This morning Parker hit a couple of huge milestones. First, as of today we've had Parker for three months. That's, what, almost two dog years? And my how he's grown:
And then, almost in celebration of the anniversary, Parker's universe changed overnight, causing at first some consternation, then glee. This morning Parker saw snow for the first time:
Anne reported that he first wouldn't go near it, then he probed it with his paw. At that moment there was a thunderclap, which rattled him. But after only a minute or two, he decided that it was kind of like the beach, and besides, he really had to go, so in he went.
All of this comes about because the first major snowstorm of the season has hit Chicago. By 6:00 CT (1200 UTC) we had 51 mm (2 in) of snow on the ground; now we have about 100 mm (4 in), and the storm still has more to dump on us. Here's the most recent radar image, clearly showing the center of the low off to our east, which means we've got stiff (30 km/h, 18 mph) north winds blowing snow down our necks:
Those of us old enough to remember the snowstorm of 1 December 1978 feel a little apprehensive. That day we got about 150 mm (6 in) of snow, followed by another 2.3 meters (90 in) over the next three months. The shopping center near my house had snowpiles as late as May 1st. This winter could easily be like 1978-79, because all the same conditions could exist: warmth, moisture, and a jet stream that stays just south of us.
In any event, Parker and the few stalwarts (Dexter, Louie, and Key) who showed up to the park this morning will have a lot of fun this winter. Anne and I will be picking up some extra gloves and long underwear just as soon as we shovel the car out.
Update: Anne, who quite justifiably is working from home today, just reported that Parker not only got to see snow for the first time today, but now he's seeing fire for the first time. Perhaps she'll send a photo?
My poor couch. I have no idea why Parker wants to kill the Ikea couch I've had for almost ten years, but he does. He has now started working on the main cushions, having tired of the armrests and the pillows. Only, he has to work a bit to get there:
On a related note, does anyone need a slightly-worn blue denim couch? Near mint condition!
Bit of trivia: Yesterday's Daily Parker was my 500th blog post of the year.
Parker stayed home today, which is why today's Daily Parker includes perhaps more personal information than I generally share. I have a spare laptop, so I was able to set up the ParkerCam in our bedroom today. So here he is, in his Safe Place, proving that he's cuter than all get-up even when he doesn't know anyone is watching:
This shot is from earlier today. I didn't use a more recent shot because the little darling found a pair of my boxers, and that is simply too personal for this blog.
Finally, for you weather junkies, here's the current temperature map, which you can compare with one from this morning:
The cold front has arrived a little earlier than expected. I'm running around Chicago between meetings, and the temperature has dropped from 14°C (58°F) to 9°C (49°F) in the past hour. I should point out that I left my coat at home this morning, too. Brr.
As promised, I brought both the dog and a camera to the Dawes Park dog beach this afternoon. (I forgot bags though. Oops.) It's a freaky-warm 16°C (61°F) today, so while Parker and I both found it a little too chilly for a dip, we both had fun with the other dogs (including his friend Louie from his morning play group). Here he is conteplating the vastness of Lake Michigan:
A little later, after some heavy wrestling with an American bulldog-boxer mix named Quincy, Parker seemed pretty happy (and oblivious to the sandy slobber all over his body):
Now he's back at Inner Drive World Headquarters dreaming about squirrels and liver treats.
Parker, ever the office puppy, got his first experience on a beach this afternoon when we walked over to the Dawes Park dog beach. He met a whole bunch of new dogs, had a great time, and has now deposited his sand-covered butt on my office carpet.
It's 13°C (55°F) right now, and it may be this warm again tomorrow. If so, I'll bring Parker—and a camera—back to the dog beach.
Now I must brush my jeans off.
Parker still hates the Halti:
But within 90 seconds of getting it taken off, he forgets about it:
I am very thankful that this wonderful puppy has come to live with us. Since I'm an atheist, I'm not sure what or whom there is to thank for it, so I'll just thank Parker himself for being the wonderful puppy he is.
We're at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters this morning so I can get some stuff done. At this writing he's being a sleepy little angel. Or, not so little, as you can see from this photo I took today at the dog park:
Another view, which makes it clearer that Parker is now more than twice the size of Jackson:
For comparison, here they are seven weeks ago:
That photo was from October 2nd, when Parker weighed about 10 kg (22 lbs). As of Tuesday he weighed 15.6 kg (34.5 lbs). This 900 g (2 lb) per week gain shows only one sign of slowing: now Parker will occasionally walk away from his dinner if he thinks we're doing something interesting. (He goes back to it pretty quickly though.)
OK, I need to get to work. But the ParkerCam is up until 1 pm CT (19:00 UTC) this afternoon, so tune in and watch the dog sleep. (Too bad there's no audio, because he groans and sighs when he's happy.)
I just discovered my mail on the credenza in the office foyer. A letter carrier opened the door and put it there, with nary a woof out of the office puppy. Maybe this is why:
I'm beginning to wonder about his contributions to the company's bottom line.
OK, I think I've got the ParkerCam figured out. Here's the current arrangement:
And here's what the ParkerCam sees:
It's impossible to keep up with him sometimes, so very often you'll just see an empty rug. Or, after Parker has done some redecorating, a scrunched-up rug:
Now we're going for a walk, so I can get lunch before Whole Foods turns into a zoo.
Anne just confirmed that the "Parker has halitosis" photo is now a ThinkGeek Action Photo. Maybe it's time to get Parker an agent? Or, possibly, a toothbrush?