Parker had tons of fun at Meramec over the weekend. If we could get him to run around for hours at a time during the week at home, I think we'd sleep better.
Meramec is also fun for people:
Also, we failed to remember that at this point he only gives us seven hours from bedtime before dancing on our heads in the morning. Last night we had him out around 9:30, so at 4:45, there he was, yawning loudly in my face. I made a half-hearted attempt to rouse him at 10:15; tonight, faced with the same behavior, I'll just carry him to the yard. I miss sleep.
The whole family went to Meramec State Park, near Sullivan, Mo., over the weekend. It was Parker's first long car trip with us. Never before in my life have I cared as much about what goes into and out of another living creature; the car trip only intensified this feeling.
Observe Parker as he was for perhaps 98% of the trip:
Now observe him as he appeared twice on the way up and twice on the way down:
That's not guilt, believe it or not. That's a seriously unhappy puppy preparing to demonstrate the folly of (a) feeding him before a car trip and (b) giving him a Bonine tablet on top of it.
He then went on to surprise us not once but five times during the trip. The moral of that story is, of course, don't give him any privacy indoors.
We all had a lot of fun, though, especially Parker. More on that tomorrow.
Here is the artist and his work, in which he shows he's moved on from textiles to sculpture:
That's a $600 armoire. He is so crated from now on.
No TDP tomorrow, but I'm sure I'll make up for it on Monday.
Ah, Parker, having fun at the dog park, yelling at the camera. I'm posting this photo so you can imagine the toothy grin, energetic bouncing, and ecstatic barking, but in the dark at 5:45 am. At least he's now slept through the night twice in a row.
We are ecstatic: our ball of fur and teeth finally, after seven weeks, slept through the night. He woke up only when he heard Abby Ryan's traffic report on NPR. Then he danced on our heads until we took him outside.
I hope this is the first of many nights we can finally sleep seven straight hours.
First, a correction: Parker probably didn't weigh 10.9 kg (24 lbs) on Wednesday, because today he only weighed 10.2 kg (22.5 lbs). This is still half a kilo more than last week, and a total gain of 3.5 kg (5.5 lbs) in five weeks, but it does throw off Sean's calculations a trifle.
Second, Parker had some more play time at the dog park this afternoon, even though he met a bully. Parker wasn't hurt, but he could have been. I don't think Cocoa (the gray goofy-looking thing seen here in happier times) has had adequate training or socialization. So when Parker got a little too close to Cocoa's ball, Cocoa had Parker rolling on his back for ten feet before I was able to slap his behind to give Parker a chance to get away. His owner just stood there saying "Cocoa, leave the puppy alone" while Parker was shrieking and desperately trying to get away from his 35 kg (75 lb) assailant. Afterward, while I comforted my shaking puppy and kept a wary eye on Cocoa (who was still off his leash!), I heard her say, "he's usually really good with puppies."
I had a good rant in here, but I've decided to edit it out. Anne said Cocoa and Parker got along just fine Tuesday.
Anyway, Parker shook it off faster than I did, probably because within two minutes of the incident he found a full bowl of dog food in the kitchen. And he did have fun.
I weighed Parker this morning and discovered he's put on some weight. Since September 1st he's gone from 7.7 kg (17 lbs) to 10.9 kg (24 lbs), a 41% increase in 33 days. At this rate he'll exceed the volume of the Universe in just a few months:
Here's the "before" shot from the Wright Way Rescue website (taken when he was probably 8 weeks old) and the "after" shot (taken Saturday afternoon):
I wonder how big he's going to get. My guess: 25 kg (55 lbs).
When we got Parker just over a month ago he was timid, to say the least. He would whine and whine if one of us left the room, apparently not realizing that we were still part of his life or that he could just follow us into the other room. He was terrified of cars zooming down our block. The first time I tried to take him for a walk, a runner came towards us; Parker got so spooked that he yanked the leash out of my hand and retreated behind a neighbor's bushes. He couldn't negotiate the stairs on our back porch, so we'd have to carry him up and down.
A few weeks ago, I led him to the dog park across the alley. A few dogs ran toward him and he hid behind the dumpsters outside of our back fence. The dogs had him cornered on two sides. The horror!
These days, Parker isn't afraid to be in a room by himself or even the back yard by himself, and he runs up and down the steps like a pro. And today, since I'm working from home and it's possibly the most gorgeous October day you could imagine, I decided to try the dog park again.
I'm happy to report that Parker made two new friends: Rocky, a huge, slobbery ten-year-old Golden Retriever who can bark loudly even when he's holding a softball in his mouth, and Cocoa, a sixtyish-pound four-year-old of indeterminate breed. Parker sniffed and let sniff, he ran towards the dogs at least as frequently as he ran away from them, and he only occasionally took refuge under the swingset when Rocky, who outweighs him probably 6:1, got too personal.
Not only am I proud of the little guy, but I'm grateful to the big guys for tiring him out.