Today is Parker Day: I adopted him a year ago today.
Over the past year, Parker has wormed his way into just about every part of my life, for the simple reason that he doesn't have opposable thumbs and so can't open his own cans of dog food. He's grown from an adorable puppy into a mostly-adorable adult dog with a gentle nature and a taste for textiles.
He makes me happy every time I see him, even when he has bits of sofa hanging from his teeth, or has another case of worms. And he's always happy to see me, whether we've been apart for 10 seconds or 10 days. He trusts me completely. (I hope I never let him down.) Of course, he does annoying things all the time, but I still can’t get too mad at him. He can’t help it. As I was writing this he trotted off with a plastic bag that I had to retrieve. It was my fault, anyway; the thing was on the floor. This hints at the only real down-side to having a dog: the cost. Adding up walks ($1650), vet bills ($860), food ($750), boarding ($590), training ($425), and everything else, he costs about $450 a month. No college fund, though; and he's never outgrown any clothes. Eaten clothes, yes, but never outgrown them.
So what. He brings me joy, every day, even when I have to settle on the ParkerCam. And he'll probably bring me joy every day for the next 14 years. I hope so, anyway.
Coincidentally, today the rescue had its annual reunion up in Libertyville, so, naturally, we went. From a volunteer who remembered him, I found out some more information about his origins. For example, his name starts with "P" not because he was in the 16th litter the Wright Way Animal Rescue adopted out last year, but because he comes from Pomona, Ill. Also, it turns out, Parker’s mom had a second litter after Parker's, because the stupid owners didn't believe in spaying. That’s right, five more puppies the shelter took in, getting the owners to spay the dog only by threatening not to take them.
And along the way up to the reunion, we stopped by the Petco where I got him, to pick up a new collar and some poop bags. I think Parker looks good in red: