A Year with Parker

Monday, May 31, 2010

A year ago this weekend, we did a 'trial' of Parker, our big white poodle.

Parker is a retired champion. His previous owners, our poodle groomer and her aunt, had decided they weren't going to breed him, since our groomer and her husband decided they'd prefer to breed German Short-Haired Pointers. That is a hunting breed, and Angie and her husband spend a lot of time camping and training the dogs in Eastern Oregon, so Parker was just chilling with auntie a lot.

Parker had/has some issues, the worst of which we knew about. He pees on the backs of his front legs. That is a big one, and we almost sent him back. We have 'pee-booties' for him to wear - they have to be washed frequently and it's a pain in the arse to let him out to tinkle, but, we do it.

His other issues mostly have to do with being a show-dog instead of being raised as a pet. He was five years old when we got him, and honestly, had NO CLUE how to play. He'd never been allowed into the living areas of humans, and was a bit confused about the rules of engagement. He was a counter-surfer - he stole a thawing prime-rib off the counter about three weeks into the trial period - Daddy was NOT pleased.

He stole MANY packages of bread products off the counter - I tried to beat him to death with a half-chewed package of naan one day - lol! Scared the $hit out of him, for sure.

Garbage thief extraordinaire. Particularly likes to eat the last two squares of toilet tissue off a discarded roll.

A year later - he still loves to cruise the trash cans for tissue and discarded Chai tea bags, which he shreds over the carpet. At least they smell good.

We have a bread box now, and although we rarely leave the dogs at home without supervision, we put the garbage can up on the counter, close the door to my husband's office (source of teabags) and NEVER leave meat on the counter.

On the other hand, he has learned to play - he pounces, he fetches, he has favorite toys. He's absolutely adorable and my best boy. :)

He gets WAY too crazy around small children, and we've just decided that it's best to shut him up when they're around.

He's really affectionate, and has NEVER marked territory or humped, although we had him neutered a month ago.

We're glad we have him - and he's come a very long way in a year. I know he's not exactly a 'rescue dog' in the sense that he was in a pound or something, but he has a great life here with his two poodle sisters and he's the BEST cuddler!
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  • _VALEO_
    Ain't we love them more because of their crazy sides and little excentricities?

    Sorry, Parker, don't bite me, but imagining you in your "pee-booties" cracked me up. But don't worry, even male humans have trouble with that, and seem to make a point of honour of aiming at the floor instead of the toilet.
    3179 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/5/2010 6:34:55 AM
    A dog that doesn't know how to play or socialize, and wasn't allowed in the people areas of the house?! Sounds like you did in fact rescue him!!! Yay, MommaROOB! :)

    However, I must inform you of the following internet rule: in any post discussing an animal, a picture of said pet MUST be included, as the animal WILL explode (aka "go 'splodey") if you do not do so. Hope Parker hasn't gone 'splodey!! emoticon
    3180 days ago
    When we first got Cinnamon, anything left out in the kitchen was fair game. She ate a whole loaf of bread and a whole stick of butter. She would get into the kitchen trash can too. I took a snap mouse trap and put it in the can and set it off with her watching. She didn't like the sound or the suddenness of the trap. Eventually, she quit getting into the trash unless there were meat scraps in it.
    Like you, the easiest way to prevent the dog getting into the trash was to set the can up on a counter or empty it before we left to go out of the house. She had been starved and I suppose their noses just tell them "food" and they don't have the boundaries to say No to themselves.
    I am glad Parker learned to play. Just looking at how male dogs are made, I never understood what kept them from peeing on their necks. I have seen some male pugs do handstands and walk on their front legs and I assumed it was to direct their urine down onto the ground. The phrase, "Keep your chin up" has a funny meaning if you think of it in this context.
    Your poodles know they have it made from the looks of them in the picture and that is what pet ownership is all about, happy people and happy animals.
    3180 days ago
    Yay! Both my kids are rescues and though they had some interesting habits at first we are getting quite used to them. He is a rescue dog in the sense that he needed a home and you gave him one! Yay for you and yay for your pooch too.
    3181 days ago
    Well the first year is the toughest! Thanks for loving Parker in spite of his eccentricities. Just think of all the laughter he brings when you are done being irritated with him. :-) I can just picture the naan beating. LOL
    3182 days ago
    Dear Parker,

    Isn't counter surfing fun? I love sneaking into the kitchen to grab bread off the counter, then going into a room where Mom isn't to shred the plastic and eat the bread. A few times I have hit the jackpot. Steak - oh boy was that good. I had to eat that whole and in one gulp so no one could take it way from me. Pumpkin pie - OMG that was good. It fell upside down so I had to eat the whole thing. I mean, people wouldn't want it if it landed on the floor. Right? RIGHT???

    Trash is great and don't let your mom try to tell you anything different. Snotty tissues are especially good to shred and leave all over the rug. If you do that, pretend that you didn't - just act like you are sleeping and maybe your mom will suspect the cat. Mom tried to foil me by getting one of those garbage cans that has the foot lever to operate the lid. She is very silly. Here's the tip: stand on the lever and the lid stays open so you can cruise the goodies as your leisure. Honestly, Parker, they like us because we are smart, so we have to live up to their standards.

    BTW - Mom thinks I am a REALLY good girl, so don't tell her anything. Shhhhh!

    3183 days ago
  • CKAYT56
    I love your story...we accept them with their flaws just like the people around us! I think my dog is ready for Depends!
    3183 days ago
    No matter the breed, age or history of a dog - there are very few things in this world better than dog love.

    "I wish I were half the person my dog thinks I am"

    Enjoy Parker!

    3183 days ago
  • JANENE413
    It seems that new pets train us as much, if not more than, the other way around. Parker is lucky to have found you. Have a wonderful holiday!
    3183 days ago
    A dog is a family member and you can't just get rid of family members because they have bad habits--you just learn to work around their issues.
    3183 days ago
    This was a lovely way to start my morning. Put a big smile on my face! I'm glad Parker's found a good home.
    3183 days ago
    Aaaawwww! Goooood doggie!
    3184 days ago
    I really enjoyed your blog, I'm reading Marley right now and Parker reminds me of Marley to some extent. We adopted a dog from a shelter and she was the best thing we've done in a long time. She is the best dog ever. It sounds like Parker is on the right track in a loving home. Good for you. Judy emoticon
    3184 days ago
    Isn't it funny how much you can love them, even if they are the biggest pains in the arse?
    3184 days ago
    Thanks for this lovely story. What we do for the love of our animals!!! My boy is now finally out of the chew-everything stage, thank goodness. The worst day was when he ate the last three pages of Jane Austen's Persuasion - before I'd read them - chewed the zip off one of a pair of brand new ankle boots - before I'd worn them - ripped up a £20 note into teeny pieces and chewed up a bright pink pencil. That had bright pink consequences for a couple of days - if you get my drift....

    He costs me fortune but money couldn't buy him!

    Give Parker a hug from me.
    3184 days ago
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