If you walk into West Valley Horse Center in Agoura Hills at the right time, you might find Hank sitting on a rug by the front door basking in the sun.
If the one-year-old Jack Russell doesn’t greet you there, it may be because he’s outside in the back trying to catch rats, lizards and other tasty dog treats among the haystacks.
Or he could be tooling around town on a store tractor, sitting on the lap of his owner, David Manhan.
Hank has quite a fan club.
First thing many customers say when they show up is, “Where’s Hank?”
“Kids (especially) immediately say ‘where’s Hank,’” said store employee Nikki Notrica. “He has some special dog friends. Rosie, a lab mix, and Pirate, a boxer-Saint Bernard mix, are probably his best friends. Big dogs are his favorite.”
Manhan recounted a customer who comes to the store with her two-year-old daughter.
For the past year, the child has walked Hank on a leash inside the store past the fully stocked shelves of merchandise.
“She makes her mom come into the store to see if Hank is here and if he isn’t, she won’t get out of the car,” Manhan said.
Every day since the Manhans brought Hank home from Palm Springs at eight weeks old, he’s been at the horse supply store on Agoura Road.
He hates the rain and won’t go outside, but partakes in bouncing and bounding around the property greeting not only humans but the dogs customers bring in their cars and trucks.
On a recent Tuesday, Maria Kalivas showed up to pick up some hay for her mare as she does every week.
Her rescued golden retriever/shepherd/possible husky mix, Simba, is a favorite dog friend of Hank’s.
He sniffed around the car until Simba came out and they scampered around like old buddies.
“Hank loves Simba,” Kalivas said before her hay purchase was stuffed into her trunk.
Hank, named after country artist Hank Williams, Jr., is white with brown ears and a brown spot on his back.
He has a little black patch on his lip that looks like he’s wearing lipstick and black on his eyelids as if he got up that morning and applied eyeliner.
He stands about 12 inches high and is considered a long-legged Jack Russell Terrier.
He has his favorite customers and knows them not only by sight but by the sound of their cars or trucks and their voices, according to Manhan, a former studio set designer.
Adrienne Manhan, who refers to herself as Hank’s mom, said the pup has won the family’s hearts and sleeps with her husband every night.
“Hank is super-smart, calm and playful,” Adrienne Manhan said. “And great with customers.”
While that all may be true, Hank does his thing and lives a life fit for a king.