Bumper Stickers

Now that school is back in session, we will all be spending a lot more time in our cars, from the time we drop off our kids in the morning until we pick them up from their last activity of the night.  Looking for a way to help the time pass a bit faster?  How about taking part in a favorite American past time — reading bumper stickers.  You can miss out on some of your best laughs of the day if you don’t pay attention to the humor posted on the car in front of you.  If you happen to see a particularly good (and family friendly) one, safely snap a picture and post it to our Facebook page for everyone to enjoy.

The following are just a few of our favorites:

Caution:  Student Driver … and Screaming Parent!

Wag more.  Bark less.

To err is human.  To arrr is pirate.

I’m not driving slow … you’re speeding.

13.1 – I’m only half crazy.

If you can read this, I’m not impressed.  Most people can read.

Free airbag test: come a little closer.

This vehicle protected by anti-theft sticker.

Sometimes I wrestle with my demons.  Sometimes we just snuggle.

My other bumper sticker is funny.

My kid skateboards better than your honor student.

Eliminate and abolish redundancy.

Never do anything you wouldn’t want to explain to the paramedics.

I’m going to survive (even if it kills me).

If God is your co-pilot, please swap seats.

Lord, give me patience…but hurry!

He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

If you’re rich, I’m single.

Honk if you like noises.

If it weren’t for physics and law enforcement, I’d be unstoppable.





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The Dog Blog – The Hottest Shoe Trends for Fall

Hello human friends and readers.  I can’t believe it’s been two months since I last checked in with everyone.  I feel like this summer has moved faster than the squirrel I chased last night.  Who am I kidding?  I didn’t actually chase a squirrel last night.  I did lay in my air-conditioned living room and dream I was chasing one though.  Does that count?  Let’s face it, it’s way too hot outside to actually chase squirrels or just about anything else I can think of.

I had another super terrific dream last night and it wasn’t about squirrels.  It was about … Fall Fashion.  I love Fall!!  I love Fashion!!  I superdy duper love Fall Fashion!!!!  After months of bikinis and doggie sunscreen (for my delicate skin), it’s almost time to trade in my casual gear for some seriously beautiful clothing pieces.  Every new day brings me closer to softie sweaters, cute pants, warm dresses and skirts and cozy jackets.

Having listed all the clothing I love to wear in colder weather, you may be surprised to learn that there is one article of clothing (or should I say two – hint, hint) that I will never wear no matter how cold it gets outside.  Prepare yourself for a surprise – it’s Shoes!  Seriously, why do humans love those things so much?  I think I speak for all dogs when I say wearing shoes is the most uncomfortable thing known to dog (or surely man/woman).   And dealing with the laces and buckles.  That just seems like a nightmare even if you do have fingers and thumbs.  The only thing shoes are good for is CHEWING.

All that being said, I consider myself a Renaissance pup, open-minded and willing to change. So,  I’ve decided to focus this blog on the newest trends in fall shoes in hopes of better understanding why humans love them so much.  Grrrrr.  Here goes:

Trend #1:  Bold Colors. I love bold color!  I can get on board for this one.  During Fall Fashion Week in NYC, the runways were filled with skinny human women strutting their stuff in shoes in beautiful hues of dark gray, rich brown, and deep blues, greens, reds, purples, and oranges.  I loved it.  After all, since you humans have to wear shoes, why not make them as beautifully colored as the rest of your wardrobe.

Trend #2:  Chunky Heels. I don’t know how women walk in heels.  I can hardly walk balancing on my hind legs, let alone tippy toeing on my paws.  Women seem to do it all the time though.  Why not human men?  Well good news, ladies, if you are as balance-challenged as I am.  All those skinny, skinny heels we’ve been seeing the last few years have been replaced, at least a little bit, by chunkier heels.  Congratulations, you can still show off your legs without twisting your ankles doing it.

Trend #3:  T-straps. Apparently a movie came out in the spring called The Great Gatsby.  It was set a long, long time before I was born, probably in the 1990s (Editors Note: The Great Gatsby is set on Long Island in 1922).  Anyway, the move has inspired all these new trends based on the fashion of that time, everything from crystal hair accessories to T-strap shoes.  I’ve been seeing T-straps everywhere, even on sandals this summer.  I saw one lovely pair for fall that had a ribbon that tied across the top of the foot.  I would almost consider getting them except for one thing – I will never wear shoes!

