Last updated: 21 Mar, 2023
Published on: 3 Oct, 2022
Stand up guy Stanley’s happy tail!
Mish Wittrup is a writer, comedian, and performer who lives with her partner in Melbourne.
One of Mish’s favourite ways to pass the long days in lockdown was to browse all the adorable pets looking for a home on PetRescue. She’d grown up with dogs and had been waiting for the right time to adopt.
The stars aligned when she was looking to transition from her office job into writing and performing - which meant even more time working from home, and she had a housemate who also wanted to live with a furry friend. It was finally time to adopt her new BFF!
Mish was searching for a dog who would be happy living in an apartment and get on well with humans, as she often has friends visiting.
‘’I didn’t have a breed in mind, as I’m not a fan of the idea that breed should be the deciding factor for why a person gets a dog. In my experience, breed doesn’t have much to do with temperament. I just wanted a happy, active dog who would suit my lifestyle.’’
Mish soon set her eyes on adorable brindle pup Stanley, who had been surrendered to Lake Road Veterinary Clinic in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Mish and her partner soon set off on the six-hour interstate road trip to meet little Stanley. By the time they jumped in the car to drive home, they were already deciding which colour collar to buy him - it was love at first sight, and there was no question that they’d come back to adopt him.
Teeny pup Stanley hadn’t had any experience with other dogs yet, as he’d, unfortunately, had parvovirus and then a ruptured umbilical hernia (poor guy!). Mish was warned that he’d probably be very timid, but he proved everyone wrong when he started making himself at home, and they soon realised he was full of beans!
‘‘Everything excited him - there’s no chill in Stanley at all! The wind, a flower, boots, different facial expressions - everything was the best thing ever to him!’’
Mish and her partner worked hard to settle him in - as he was initially quite overstimulated. There wasn’t much sleep in the first few weeks; Stanley was a very light sleeper, so she was scared to sneeze in case it woke him up! He quickly showed them how much he adores humans - loving being the life of the party and needing to be in the middle of every conversation he saw.
‘’I know it’s a cliche, but there was an element of Stanley rescuing me too. Before I adopted him, there was an element of chaos in my life and in my head. I was all over the place, I’d say yes to too many things, I’d find it difficult to prioritise and sort the happenings of my life. He brought this amazing ability to prioritise into my life, because all of a sudden I had a focus, and that was making sure he was safe and happy.
Bringing him into my life put everything into perspective because all of a sudden, I had this thing I was so in love with that all the other stuff that I thought was important was less so. I believe we have a really special bond. I can tell that he unconditionally loves me - the look on his face when I come home, even if it’s only been ten minutes, is like ‘oh, thank god!’’
Mish has worked hard with Stanley on the separation anxiety and reactivity he had when he was younger and now describes him as a ‘legend’ who adores attention from humans above anything else (including food!) He’s very comfortable with apartment living, and the family always goes on fun adventures together.
‘’Adopting Stanley was the best thing I could’ve done at this stage of my life. I don’t remember what I did with my time before Stanley! I’ve learned from him there are just parts of his personality that aren’t ‘bad dog traits’, they’re just things I need to be there for him with (like his anxiety). He has mad FOMO, constantly petrified that he’ll miss out on something and needing to be wherever we are, and we’ve worked hard with him on his focus.’’
Mish says about adopting a big dog,
‘’Don’t discount a dog based on a preconceived idea of their breed. It’s important to do your research about the individual dog’s needs, but there really are lots of bigger dogs suited to apartment living. There’s also something really, really magical about big dog hugs!’’
You can check out Stanley’s adventures on Mish’s Instagram.
Ready to welcome a furry friend (or two!) into your home? Start your search today!
Happy stories like Stanley’s are made possible because your donation helps connect homeless pets with loving humans, giving them the greatest chance possible of finding a new home.