The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Someone found a duck

Cassie has spent the last 15 minutes running back and forth in my house carrying this old stuffed duck:

Yep. Part retriever.

Update: 15 minutes later, I found stuffing all over the living room. This did not deter Cassie from her duck, though it was a bit limp.

Off-leash time

With the likelihood that Cassie won't get into daycare for another four weeks, I decided a lunchtime trip to the nearest dog park might help. We encountered a bunch of dogs on the way to Challenger Park, but only one surly old Bichon Frise inside the park. Yet she did not seem disappointed:

She also avoided the puddles and the mud, for which I am grateful.

First 24 hours: she's a keeper

Cassie has had an adventurous and full day: several rides in the car, visits to three—count them—three pet stores, and lots of walks. At our first pet shop of the day I picked up a cord to secure her while in the car, which did not stop her from winding up in the driver's seat when I got back from running into the grocery.


And just look at that punim!

She'll get another half-hour of walks today. I really would like her to learn how to heel, though. She wants to say hello to every dog in Chicago. This has to stop.

The only bad part of the day came when I talked to the guys at Urban Pooch, the doggy day care where Parker went for years. The earliest Cassie can get in to have her social evaluation is April 15th. That's sub-optimal. I'll have to get all my friends with dogs to come over and play with her in our parking lot before too long.


I seem to have a new addition to my family:

The jumping-into-the-front-seat thing will not happen again, however. We're getting a car harness tomorrow.

Updates as conditions warrant.

Reminder from OneDrive

Microsoft has started sending little reminders of things that happened "on this day," no doubt taking cues from Google Timeline and Facebook Memories. But I did enjoy getting a reminder that I took this photo 14 years ago this morning:

Parker at Bardwell Park, Evanston, Ill., 18 February 2007.

It'll be 3 months tomorrow. I do miss him.

Not my dogs

I just wanted to shout out to two dogs I've been able to hang out with this week. 

On Wednesday I watched my neighbors' dog Sophie for the day. She really didn't care that I don't allow dogs on the couch:

And yesterday, I hung out with this pretty girl:

I'm not ready to adopt another dog yet. But I'm glad my friends occasionally need dogsitting services.

Studying how dogs age

How did I miss this Times article from November?

Lab tests can tell how old a human is just from the pattern of methylation. Thanks to this research, the same can be done for dogs. The results will help researchers studying aging in dogs to translate findings to humans. None of this research was done on dogs kept in a laboratory. All of the dogs in the aging comparison study were pet Labrador retrievers and the owners gave permission for blood samples.

Scientists are unsure about whether the physical decline seen in aging in dogs and humans, in fact in all mammals, is related to the process of development in earlier life, or whether the decline is a different process altogether. The researchers found that the pattern of methylation suggested that the same genes may be involved in both processes.

Good methods of comparing dog and human ages are important. Dogs are increasingly seen as good models for human aging because they suffer from it in many of the same ways humans do. As the Dog Aging Project, which is collecting genetic and other information from a vast number of pet dogs, puts it on its website, the goal of the research is “Longer, healthier lives for all dogs … and their humans.”

I miss my aging dog. And the day this article was published, Parker was old indeed.

Erev Xmas Eve

It's 11°C outside and I have a fuzzy houseguest for the day, so there will be walks! At least until the 20°C temperature drop starts around 6pm... So while I'm enjoying the last above-freezing day of the year with a very sweet and very strong office companion, I've got a few things to occupy my time.

At the top of my list today, we find that the STBXPOTUS has pardoned 15 truly awful murderers and grifters, including the four assholes who slaughtered unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2007. It's possible these are the worst pardons ever granted by a US president. (I wonder if Bill Moyers would agree.)

Next we have Bruce Schneier explaining just how bad the SolarWinds penetration really is.

And finally, US Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams said Chicago's coronavirus vaccine rollout was the best in the nation. Go us!

I will now finish my lunch, guarded vigilantly by my neighbor's dog who hopes against all evidence that some of my ham sandwich will find its way to her snout.