Trend #4:  Flats are back. Actually, I don’t know if they ever left.  Either way, if you don’t like heels of any sort, you’re in luck.  Designers have been showing off some really cute flats for the season.  Look for them in beautiful bold colors and animal prints.  And that takes me to my fifth and final trend.

Trend #5:  Animal Prints and Fur. I’ve been noticing this trend the last couple of years on all clothing, not just shoes.  Although I am flattered that so many humans are trying to make themselves look like I do every day of my life, I still get a little worried about where designers are getting their materials.  I can only hope and pray that the fur I see on your shoes is NOT Chihuahua.  The really good news for me is that I can run around in my birthday suit (which I still do sometimes in the privacy of my own home) and be totally on trend.

Well, I’d be remiss if I closed this blog without thanking my friends at Parker School Uniforms.  I love those guys for letting me do what I love – write about fashion.  Did you know that Parker also sells shoes? I recently visited my local Parker store to check out their shoe selection for this blog.  They carry some great brands your kids will love for back-to-school such as Sperry, Keds and Parker’s own traditional saddle oxfords (so cute I had my picture taken with a pair).  And even better, you don’t have to make a second stop at another store.  That’s convenient.

So, has writing this blog changed my mind about shoes?  Maybe just a little bit.  If you are a human, I can see how it might be fun to accessorize your outfit with a great pair of shoes.  But there’s one really big problem — you have to actually wear them!  Not this dog.  Happy back-to-school shopping!  Until next time, Zoe the Dog.




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The Dog Blog — The Dog Days of Summer

Hello human friends and congratulations on making it through another great school year!  I can’t begin to put into human words how much I LOVE Summertime.  Let’s just say I’ve done a lot of tail-chasing and behind-wiggling ever since doggie obedience school dismissed for the semester.  And why wouldn’t I?  My summer vacation is already off to a great start!  Just in the last week, I’ve spent some quality time floating around my pool, eating al fresco at my all-time favorite Houston restaurant, Barnaby’s (http://www.barnabyscafe.com/), and showing off some of my wagalicious new summer couture from my superdy duper favorite store, Funny Fur (http://www.funnyfur.com/).  (I’m sorry to say, I may need to run to my local Parker Store to pick some Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover to get out a few unfortunate grass, mud, and sundry other stains I got at the puppy park.)  After I finish this blog, I’m going to curl up at my backdoor and take a much needed afternoon siesta.  They don’t call it the Dog Days of Summer for nothing!

I particularly LOVE the month of June because it brings another of my favorite summertime events – the June Sale at Parker.  I can think of no better way to kick off summer than by saving some money on next year’s school clothes.  Depending how much you spend, you can save 5-10-or 15% off your entire order, all while avoiding the mad rush of back-to-school shopping in July and August.  Why would anyone not shop the sale?  And don’t say “because I’m on vacation.”  The sale prices are good online also so you can shop from the lake, the beach, the mountains, or your backyard patio.

Another thing I LOVE about summer is the return of our wonderful high school and college summer staff to Parker stores. There is no way Parker could serve all of you during the busy back-to-school months without the wonderful help of these 300 VIS’s (Very Important Students).  For many of this year’s VIS’s, it will be their first official job.  As you are shopping the June sale or the busier months of July and August, keep a look out for familiar faces behind the counter.  You just might see someone you recognize from your own school.  Also, be sure to give a bark out to your VIS when they do a good job.  One thing I know for sure, we all love a little positive feedback.  For me, that means a nice bacon treat, but I have a feeling kind words might work better for humans.  And of course, you can always give the folks at Parker your feedback, good and bad, at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RG9LC5C.

from left: Sydney Dornak, Nataly Rodriguez, and Leila Tanios

I feel pretty lucky because I recently got to meet three of this year’s summer staff at Parker’s Post Oak Store in Houston.  And wow, let me just say, you shoppers are going to be in good hands.  Sydney Dornak attends St. Agnes Academy and is beginning her first year at Parker.  She plans to major in Chemical Engineering in college.  Nataly Rodriguez, a graduate of Incarnate Word Academy, is working at Parker for her third summer.  She plans on being a math teacher after she graduates from the University of Houston next May.  And last but not least, Leila Tanios is a second year Parker employee who just graduated from St. Agnes.  She will be studying Psychology at LSU in the fall.  Now I don’t know what Chemical Engineering, Math or Psychology are, but they must be what all the nice people study because those girls were all really nice (and smart too).

