Thursday, 11 July 2013

Stanley the Dog.

A Dear Reader asked for the story of Stanley the Dog.

There is no time to tell the full, antic tale. I will tell it one day.

But for Stanley fans (and there are a gratifying number) here is a little précis.

He is known in my mother’s house as the Whizz-About Dog. Because he whizzes about. He is very, very busy. He must look for squirrels, beat the bounds, inspect any possible food sources, and check for intruders.

Being a half-greyhound lurcher, he is astonishingly fast. His highest speed so far has been clocked at 32 miles an hour. When I told The Mother this, she looked very faintly disappointed. ‘What was Frankel’s highest speed?’ she said. I suddenly realised that she had decided Stanley was in the same league as the wonder horse. He’s got a little way to go before he can do 43mph.

He is a Steve McQueen dog. There is not a door, including those of the car, which he cannot open. Sometimes he lets himself out and politely shuts the door behind him. No one knows how he does this.

No comestible is safe. He once opened a firmly closed tin of amaretti biscuits, and despite the fact that they were individually sealed in tricky cellophane packets, liberated and scoffed the lot.

He yowls and leaps and yelps when I watch the racing. When Andy Murray went three games down in the second set at Wimbledon he actually looked into my eyes and let out a low, sustained howl.

He is devoted at the moment to catching bluebottles. He hurls himself in the air, jaws snap-snap-snapping like a crocodile on speed. He will not rest in this vital task.

When he wants love, he stops whizzing about and comes and puts his chin on my knee and gazes plaintively into my face.

He loves a car journey, and gazes intently ahead through the windscreen as if checking the horizon for bugs.

He is very, very funny.

He has a crush on Autumn the Filly. In order to cover up his great love, he barks at her and herds her and jumps at her, but when he thinks nobody is looking, he goes up and touches his nose to hers. Amazingly, despite the fact that he is so jumpy and barky, she puts her head down to his and blinks gently at him.

Because he was very uncertain about the horses to start with, and prone to leaping five feet in the air and attempting to nip their muzzles, he has performed the most valuable act of desensitising we could have asked for. If we ever meet a crazed pooch out on the trail, our girls will just look at it as if to say: Ha, you have not met Stanley. (Red did actually encounter a barky dog yesterday and did not bat an eyelid. Its owner was astonished.)

I never thought any dog could fill the shoes of the Duchess and the Pigeon. But somehow I landed on my feet, and got this extraordinarily special fellow. I love him to bits.

11 July 1 04-06-2013 13-53-24

11 July 2 04-06-2013 13-53-23

11 July 3 03-06-2013 11-00-38

11 July 4 02-06-2013 15-55-43

11 July 5 02-06-2013 16-00-37

11 July 6 08-07-2013 14-49-15

11 July 6 31-05-2013 10-10-30

11 July 8 07-07-2013 18-22-04

11 July 9 04-07-2013 12-28-46

11 July 10 03-07-2013 11-43-21


  1. Lovely dog, beautiful sketch of his personality and ability. Didn't think you'd ever find a worthy successor to the Pigeon, but you did.


  2. I have been in love with Stanley's ears since day one


  3. I want a Stanley ..... what a character!


  4. Oh I so enjoyed this! I've been in love with Mr S. ever since the first time I saw his ears - but this is the first time you've really given me a proper glimpse of his character - and it's ace! The highest accolade I can give him - is that he clearly lives up to his ears. I'm so glad you've got him. x

  5. I too have love and admired Stanley since your first post about him. He won't fill the shoes of the Duchess and the Pidgeon - that's the wonderful thing about memories:they have their own treasured place in your heart. Stanley will make another place in your heart - I know there's lots of room in there.

  6. oh, thank you for this. I am completely won over by your Stanley.

  7. AWESOME. Stanley's fans are grateful to have their patience rewarded, and I am also a bit relieved to see him back in text--I knew he was there and doing well, but it's lovely to know the details and to hear he has thoroughly won you over.

    And of course now we will only have our ears pricked higher for further Stanley news.

  8. Just lovely. Great to see how Stanley has made a happy place for himself and his extended family.


  9. Thank you. Very pleased to read that Mr S's ears have so many fans.


  10. Stanley and his ears charmed me from the start. And does it sound ridiculous to say, he is such a boy?!

  11. He is one in a million - a fine dog. I would love him to bits too. Now tell the truth. Does he eat turds? My weenies never met a turd they didn't like.

  12. So funny...and endearing. I have followed the Stanley-love with interest as it had a slow burn due to his wonderful predecessors. But that love evidently grew as now just look at him! He is the most handsome dog. You do attract the most beautiful animals! I like the idea of a low howl for Murray. And those ears! I am a fully paid up member to the Stanley appreciation society. He sounds like the perfect companion. L x

  13. Bit of a crush, actually :-)


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