Success Lessons from Parker the Drama Dog

By Piper Bayard

Meet Parker.


MyPhotos Parker Standing



We got Parker from the Humane Society when I had a feeling there was a dog waiting there that would be a perfect fit for our family. Parker had been taken back twice because he doesn’t play well with others. He almost completely ignored us during our initial visit, and he was about twenty pounds overweight. Perfect, right? Yes. We saw it that way, too.

Once we got him home, we also discovered he was terrified of everything from the vacuum sweeper to the guinea pig to the staircase. But after three days and two pounds of ham to coax him up the stairs, he relaxed into a self-contained, happy pup that blended well with the family. And the best part? He didn’t seem to shed much at all.

Then came the bait and switch. We got back from Vancouver Island to find Parker had started to shed while we were away. In fact, it seemed to be his new mission in life.

In a heartbeat, I had dog brush in hand and was calling our little fluff factory to the back door. But he would have none of it. Every time I stroked him gently with the dog brush, he yelped and snapped. I couldn’t even pluck away the loose tufts of hair without him acting like I was ripping off appendages.

So I had a bit of a dilemma on my hands. Traumatize the dog, or allow him to coat us and all of our belongings in his tresses?

DD and I decided to take Parker for a walk and contemplate the situation. While I glared at the dog and DD laughed about the matter, she started flipping the rope leash up and down along his hind end, coaxing off chunks of fluff and leaving his tuchus looking like a topographical map of the Rocky Mountains. Parker was so distracted by all of the sights and smells around him that he didn’t notice.

That made me bold. Every time he stopped to sniff some marvelous delight, I ran forward and started grabbing out handfuls of hair. By the time we finished the walk, it looked like we’d shaved a bear on the path, and Parker didn’t notice or object once. Clearly, when it came to helping him shed, Parker was a drama queen.


MyPhotos Parker's fluff



The next day, I took the brush with me on our walk and encouraged Parker to sniff every rock, plant, or animal trace we crossed as I left a trail of dog hair tumbleweeds to mystify joggers through the day.

I decided to push it and took him out on the porch at home and continued my work. Without a walk to distract him, he began yelping and snapping again, but this time, I knew I wasn’t hurting him so I gave him a firm ‘no’ and ignored his fussing. He soon settled down.


MyPhotos Parker sitting by fluff


Now, Parker still hates brushing, but he tolerates it, and I don’t have to feel like a tribble every time I lie down on the couch. And the best part? After I took charge and told him to knock off the drama, he trusts me more than ever, and the new problem is not tripping as he  walks on my heels all day.


Success lessons? Some fears are nothing but bad habits, and discipline will save the day when indulgence fails.

What does your pet teach you about success?

All the best to all of you for knowing when to take charge.

6 comments on “Success Lessons from Parker the Drama Dog

  1. JackieP says:

    I have had dogs all my life and used to raise shepherds. I have found the many personalities of the many dogs, that they are a lot like kids. They need rules and constants. They need to know boundaries. They respect you the more for them as you found out. You are the new alpha dog.

  2. Hi Parker! I am glad to hear that you are listening to your new Mama. She loves you, you know. She may seem tough and a bit of a hard ass at times but she’s doing it because she loves you and she wants you to be happy. You are one lucky doggie! 🙂

    • Piper Bayard says:

      LOL. He says to tell you I’m pretty okay most of the time, but I seem to have an unnatural obsession with plucking out his loose tufts of hair. He’s not comfortable with that kind of touching. 🙂

  3. Parker! Molly gives a big woof in welcome. (and snorts how clever you were to not shed until they were totally attached to you….she did the same, but tolerates brushing…..only once you start, you end up with big drifts….and you need a bath)
    Molly, an abused dog, had also been through multiple homes (Some just take a while to select the right one Molly comments…and refuses to admit she was drugged when we first saw her…shortly the manic-hyper personality emerged). They have trust issues, but finally relax once they realize you are in charge and they don’t have to be. It’s not easy but dogs like Parker become the bestest dog ever.
    (Molly, noooo stop eating the houssssse!)
    Paw waves!

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Parker says, “Eating the house? I didn’t know you could eat the house. Please thank Molly for that idea.”

      Shelter dogs earn the “Man’s Best Friend” title, for sure! All the best to your bouncing Molly. 🙂

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