[6-15-97] Stanley aka Stan the Man, known more recently as "The Man," is a goofy - and we are talking clueless here - clown in OES clothes. Stanley's story begins with a call from a concerned pet owner asking that Rescue Inc. become involved in removing an 8 year-old OES from a bad situation. It was revealed that the owners left Stanley tied out all day on the porch and that since the birth of their child, the poor dog was only allowed in the garage at night. When Rescue obtained ownership of Stanley, it became apparent that there were serious medical problems. Stanley had a laundry list of skin problems including open sores, hair loss, and itching. He had no hair around his very red eyes. In short, he was a mess. On top of that he had his own ideas about allowing humans to attend to the sores and address the matted - and we are talking pelt here - coat. He was the skinniest dog you've ever seen, weighing in at only 55 pounds. Deep within that pus-ridden body, there lay a shining crystal. It was apparent to all who met him.
It would be a long battle to save this guy and to find him the right home. His vet and boarding (when Grannie was away for a month) bills was nearly $1,000. He was placed once - only to return because he snarled (not polite, Stan) at his new family. (Rescue didn't blame the new owners for being frightened by this display.)
From there he went into an experienced foster home. Three screens and hours of howling later it was decided that he be sent to boarding school (no pun intended) until Grannie returned.
Stan-the-Man lived with Grannie so long (6 months) that most people assumed that she would keep him. NOT! Slowly he picked up some weight and definitely benefited from major attitude adjustment - compliments of Grannie. Nearly 6 months passed. The coat grew back a beautiful textured pigeon blue. Stanley actually got more handsome! He spent a couple of weeks in a very special foster home with Rescue Inc. member, Gail MacDonald. Gail found the perfect word to describe Stanley's sometimes very odd behavior: "confused." What an apt expression for a dog you cannot use the word "No" to. Living with Stanley is just like living with a 2-year old kid. You can't take anything from him; you substitute. You don't say "No", you change the subject. (Fortunately, he is very gullible.)
Where do we go from here? About the time when it was crossing Grannie's mind to consider sending Stanley off to a kennel (thank you for offering, Sandy) for the rest of his life, Janet Watson called to tell us about a great home she found. Incredibly, Mike and Nancy Durski of Getzville, NY appeared out of nowhere! They had just sent the second of their two 14 year old OES to the Rainbow Bridge, and the house felt empty. With a fenced yard and 2 college-aged girls, it was worth a try. Rescue Inc. held its collective breath!
The following are excerpts from letters regarding "Ye Lord Stanley of Blackfriar."
Well, it's Friday night and I bet by now you are absolutely handsome, all bathed and groomed and ready for your big debut; just about the most gorgeous "sheepie" guy around! Show 'em your stuff, Stan. You'll win their hearts with your newfound zest for life. After all, Saturday is "Stanley Day" the first day of the rest of your life!
Our home is awful empty here, and quiet. We already miss you, Stan. "Velcro" dog is moving on to a very special new home of your own, Stan. You can be center stage, star of the show, a true family member... .a privilege long overdue in your lifetime. If you're really "super sheepie", they may even put you on a pedestal and give you a title like, "Sir Stanley of Buffalo"!
All kidding aside, Stanley, you've come such a long way from your "past". So, go to your new family with head held high, remember your manners, yet be lighthearted and love your new life. Be the silly, happy "doofus" that you are; be excited (but, under control). Prance those long legs and fluffy feet all the way to Buffalo!
You have a fan club out there, Stan-the-Man. But remember who loves you most; remember your thank yous to everyone who has brought you this far. And don't forget to send that photo Christmas card! Be a good sheepie, Stan, and live happily ever after!
Foster Mom Gail and Foster Sheepie Brittany
You will always be Stan-The-Man to me. I wish to welcome the Durski family to the OES-List. They found New England OES Rescue and Stanley through Janet Watson. Your amazing story has captivated many on this List for nearly 6 months. Your List friends can meet the Durski family at the NEOESR web site.
