What we've spent on collars, leads, toys, food and bowls we've definitely made up for in companionship and happiness. I've learned that Stanley's bound to ignore the expensive toys in favour of a simple tennis ball. I've learned that no matter how cute he looks wearing a harness with pink flamingos on, he will chew it to bits in protest (we've been through two harnesses, two leads and two phone chargers so far...). I've learned not to scrimp on cheap ID tags but to go for the deep engraved pet tags instead because he scrapes off the details while rolling around like a lunatic. And I've learned that even after the worst possible day, that little face, those bushy eyebrows and those cocked ears can melt even the grumpiest heart.
Whether he's clambering all over you when you get home from work or galloping after a squeaky ball in the park, his joy is infectious, and we've fallen head over heels with this scruffy little mutt.