5 min read

Rescue Dog Refuses To Let Go Of His Dad’s Hand

“We have to be touching at all times. He’s very forceful about it.”

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.

A year and a half ago, Sam Clarence adopted Stanley from a bully breed rescue in Christchurch, New Zealand, and has since watched the frightened stray pup transform into what could be called a “Velcro dog.”

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.”

Stanley the dog demands pets from his adopter
Sam Clarence

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.”

Stanley and his mom and brother at an abandoned property
Stanley (right) with his brother (left) and mom (back) | Sam Clarence

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 never 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 the foster dog snuggles up to Sam Clarence
Sam Clarence

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 outdoors 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.

Stanley snuggles a dog friend
Sam Clarence

“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.”

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