How fitting that it should be on a Friday!

My bud Parker is now officially 10 years old.  A guy who has been around that long probably has many stories to tell, and a cache of photos to document the history!

So, here is a short “bio” with photographic highlights:

This adventure began over Thanksgiving of 2001.

The Arrival came on Jan. 20, 2002.

The first few months we waited, and waited, and waited, trying to find the name that fit this new member of the Newfoundland clan.  In the interim, we called him “Little Big Stuff.”  His mentor (and Dad) didn’t wait around for a call name to begin the process of tutoring the youngster.  With much to learn for both of them, and all of us, and many adventures to take together, we began to follow the course that lay ahead.  Over the first couple of years, the newest member grew at a very steady but surprising rate.  As with most youngsters, his body grew faster than his ability to make wiser choices.  He seemed to think he was invincible, and that he could do anything that he believed he could do, if he only believed.  (and you thought that the Newfoundland in Peter Pan was Nana)  And, he liked to do everything at high speed!

The next couple of years beyond the approximation of physical maturity continued to be joyful, with not much indication of a change in the use of judicial thought over the initial wouldn’t-that-be-fun reaction.  With now four Newfoundlands, we bought a larger van, a Chevy 3500 Express, and our first tour in the new van was to the 2005 Specialty in Monterey, CA, where Parker met the ocean.  Never in his wildest dreams (and he had some pretty wild ideas) did he imagine that a body of water could be so vast that a Newfoundland could not see the other shore!  He could smell the excitement before he could even see the ocean!  With Greg holding onto him, and Greg is a pretty strong guy, Parker broke free three times.  Actually, he broke the collar once, and broke free twice.

We lost Parker’s dad that same year, and my big, bold, strong boy became a lot less confident for a while.  The adjustment was very hard, for all of us.  Parker began to find himself again, and continued to be the party-boy/entertainment provider for our group.  Where there was fun to be had, he was good at recognizing that.

Within the next couple of years, we lost Brit and Shelby.  Parker became an only child.  He seemed to enjoy the attention, but it was clear that something was missing.

Finally, the search for a new puppy brought Jade home on a plane.  She arrived to an ice storm in the Midwest, and she quickly became the apple of Parker’s eye.  (and he loves apples!)  At this point, he had to learn about puppy teeth from a different perspective, and he had to share his toys.  I asked him to teach her only the good things, which he mostly did, but I forgot about the learning from the other direction.  Jade taught Parker how to “shake the prey”, and she quickly dispelled any expectation about girls being delicate.  She fully submerged herself in being the center of attention, and she loved her new bud dearly and quickly followed his lead in most ways.  Parker seemed to take his job as role model and mentor very seriously.  He continued to teach Jade and others the importance of having fun, and he worked to instill some of his values in his young tutor:

Life is short; enjoy the water.”
“Celebrate the good things in life.”
“Taste everything that you can.”
“Be patient and tolerant; humans sometimes require a lot of patience.”
Take plenty of naps.”
“Be helpful.”
“Don’t pass an opportunity to get wet.”
“Find/Put the adventure in life.”
Walk softly but carry a big Stick.”
and “Be a good example for others.”

Life is a present (and he loves to open presents).  First you get to be the youngster.  Then you grow up to be somebody else’s mentor.  You teach somebody else to open presents, play stick and go for a swim.

He continues to be the family cheerleader and keeps us aware of the important things to celebrate, like Fridays and other holidays, the invigorating nature of a bath, the kitchen, the togetherness time, the adventure of a road trip and the joy of meeting new people.

Happy Birthday Parker!

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2 Responses to HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY

  1. Arayo says:

    WaaHoo! Happy Birthday Parker!

    – Your pal, Arayo

  2. Mary Kornowske - Mesce says:

    General Blue and Kyantee are sending you best wishes for a perfect day filled with all things wonderful

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