kenneth Nail and Chief Bob Long). The approximate year-and-a-half old collie/lab mix has made himself right at home in the clerk’s office and makes the staff and visitors swoon with his gentle nature.
“He was a stray,” Hanceville City Clerk Tania Wilcox explained. “They picked him up and he stayed out in the dog jail for about a week.”
It didn’t take long for Hancen to work his way into the hearts of everyone at city hall. For five days he was held in the kennel and then the time came for Hancen to be transferred to the Cullman County Animal Shelter. Letting go of their new canine friend wasn’t going to be easy, and it was something everyone dreaded.
“He is the sweetest dog, the most humble,” said Wilcox. “Everyone thought he had been beaten. I had never seen one do like him, and everybody got attached to him. Even the mayor got attached to him.”
They worried that Hancen might not be a good candidate for adoption because he was fearful of people.
Wilcox continued, “If you looked at him, he would lay down on his side like ‘please don’t hit me’ and ‘please don’t hurt me.’”
Then one day a staff member went to check on the pooch… and found Nail out by the kennels feeding Hancen crackers.
According to Wilcox, Nail said, “OK, he’s not going to the shelter. He’s just going to stay here.”
Over the last few weeks, everyone has tried to make Hancen comfortable, and he is allowed to walk around the offices for now.
Wilcox said, “We would love for him to be able to just walk around and go see everybody when he wants to.”
Hancen has his own personal condo with toys and a blanket for when people aren’t around.
“I feel bad; we are so busy and we don’t have much time,” she said. “But the dispatchers, they sit in their chairs for 12-13 hours. They are stuck in that chair in that room. They don’t go to lunch or anything. If that were me, it would really help if I had something like him just to hang around. We haven’t won the police chief over… YET,” Wilcox smiled.
She continued, “It helps us, just kind of therapy, I guess. You have to take him out two or three times a day. Well, if you just put his leash on him and take him out there and spend two or three minutes, it just helps us to get outside for a few minutes.”
Hancen has an appointment coming up soon to be neutered at Dr. Roy Morring’s office, Animal Medical Hospital in Hanceville. They hope the surgery will help with a few of Hancen’s unbecoming behaviors. He has not had any formal training, but his easy-going nature and desire to please make him a great office buddy. On weekends and holidays, Hancen goes home with Wilcox, although she welcomes a shared custody arrangement with others at City Hall.
Hancen’s official title is “City Dog” but has the potential of advancing to “City Ambassador” with several public events coming up in Hanceville. He will be at the ribbon cutting for the city’s new dog park in June if all goes as planned.
Besides being the official greeter at the city hall, Hancen enjoys his dog toys and basking in the sunshine coming through the window. He loves his doggie treats and waits patiently for his tasty rewards. As for the new dog park, Hancen gives it 5 out of 5 tail wags and is excited for it to be completed.
Wilcox laughed about how many people now stop by city hall just to see the new dog.
She said, “They bring him treats and toys and it’s just great!”
She hopes to get him a small wardrobe including a Hanceville Bulldog jersey, laughing, “He needs one, definitely!”
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