Well, that’s it for this time.  I don’t want to keep you any longer because I know you’ll be wanting to get to the June Sale.  Have a great summer until next time.  Zoe the Dog


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The Dog Blog – Zoe’s Stocking Stuffers

Happy Holidays to all my human friends and welcome to the most wonderful time of the year!  The shopping, the food, the friends, the naps, the shopping — oops, I’m starting to repeat myself.  I think that I speak for most dogs when I say that we love this time of year.  Our house is always filled with friends and family, the leftovers are fabulous (I think you all know about my love of pumpkin pie!), and my owner gets to take a few days off from work.

Unfortunately, I know from listening to my owner that the holidays can be stressful for humans, and that makes me sad.  Here are just a few things I saw on her “to do” list just this week: shop for Zoe, mail out-of-town gifts, shop more for Zoe, go the grocery store for cranberries, finish shopping for Zoe.  Other than shopping for me, none of those things sound very fun.  I can see why she is always tired and a bit crabby in December.  With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about how I can help all of you during this busy time of year.  I think I’ve come up with a great idea.  Shop Parker!

Parker?  At Christmas?  Yup, that’s what I said.  Now, hold on.  Let me explain my doggie thinking.  First, shopping Parker is low stress.  Last time I checked, none of our stores were located at the mall.  I’ve seen the mall parking lot as I’m sticking my head out the car window.  It’s not a pretty sight.  Shopping is much more relaxed at your Parker store and the salespeople are ready to help if you have questions.  You can even call ahead and they will pull items for you.  Nice.

Second, and even better, Parker has lots of good stocking stuffer ideas.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Bows – And I’m not talking about the kind that go on presents.  Any of you that have daughters know that hair bows are back!  (Although, I would argue they never really left.)  Whether you choose one in your school’s plaid or in our many other fun colors, your girls will love finding a bow (or three) in their stockings Christmas morning.

Locker Lookz – Most Parker stores carry the entire Locker Lookz line so you can decorate a locker from scratch or finish off what you’ve already started.  I’m actually thinking of putting some Locker Lookz accessories on my list this year.  I think it will be a great way to jazz up my already fabulous closet.

Sneaker Balls – Let me tell you, my excellent sense of smell is both a blessing and a curse.  While I love going for a walk with my owner, I am not a fan of the smell those walks leave behind in her sneakers.  If you have someone in your life with a smelly pair of shoes, gym bag or locker, nothing says Merry Christmas like a freshly smelling Sneaker Ball in the bottom of their stocking.  If for no other reason, do it for the dogs in the room.

Socks – Yes, I said socks.  What can I say?  I am a traditionalist.  Who hasn’t received a nice (or not so nice) pair of socks in their stocking?  Parker has lots of great socks to choose from – knee highs, gym socks, tights, dress socks.  Most of our socks now come with our new Comfort Toe technology that keeps them from feeling bunched under your toes.  Obviously I have no idea what bunching socks might feel like (or toes for that matter), but I can’t imagine it’s good.

Hopefully, I have given you an idea or two that will help in your holiday shopping.  If not, let me leave you with one other piece of doggie advice for this wonderful time of year.  When you start to feel stressed or overwhelmed by your “to do” list, just take a deep breath and remember the true meaning of the season – celebrating our faith, our family and our friends.  And that, my human readers, comes as much from the heart as the pocket book.  All my doggie best to you and your families.  Until next time, Zoe the dog.



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The Dog Blog – Zoe Interviews Lucia Boss

Hello to my human followers!  I hope you have all gotten settled into your 2012/2013 school schedules.  I know all too well how busy this time of year can be.  Obedience school has started back up for me and, sadly, I am one stressed out student.  Lots of things stress me out about getting ready for school, but choosing just the right outfit for class is #1 on the list.  I usually allow up to two days to put together just the right look from my wonderfully enormous closet.  Of course, all you lucky duck Parker kids don’t have to do that because you get to wear uniforms.  Getting dressed for school is a breeze for you.

