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R.I.P. Parker Jo Buhdoo (2002-2014)

The last known picture of Parker.

The last known picture of Parker.

A.K.A. Monsieur Parkere and Senior Porkchoppo

October 31, 2002 (estimated) – August 23, 2014

Parker Jo Buhdoo was a German Shorthaired Pointer picked up as a stray.  My husband and I found him at the Lenawee Humane Society, then going by the name of Archer.  My husband was very interested in owning a purebred sporting dog.  I looked at him skeptically and  replied, “You want THAT dog?!”

That is pretty much how our relationship with Parker went.

Parker ate many things.  Styrofoam, crayons, plush dog toys, string cheese wrappers, the seat off a child’s potty, bath soap, etc.  It made picking up his poop more interesting, I guess.

Parker, thinking about asking to go out to poo

Parker, thinking about asking to go out to poo

Parker could easily hold his urine for 8 hours in a stretch if no one was home.  If you were home, it was a different story.  He would whine and pace about every 2 hours to be let outside.  If he just drank the entire bowl of water, then he would need to go out again in 20 minutes.  If it was getting close to dinner time, he wanted to go out every 10 minutes in hopes of being fed when he was let back in.  If you called his bluff and refused to let him out, he would pee on the floor.  He once peed on our mattress right in front of me just because he was mad.  He peed on the floor probably at least once every two weeks, but sometimes 3 times in one day, for most of the  years we owned him.

Parker asking to go outside to pee

Parker asking to go outside to pee

He was an asset in a hundred year old house in our drafty bedroom in winter.  My husband and I worked different shifts, but Parker was a great source of heat and a good cuddler.  It was one of the only times he was not pacing the floor and whining.  Although he did occasionally howl in his sleep while dreaming.

Snuggles

Snuggles

Parker loved to run.  We had a special leash and harness to hook him up to our bikes.  My husband would always take Parker, because he was too fast for me.  He would literally pull the bike.  He would run until his feet bled.  He once did that when he ran away.  He ran away probably about 12 times in the 9 years that we had him.  The best investment we ever made was his dog tag.  The second best was when we extended our backyard fence to include the back door. Once, after a Pure Romance party at my house, he ran away.  My theory is that the products with the pheromones in them turned him on.  He usually ran away on cold, winter nights when it was freezing raining.  Once, on a hot day, he went for a swim in Lake Adrian.  He crossed 223 at least once.  I always expected him to return with a broken leg or worse, but he never did.  We only found him ourselves on one occasion.  We clocked him doing 18mph down the sidewalk.  Luckily, the smell of a nearby baby possum caught his attention long enough to slow him down.

Naughty dog

Naughty dog

Right when my husband and I were both returning to the workforce after lengthy bouts of unemployment, Parker managed to skewer himself on a metal fence post in our yard.  The vet was concerned that he may have punctured his lung, but he didn’t.  She said he was close to nicking his main leg artery, in which case he would have bled to death before I could have gotten him there.  The vet’s office sewed up the wound twice.  He popped the stitches twice.  We made bi-weekly trips to the vet.  He still went on to fully recover from that wound.

What did I do to myself?!

What did I do to myself?!

Parker was so excited to go for a car ride that he was not a very good passenger.  After one incidence where he saw a wild animal and tried to crawl out the window that was rolled halfway down, we learned to only give him a few inches to sniff.

On a family camping vacation to Port Clinton, that bird dog went crazy when he saw an ostrich at the drive thru safari park zoo.

He was such a difficult dog that our best friends could no longer stand to dog sit for him.

Parker was a challenge every day, in every way.

I have a theory that Parker may have been a cat reincarnated as a dog.

Here are some excerpts from Sunday’s post:

Yesterday was our 11 year wedding anniversary. The day started by us saying our first goodbye to one of the furry children of our union, Parker. We think he suffered a stroke a number of months ago, could be going blind, and has exhibited a change in behavior. We had him in our lives for 9 years. I have always hated that dog. Now I hate him for making me cry at his absence.   He was such a challenge to live with in every way. Although, I have to believe that maybe he was sent to us to prepare us for the trails that M, our son, would present to us. Maybe Parker was the opening act.

Parker

His velvety head

It was so hard yesterday, to pet Parker knowing it was the last time. Knowing we would never feel his velvety brown head again, or his short hair, that was course when it was dirty and soft when it was clean. I am sure I will continue to find it stabbing me in the cups of my bras though. It was easier yesterday when he was gone. But then harder again this morning. Yesterday he was still in our lives, that stupid, miserable dog. Today will be our first full day without him in our home. I am sad that it seems empty. But I am comforted in my belief that no other family would have put up with his whining and peeing on the floor consistently for 9 years. And it is a much more peaceful and calm atmosphere already, without having to fight with the Parker over everything.

We always theorized that he was previously owned by an elderly couple.  He liked older people, and people in wheelchairs.  He hated thunderstorms, and always sought refuge in the bathroom.  We thought maybe the old couple kept him in the bathroom a lot.  We figured one person died, the other would go off to the nursing home.  Then the kids would come and just open the door, and Parker would run.  Because that is what he did best.  Always.  Even with stitches in his leg.  Then they wouldn’t have to try to find him a new home.