Now, Stanley, I want you to be a good boy (relative term, I know) because it doesn't get any better than you have it there. Besides that, you not only have Grannie watching you from 8 hours drive away, but you have Godmother, Janet, practically in your back yard --- so better watch out, I 'm telling you why.' <grin>
Just joined OES-L and thought this would be the best way to thank a number of people for the support afforded me after losing my two OES buddies of 14 years (Sir Ramsey of Hampton and Squire McDuff of Hampton) this last year due to old age, and linking me up with Grannie Annie and Stan the Man! Thank yous go out to Janet Watson who first contacted me and continually kept in communication with me throughout this process. To both Madeline Erickson and Sandy Crowne who contacted me about potential matches and offered their support in any way. To Gail MacDonald for fostering Stanley and writing those wonderful report cards and to all the others who took care of Stanley while fate took its time on bringing us together. But most especially to Annie Raker for allowing me to become the adoptive family for Stanley. She has the patience of a Saint (at least with Stanley) and I know how difficult it was for her to part with him. Yes, Stanley is a flake, but what OES isn't. Our trip from Boston to Buffalo with Stanley was enjoyable for everyone and especially my daughter Michelle (Mitch) who fell asleep with Stanley's head in her lap. After a while I couldn't tell who was snoring. Stanley is settling in very nicely. We have taken rides out to breakfast, shopping, to get gas, to mail Xmas packages, and to Starbucks for coffee. Needless to say he goes everywhere with us (me). He is very' popular with both of my daughters and their boyfriends. I feel very lucky to have found NEOESR and to have Stanley as part of our family. If anyone wants to say hello to Stanley you can e-mail email@example.com (my daughters e-mail) and we will try to respond to everyone. By the way, Stanley's official name is now Ye Lord Stanley of Blackfriar (he's taking over), although Doofus at times may be more appropriate.
Best regards to everyone,
Michael Durkki, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
I think this will work out fine. He is taking to his new surroundings, although very curious. Even though my other daughter was cool to the idea of Stanley because of him looking so much like one of our other boys, she is being taken in by him very quickly. He has been everywhere with me so far, even the pet store where everyone was oohing and aahing because he was so friendly and well behaved even next to the biscuits. One funny event happened yesterday. I turned on an engraving tool to engrave his name into the backside of his tag. The tool makes an awful sound. Stanley crawled under a glass top cocktail table in our family room. The table is only nine inches off the floor. It made for an amusing sight. I think it made him secure.
I don't know how to thank you for what you have been doing and for taking the time to get Stanley and me together. I guess it was meant to be. If there is anyway I can repay you, please let me know. Hopefully the time will allow us to attend your picnic next year so everyone can see how well he has done.
Best regards, Michael and Stanley
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael S Durski)
Events were such today that Stanley was home alone from noon to 5:30 this afternoon. He passed with flying colors. Had access to the whole house and didn't upset a thing. He isn't perfect yet but boy is he trainable. Maybe we have had weird dogs before that make Stanley seem like an Angel (with his halo tilted). Everything is going great. He is at my side and says hello, and, yes, he misses you also. No funny lip faces for days and the door attacking has calmed down to almost nothing. But, we have to train him to answer the phone because he keeps looking for it when it rings.
Stanley wants attention so I gotta go for now.
Regards, Stanley and Michael
We finally got some film developed and wanted you to have some photos of The Man and see how he has made himself quite at home.
We did leave his lead attached to his collar for 1-2 weeks and it was most helpful when the doorbell rang. He would race for the front door barking all the way as though he would attack whomever dared to invade his home. He is much improved now - although he still barks (not a problem with us-better than an alarm system), he calms down pretty quickly when he realizes that these are people he has smelled before and/or we seem to be pretty at ease with the intruders. The telephone still rattles him but that too is improving and we just say to him in a calm voice that it is ok and he doesn't need to get our attention and/or be afraid.
The girls (Michelle and Marcy - aka M&M) are still on winter break from school so only have to leave Stan when they work (part-time). Even then he doesn't seem to mind being alone. Of course, it is winter and the windows are closed so I can't even ask the neighbors if he howls or barks when alone. We have found no damage to anything when we return and in fact usually he comes down from the second floor when he realizes someone is home. He seems to like to lie at the head of the stairway when alone and in the morning when Michael and I head off to work and M&M are still sleeping (ah, youth).