Enough about stressful things!  Let’s talk fashion.  I am so excited for this week’s blog.  I actually got to interview a very important person at Parker.  I feel like such a journalist!  Best of all is who I got to interview — Lucia Boss, Director of Product Development and Quality.  I believe Lucia has the most fabulous job in all of Parker because she, my friends, is a real life, honest to goodness FASHION DESIGNER.  I kid you not.  I sat down recently with Lucia to hear more about her background in fashion and her new job at Parker.  (Hee hee, don’t I sound just like a real reporter.)

Zoe:  Hi Ms. Boss.  I am so excited that you have joined Parker.  I feel as though I have a kindred spirit in the company.

Lucia: Thank you, Zoe.  And please, I’d love it if you would call me Lucia.

Zoe: Oh, thank you, Lucia!  Let’s get started.  How did you first discover that you love fashion?

Lucia: I developed my love of fashion design by sitting alongside my mother at her sewing machine.  I have been sewing and designing clothes since I was a little girl.  What about you, Zoe?

Zoe: I’ve loved fashion since I was a little bitty puppy and my owner bought me my first pink outfit.  It was love at first sight.  Where did you grow up?

Lucia: Well, I’m Bi-Coastal really.  I was born in New York and then moved to California.  I’ve been going back and forth ever since.

Zoe: Wow.  So Houston is your first stop in the middle.  What are some of the highlights of your design career?

Lucia: Houston is my first stop in the middle of the country and I am enjoying getting to know my new city.  I got my professional start by designing costumes for the stage and theatre in New York.  I worked on productions of the Mikado, Mid-Summer Night’s Dream, and Shakespeare in The Park.

Zoe: Costumes!  I love costumes.  I dress up for Halloween every year.

Lucia: I am glad to hear that.  While I was working in New York, I had a chance meeting with an MGM film studio head.  He offered me a new opportunity in California, so I moved back to Hollywood.   Zoe, are you OK?  Why are you suddenly chasing your tail?

Zoe: HOLLYWOOD! Did you say HOLLYWOOD!  I am so excited.  I love HOLLYWOOD!  It’s the home of the rich and famous.  You know, I’m kind of famous myself.  I’ve always felt as though I should be a star.

Lucia: Oh, well that’s very interesting.  While I lived in Los Angeles, I worked in the TV/film industry for such series as Battle Star Galactica.  Eventually though I found myself back in New York.  It was there that I began working for some of America’s top design houses such as Kasper, Adrienne Vittidini and Ralph Lauren.   I’ve also worked for retailers such as Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and Express.  Zoe?  Why are you lying on your back with your paws in the air?  Did you faint?

Zoe: Pant, pant.  No, I’m fine.  I’m just a bit overcome in the presence of your design greatness.  May I lick you?

Lucia: No?

Zoe: Oh, sorry about that.  That was a little too personal, wasn’t it?  Nonetheless, you are my HERO!  What brought you to Parker?

Lucia: Well, I was looking for a more relaxed lifestyle and a change of pace.  I think I found that at Parker.

Zoe: What exactly will you be doing for Parker?

Lucia: My list of To Do’s is very long.  Right now, I’m reviewing Parker’s creative processes.  I want to make sure that all of our products are designed, sewn, and inspected the same way every time.    Our customers expect a lot from our products and I want to insure that we deliver the fit and quality that they expect.

Zoe: So you’re not just designing new clothes all the time?

Lucia: Well, no.  A lot of design isn’t about coming up with new ideas, although I’ll be doing some of that too. Design is also about determining how clothes should fit, what kind of buttons to use, the measurements of a Size 6 versus a Size 8, etc.  I know it doesn’t sound as exciting as you had hoped, but it’s still very important.

Zoe: Well, even so, you’re still my design hero.  I’d love for you to come over and see my closet sometime.  I think you would be impressed.

Lucia: Thank you, Zoe.  That sounds very interesting.  I have to say, I’m a bit mesmerized by your pink business suit.  I’d be interested in any design suggestions you have for me.  I know you’ve worn our jumpers in the past and I’d love to hear how you liked them.

Zoe: You mean it?  I would love that!

Lucia: Of course.  I look forward to working with you and the entire Parker family.

