My youngest turns 4 years old today. Where has the time gone? How did that much time fly by? I still remember the day he was born, arriving in Scottsdale with Max for an agility trial and logging into my computer to find out the Maude-Dazs babies were finally here!
I had high hopes that one of those little potatoes would be a future family member and watched them all grow up with interest, visiting as often as I could. Stanley was full of presence from the get-go and impossible to ignore the older he got.
Flash-forward four years and I have a bright, funny, extremely outgoing and eager boy who I can no longer call a puppy!
Stanley has always excelled at anything I asked of him. Once he understood the conformation ring, he went out and showed his little heart out, easily finishing his American and Canadian championships. We worked sheep intermittently for one summer and breezed through his HT at the 2008 National. He’s always loved obedience and would have more than a couple rally titles if only I trained him seriously. Agility though, that is his real love and LOVE it is – Stan wants to run hard on those courses. I am lucky to have such a wonderful eager partner.
It’s always fun to watch something you raise from a young age develop its own personality quirks and preferences. Stanley spends his mornings sprawled on the bed, or on the bathroom floor but within visual range, watching me work.
He insists that Jeff take a nap with him every afternoon. He’s vocal about his opinions, using a wide range of yodels and grumbles rather than bark. He’s playful at all times – yesterday he ran around the driveway and yard with a 4-foot-long branch in his mouth, bouncing with glee and showing his prize off to everyone. He’s flirtatious, with humans and other dogs. He has a natural ability to track, and I use him on mornings where Jeff and Cujo leave for solo walks to follow their path through the neighborhood until we catch them. He’s an utter foodhound and does not miss a meal, yet I can’t get him to eat from the Cujo’s dog food bag in the garage (I suppose this goes with no counter-surfing or eating inappropriate objects – in his mind, food only comes from humans). He’s the cuddliest of all our dogs, spending the evenings on the couch with his head in a lap. He’s exuberant with people who can take it, but remarkably gentle with small children and the elderly.
Happy birthday, little man! Every day is your favorite day but we’ll make this one extra-special with cookies and agility class!