His first "party" was Sunday, December 21st when we celebrated Marcy's 19th birthday. We had about 10 'strangers' in the house and he spent the entire evening under the famous glass-topped coffee table in the family room. He wasn't shaking and didn't appear to be overly anxious so we were pleased. Our ten-year-old nephew did pet him while 'undercover' and gave Stan a treat or two and Stan was just fine. We did warn Ben to be slow and gentle with Stan as we didn't quite know how he would react to a 'child'. He was also just fine with all the girls friends arriving to say hi and whatnot. The papergirl came to collect last night and Stan was fine at the door just wanting to smell Brittany (I'm sure she smelled just dandy - she has two dogs at her home).
Stan, of course, likes to be around us whenever he can and will follow us just 5 or 6 feet to be sure he doesn't get left out. I'm sure in time he will learn that he can lay in one or two places on the first floor and see just about everything going on. Naturally, these places are right in the people traffic pattern, but we have been trained to step over large, black, white and furry sleeping bodies.
We were a bit worried about Stan begging and helping himself to food when we are eating at a table or eating a snack in the family room. Eating at the table has never been a problem; he just sleeps under the table or to the side of us. Stan would sit in front of us and stare at us when we would eat in our family room, but that lasted only until he realized we were not going to give him any food. He still gives it a try, but we tell him to go somewhere and lay down, and he does. I found it rather humorous when I was reading the chat list the other day that some owners have to put their 'little' bundles of joy in another room or crate so they (owners) can get some chores done (dinner, etc). Don't know if we have been lucky or smart, but none of our dogs trashed the house (except when puppies) when we were busy doing chores. If they get underfoot, (in a spot where we just can't continue to walk over them) we tell them to find another spot to occupy and off they go. No problem.
On two occasions, we have found Stan sitting on the family room couch, but that was in his first week or two with us and we just led him down and didn't make a big deal out of it. We don't like the animals on the furniture because of the hair. However, what he does when we are all gone might be another story!
He still loves to go for rides in anyone's car and everyone in the family will take him out once in a while. He goes with Michael just about every Saturday and Sunday to fill up the gas tanks in any cars that need it. Stan especially likes these rides because although he doesn't get any coffee, the trip lasts about one hour in total so it gives him a good ride. If we go out for breakfast or to a quick restaurant for dinner (with ample windows) Stan gets to go and guard our car as long as it isn't too cold out. The girls are apt to take him along to return a library book, pick up something at the drug store, etc. He even doesn't mind going to the vet.
He has food and water at his disposal 24 hours a day. He eats when he wants and does appear to be gaining some weight. If he gets to a weight we want to stop at, we will begin to limit the food, but right now we are pleased as punch that he likes the food. He is on Science Diet Senior, the vet said we should give it a try. Even though it is senior, he is still gaining weight and he is not leaving too many packages in the back yard. He likes to 'carry' some food in his mouth and drop it on the floor and then eat it off the floor. We are trying to gently get him not to do that, we may not be successful. If that is his worst habit, yippee!
When Stan appears to be a bit restless and keeps 'bugging' a human, it usually means he has to go out. He only lifted his leg the one time. Actually, that was the first thing he did when he got 'home' on December 6th it was right in the spot where our dear Duffy had left many puddles before we lost him. Stan hasn't dampened our carpets since. He appears to have a very large bladder because sometimes when he goes out first thing in the morning, he just goes and goes and goes - bless him. What are you gonna do? Just love them, I guess.
As we have said before, we are kind of waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop - this just seems too easy, especially for a dog who took 6 months to adopt. I guess he was just waiting for us and we were waiting for him. He seems to fit right in and is just the kind of pet we wanted, Doesn't need house breaking, won't chew the window sills (including the metal handle - been there), and likes to go with us in the car.
I can't think of anything else to tell you right now, but if I think of anything I think you would like to know, I will write again. Hope this helps give you an idea of what Stan's life is like - hope you approve.
We do! With smiles.