Running.  Always running.

Running. Always running.

Maybe he needed more obedience classes.  Maybe he needed more exercise.

Rest in Peace, Parker.  You definitely made yourself an unforgettable part of our lives, and our family.

Just sleeping here, not dead

Just sleeping here, not dead

Reincarnation Is For The Dogs

I didn’t think I believed in reincarnation until I got my two dogs. Now I am pretty sure it does exist.

Hear me out.

Dave's knowing eyes.  And wanting me to scratch her butt.

Dave’s knowing eyes. And wanting me to scratch her butt.

I feel very certain that Dave, my Lab/Chow has a lot more going on behind those eyes and in that brain of her’s than just normal doggy thoughts. Dave is planning, studying, and memorizing our constantly changing schedules. When the German Shorthair Pointer Parker has to go outside, Dave might say, “Oh no, I don’t have to go out.”* Which she usually, in good weather, will always go outside when Parker does, just to be nosy. When I come back inside with Parker, it is then very clear why Dave wanted to stay indoors–usually a food-related opportunity. She will have consumed food left on the coffee table (at perfect muzzle height) by my toddler, or found the dog food bag erroneously left open by a human distracted by the toddler.

Dave is an incredibly smart dog. For some reason, she always pees (multiple times!) when I take her to the pet store, but she has never peed indoors while visiting my mom’s apartment building, even though I know that the double sliding doors and elevator make her tuck her tail in fright.

Mommy's favorite

Mommy’s favorite

She knows just how to sneak up on the bed so that you never realize she is there (until you try to roll over). She can be very stealth for a 60 pound dog.

For all these reasons and more, I truly believe that Dave has been a dog many times over. I believe her next go around, she will be a human. A very naughty human, but a human all the same.

Parker is a whole different story. He is a cat trapped in a dog’s body. I believe that he used to be a cat, and this is his first go-around as a dog. So he is still learning the ropes.

Parker and Dave don’t like each other. They tolerate each other, but they are not buddies. If they both didn’t have tails that wag and the ability to bark, I wouldn’t even think they they are the same species. Maybe that is why they are not friends, because Dave is more human than dog, and Parker is more cat than dog.

Parker is very demanding. If he doesn’t get his way, he uses his urine as his revenge, much like a cat would. He had even peed on my bed before.** (He almost lost his cushy, warm home over that one.)

He likes to escape and patrol the neighborhood like a feline would. When he gets tired, he stops at the nearest house and begs to go in, like a cat would. Except that he is not a cute, fuzzy kitten. He is a 55 pound hyper monster of muscle and legs. So, of course, we are soon called to go and pick him up. Some people are nice enough to even deliver. (Bless those people.) Parker has run away many, many times. He has taken a swim in the nearby lake and crossed the busiest road in the county by the dark of night. He came millimeters from ripping open the main artery in his leg on a metal fence post. I am sure he had nine lives, and is on his last one now.

What did I do to myself?!

What did I do to myself?!

He rubs himself on the corners of my bed, and on the edges of the carpeted stairs, just as a cat would. Oh sure, he does it under the guise of scratching his doggy ears, but I know the truth. He also gets VERY excited when he encounters a cat. He barks at them incessantly, as if to say, “Hey, it’s me! I’m a fellow cat. Let’s play!” The cats are not happy about that. A cat a block away once tried to attack him and scratched his nose. All Parker was doing was walking by ON A LEASH!

Parker wearing my son's pajamas, so that he will be "nice and comfy"

Parker wearing my son’s pajamas, so that he will be “nice and comfy”

He is a good snuggler. That may be his only redeeming quality. He is very warm, and can curl himself up into a very tight circle on the bed or the couch, despite his long, gangly legs. But, beware. Just like a cat, I have seen him sit on my husband’s head in the morning when he wants to get fed.

If we had trained him to be the bird dog he was bred for, I believe he would have been very good at it. Not because he is a GSP, but because his feline side would have taken over.

Dave and Parker are nothing like my asbestos friend’s dog, Joe. He is just a big dumb dog. He is friendly, loyal, and only has to go outside like twice a day. Joe is a dog you would see in a cartoon. Dave bosses Joe around like a human would. Parker bosses him around like a cat would. Poor Joe, canine through and through, probably wonders what the hell is wrong with those animals that look like dogs and smell like dogs, but sure do not act like dogs.

I wonder if I had them DNA tested, if it would detect any anomalies. Or a TSA scanner.

Dave already loves beer, and has very definitive tastes (not that she ever gets very much). Maybe I should just quit fighting it and treat them like their inner souls. Maybe I need to pick up some catnip for Parker at the store 😉

For more stories about Dave and Parker, please visit my People of Interest page.

* DAVE DOES NOT ACTUALLY TALK. Trust me, if she did, you would know about it. I would have her muzzle on every newscast and talk show across Northern America. (Hey Canadians! Love you and your hockey!)

** For a great recipe on how to get dog pee out of your matress, please visit: http://www.dogchatforum.com/dog-urine-removal-mattress.htm

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