We first met at hydrotherapy. Parker was swimming to help his arthritis. I remember those days well. As long as Parker had his tennis ball, it was a good day. Parker was just one of those doggies you love at the first hello. He never met a stranger, his new friend was a forever friend.
Parker was about 7 or 8 when he was adopted from the Humane Society. He and his mom were a match made in heaven. They were meant for each other.
When his mom and I talked about photos, she wanted him in his own environment. The place where he played with his treasured frisbee. His session became an abbreviated version of a day in the life of Parker.
We started out in the back yard chasing his frisbee, despite his arthritis, he loved playing with his frisbee almost more than he loved his tennis ball bone.
After a rousing game of frisbee, Parker took me on a tour of his favorite daytime activities. In the den, a sofa was strategically placed so that he could watch out the window. He watched for his favorite guests to arrive and most importantly, he would wait and watch for his mom to return home. He carried his beloved tennis ball bone everywhere and I have it on good authority that his mom kept spares in the cupboard just in case one got lost. Heaven forbid a sweet black lab be without a tennis ball bone.
Every morning without fail, he would patiently wait for his mom to get ready. He would listen from every room in the house. As soon as he heard the rattle of the blow dryer, he would make a mad dash to the beauty parlor so that he too could could be beautified. And it was only the call of the blow dryer that brought him to the bathroom.
He and his mom would lay in the middle of the floor and she would rub his belly and give him all of the love befitting a king. It was clear from the first hello that Parker and his mom had one of those special connections. It was a soulmate kind of connection.
Our Oregon winter was harsh this year and it wasn’t easy for Parker. They took it a little bit slower and did everything they could to make his days more comfortable. Last week Parker was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. It was fast and aggressive. We know from our own personal experience that osteo wins the battle every time.
Parker received the greatest gift of love from his mom when he was set free from his pain on Friday.
Parker, it was an honor and pleasure to know you. Run free sweet boy.