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.
Isn't he sweet? Notice, if you will, two things: First, this is what he looked like after going on a rampage that involved two rugs, a paper bag, and every hand and foot in the house. Second, in the lower right, you can see a hole in the blanket. Three guesses who put the hole there.
We still love him though. At least 80% of the time.
Two-for-one today. First, yesterday Parker had some play time with our downstairs neighbor's dog Jackson. All of us, including our neighbors, hope they play together more often, because both dogs were tuckered out and slept like angels the rest of the day.
This photo shows Parker before he figured out that he outweighs Jackson 3:2:
Earlier yesterday Parker visited my office. Does he look guilty to you? He does to me. But maybe that's just wishful thinking. Note how far he had to travel to get something that he should have been chewing:
He knows he's being bad. He just can't help it.