Stanley is a yellow Labrador Retriever that just turned 5 years old, the same age as our grandson. Happy Birthday Stan the Man! He is part of the famous biscuit eating duo, Henry and Stanley, that came for Doggy Daycare every day at The Pooch, our place in Denver and they continue to play there even today. Stanley started coming along with his big brother Henry when he was just a little puppy. Afraid to jump out of his owner’s truck, he was carefully lifted out, then he walked in through the front door. The same thing was repeated at the end of each day after charging up front for his goodby biscuits. Did this end after he got older? Nope. Stan the Man had to be lifted in and out every day, a lesson he learned as a pup that has stayed with him forever.
The funniest story I remember about Stanley is when he was a little less than a year old, still a puppy but growing up fast as all Labs do. He was living up to the reputation of large breed puppies and eating everything in sight….drapes, drywall, landscaping rocks and other things. He loved chewing on our outside plastic playground equipment and everyone was diligent about keeping an eye on him for fear of swallowing something that could cause gastrointestinal problems, not uncommon in young Labs.
In fact, one young Lab customer ate an entire kids toy at his home that got lodged in his intestines. He had a very expensive emergency surgery to remove the obstruction at one of the most well known large veterinary hospitals in Denver, who removed the toy and soon Cheerio was on his way to recovery. The surgical staff put a blanket in with the pup following the surgery, which he promptly ate. We were absolutely appalled at their ignorance and lack of proper precautions and we never referred another customer to that facility again. Following Cheerio’s second emergency to remove the blanket, the dog eventually passed away due to all of the scar tissue complications from these two surgical procedures. A loss that we still feel the pain from, that could have been totally avoided.
Stanley was a very lucky dog and never had an obstructions at all. His owners diligently safe guarded their home, replaced landscaping materials multiple times and yet Stanley always found something delectable to munch on. One day after lunch and mid-day nap time, we started letting everyone out to play. Henry and Stanley went racing past me along with the other pooches with a blur of flying debris showering across the room. After everyone was with their assigned groups, I rushed back to see what had happened and wondered where it had come from. Yep. It was the remainder of Stanley’s epicurean delights….the newest landscaping materials at home….wood chips.
Stanley eventually outgrew his desire to eat everything that he shouldn’t, but he never has outgrown his love of being spoiled a bit by his owners. Doggy Daycare every day, balls thrown to he and his brother every night, a piece of cheese to coax him out of the truck, the highest quality dog food and snacks, unconditional love and attention from his owners and ultimately being lifted in and out of their vehicles, even if their grandma takes care of the boys.
Be a responsible dog owner and use this family as an example of what you should provide to your dogs during their life. Lots of attention, exercise, good food and lots and lots of love. Dogs are an extension of our family lives and need to be treated with the same respect and love that we give to one another.
Happy Birthday Stan the Man! We enjoyed the four years we spent with you and still love seeing your pictures posted on Facebook by your loving mom.