No double switch. No tale of deceit.
The Milwaukee Brewers say it’s still the same Hank the dog.
The Brewers confirmed Friday that their furry, four-legged mascot – who officially goes by Hank the Ballpark Pup – is the same bichon frise mix that walked on to the team’s spring training complex in Phoenix two years ago.
“This is definitely the original Hank, and this a notarized document from Hank’s veterinarian,” chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger said, holding the document up in his hand as if he were making a closing argument.
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Hank was then escorted into the lobby of the Wisconsin Humane Society, where the Brewers met the media. Straight-faced Hank mugged for the cameras before cuddling up to reporters for attention.
The team was playfully responding to recent social media-fueled rumors speculating that the original Hank had been replaced because of dramatic changes in the pup’s appearance.
Maybe Hank was traded for a southpaw? Or even worse, maybe Hank was sent down to the farm?
The Brewers knew all along it was the same dog but decided to have fun for a few days as a way to promote the Humane Society, pet care and adoption. After two years, it’s proof that Hank’s story still has legs.
Of course, times have changed since Hank joined the club as a malnourished stray. Hank has been adopted by a team general counsel Marti Wronski and her family. A once-matted, unkempt coat is now a healthy, white color.
When the fur started flying on the Internet, Wronski said the youngest of her four sons was especially mortified.
“Hank is really their dog,” Wronski said during the partly tongue-in-cheek news conference. “At first they take it seriously, and once we explained (they said), ‘Who would ever do that? Why would we ever do that?’ ”
A second opinion at the Humane Society confirmed it was the original Hank.