Time for my annual visit with Stanley, now known as Max!
Though his name is Max now, and has been for several years, he refuses to respond to that name at Run A Muck Ranch. Once he passes through the gates, he reverts to answering only to Stanley. If I say “Max” he totally ignores me.
I was at MCACC west many moons ago to pick up a random ‘Long Timer’ to foster. I never made it to the counter to check animal numbers for the intended dogs. Before I could, I saw Stanley, in a glass viewing room, in the crowded counter area, bite the volunteer who was trying to take him out for a walk. That bite was Stanley’s death warrant. New Hope only existed for the cute dogs back then so there were no second chances. Biting dogs died.
I guess you can figure out what happened next…
Stanley’s taste for human flesh continued, and re-homing just wasn’t in the cards. There was no point in giving Stanley his promise. He was too ornery for anyone else to want him. But he was OK where he was.
About 2 years after Stanley came to live with us and long after we stopped trying to rehome him, we happened to take him and some of the other kids to dog park. It was an innocent visit, but it was one that proved there was such a thing as fate.
Out of the blue, a strange woman appeared next to us and proclaimed that Stanley was the most beautiful dog she had ever seen. Before we could stop her, and to our horror, she picked him up so his face was right against hers.
Stanley didn’t bite her. Instead, he licked her face.
And now you know the rest of the story….
Stanley never had the sense of humor the other dogs did. Indeed, no fun was allowed in his presence. Laps and people beds were for Stanley only. Crabby and I were Stanley’s property and no attention could be given to any other dog without Stanley’s wrath being unleashed…. on the other dog. That he had a chance to live in a lesser human to dog ratio home, under more civilized circumstances, with a rare someone he liked, was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. Though I shed a few tears when Stanley left us, I don’t think he ever looked back.
Stanley has lived with his mom and dad, his true mom and dad, since then and every time they go away Stanley and his super adorable sister Bergie come to stay with us. Stanley and Bergie are the only ‘outside’ dogs permitted to stay with us with our insane number of resident beasties.
Bergie is quite malleable, unlike the Run A Muck Ranch dogs, so Stanley immediately took to her, in a non-menacing way. Other people, however, well, let’s just say I’m pretty honored to be one of the few he greets with a kiss rather than a snarl. Some things never change.
Every time he comes back, Max transforms into Stanley, and it’s like he never left. Gertie and Pablo weren’t here last year and Stanley knew they were new. That we allowed them in without consulting with Stanley first, well, we’ve already apologized and he’s already schooled them on the law of the land. We really should be pleased with Stanley’s tolerance with the newbies, especially considering Stanley was #7 of 7 back in the day. Some have passed away and several have moved in since Stanley left and we didn’t get his permission for any of the changes.
We may be ‘uncivilized’ by Stanley’s standards, but I think he enjoys letting his hair down once in while, especially because he is the alter ego of Max who lives in the Normal World. Also, Bergie is only a minion. The Run A Muck Ranch bunch are minions. That they all submit to the dictatorship of Stanley, he really gets a kick out of it!
I’ve watched Stanley grow from a snarky young adult to a happy old man. I really believe he loves his life in a stable home, while occasionally being given the opportunity to walk on the wild side. There is always doubt in the heart of a foster mom as to whether or not she did right by her dogs. Stanley was, is and will always be, my biggest sucess story.