This is the story of “Velcro” the dog, and his journey from being a “foster fail” to find a home.
Some dogs need their personal space, a few hours to themselves where they can eat or sniff or sleep without interruption, but Stanley is not one of those dogs.
These days, Stanley refuses to let go of his dad’s hand, which is far from convenient when they are out on one of their many road trips. “We have to be touching at all times,” Clarence told The Dodo. “He’s very forceful about it.”
Clarence first met Stanley when he was volunteering as a dog walker for the nearby shelter. Two 6-month-old puppies were found living on an abandoned property with their mom, and Clarence was approached about looking after one of the dogs for a few weeks.
But as soon as Clarence laid eyes on a picture of Stanley, he knew the dog would be a “foster fail.”
For Stanley, it was far from love at first sight.
“He was terrified when we got home and it took him an hour to slowly come out of the car,” Clarence said. “Once he got out, I gave him a big bath, some food and a comfy bed in front of the fire.”
As Stanley adjusted to living inside and eating and drinking from a bowl, he bonded with his new dad. “As a pup, he would sleep with me on the bed and we could not be touching,” Clarence said. “He would lay behind me and always have at least a paw touching my back; if I moved, he moved.”
Stanley may have grown older and wiser, but he has never lost his need to be close to his humans.
“If I’m driving we have to be in contact or he will force it upon me,” Clarence explained. “If we are watching TV, same thing. I will get paws flying at me until I touch him. It’s just his quirk. If I’m not around he will do it to my housemate as well.”
Now, both dad and dog love to go on outdoor adventures around New Zealand, and as soon as Stanley sees a beach, river or lake, he jumps right in.
Clarence couldn’t think of a better traveling partner to have — even if it means working extra hard to keep his eyes on the road.
“He just lives to please so goes with the flow,” Clarence said. “He’s a very happy chappy and a laugh a minute. I’ve never known a dog with such a big personality.”