-Stanley, who lives at a Devon home, faced being put to sleep after test fail
-But he was rescued from death by police inspectors Anne and Mike Higgins
-Stanley has also nearly died twice from choking and getting food poisoning
By Mark Duell
He was almost put to sleep after failing a police dog induction test, and nearly died twice after getting a piece of bone wedged in his throat and eating a rotten chicken carcass.
But Stanley, who never managed to become a police sniffer dog, has reached the final of a dog agility competition at the Crufts competition next March in Birmingham after four years of training.
He now hands the washing to his owner Anne Higgins - who is a police inspector, along with her husband Mike - and even selects the pegs for the washing line at his home near Tiverton, Devon.
After the couple rescued Stanley from being put down, they put in huge amounts of dedication and patience to train up the dog, which will show off his ability in the world’s most prestigious dog show.
But life could have been so different for Stanley, who failed the police induction because he had no interest in toys or any play drive. Now he is an exceptionally-trained and fun-loving pooch.
Mrs Higgins said: ‘As a pair of new and naive dog owners we did not really understand about socialisation, training and the importance of puppyhood.
‘What we did know was this little dog needed a home and that we could not let him go to the council kennels, where there was a high chance he would be put to sleep.
‘So, home he came and there it started. Four years of hard work, sheer determination on his part and ours, sleepless nights and tears.’
Mrs Higgins added that Stanley had not been exposed to normal human events and was scared by sounds such as sneezes, clapping, zips, screams, laughter, cats fighting and bells.
‘He had quite clearly never been allowed to explore his environment and knew no cues, except perhaps “away” – which, if he ever got the chance, he executed to perfection,’ she said.