Zoe: Thanks for your time, Lucia.  I’m so excited to introduce you to our customers.

And there you have it, Humans.  Maybe Lucia’s job isn’t as exciting as I had hoped, but her background in design sure is.  (I still wiggle a little when I think about HOLLYWOOD.)  And, in the end, all of Parker’s customers will benefit from her experience and work behind-the-scenes.  Until next time, Zoe the dog.


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The Dog Blog — Zoe’s Stress Free Guide to Back-to-School Shopping

Hello human friends!  As promised, I am back from my wonderful and relaxing summer holiday – and I mean relaxing with a capital “R.”  They don’t call it “the dog days of summer” for nothing.  Nobody knows how to relax better than us dogs.  I think humans would be a lot happier if they lived life like we do.  For example, I followed this simple schedule each day on my vacation: wake up, eat, do a fun activity, nap, then repeat.  The schedule is very flexible, but you must make sure you always allow plenty of time for naps – I take 4/day at a minimum.  Also, make sure that your “fun activities” are not too much work.  May I suggest a few of my favorites — chasing squirrels/birds, playing fetch, sun bathing or, my absolute favorite, boating.  I love the feel of the wind in my fur and I know you will too.  I guarantee that if you spend your vacation like I do, you will be one relaxed and very happy human.

Unfortunately, if your name isn’t Zoe, life is not all vacation.  I know that August is coming quickly and with it, back-to-school.  I have learned from listening to my owner that back-to-school shopping can be stressful for humans, and that makes me very sad.  After all, nothing in life makes me happier than shopping (other than maybe napping or boating), and I want you all to enjoy it as much as I do.  With that in mind, I have put together a few sure fire tips that I believe will keep you relaxed with a capital “R” even during back-to-school shopping.  (OK, that may be stretching it just a bit, but these tips should make your shopping trip easier.)

Tip #1:  Shop early! I know.  I know.  This is an obvious one, but it’s worth repeating.  The longer you wait to shop, the more crowded it gets.  Even dogs know this is true.  Why then do so many humans wait until the week before school starts to do their shopping?   If you like to be right in the middle of all the action then, by all means, wait until late August to shop.  If like me, you enjoy a more relaxed shopping environment, then shop now.  After all, it’s July already.  Parker stores are stocked and ready for you.  Why wait?  “Shop early” also means that you should try to get to your Parker store early in the day.  Beat the rush.  You can be in and out and on your way to a “fun activity” before it gets busy.

Tip #2:  Shop online! I love the convenience of online shopping.  Parker’s website, www.parkersu.com, is open 24/7, and it’s so easy that even a cat can do it (a cat with a credit card that is).  Just follow this link — https://www.parkersu.com/user/ — to get started.  If you are new to shopping Parker online, you can get started by searching for your school by name or zip code.  If you are a returning customer, just login and get going.  I know what you are going to say.  Zoe, what if I don’t know my child’s size?  No worries.   Shipping is free for online orders over $100, so you can order everything you need (even in a couple of different sizes) and then do your returns/exchanges at the store when it is convenient for you.

Tip #3:  Shop ready! This final tip is for the procrastinators in the crowd.   You know who you are.  By “shop ready,” I mean that you should come to the store knowing that it’s going to be more crowded than usual.  Just knowing that and planning for it will make your shopping experience less stressful.  My owner tells me that the folks at Parker always want to put the customer first.  When lots of customers show up at the same time, however, not everyone can be first.  Sometimes you have to wait.  May I suggest that you bring a “fun activity” for you and your kids, just in case.  I understand that human children like to play a game called Angry Birds.  I don’t know if it’s similar to my favorite, chasing birds, but nonetheless it sounds pretty good to me.

All right humans, I think you can take it from here.  Enjoy the remaining dog days of summer, but don’t put off your back-to-school shopping either.  I wish Parker uniforms were required at my doggie obedience school.  Unfortunately, my school doesn’t even require clothing.  Oh well.  Until next time, Zoe the Dog.



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The Dog Blog — A Very Happy Ending

Hello human friends.   Long time no sniff.  OK.  OK.  I know what you are thinking…  “What in the world has Zoe been up to?” — or maybe… “I haven’t heard a single ruff from Zoe since the holidays.” – or my personal favorite… “Hooray, Zoe is back!”  Truth be told, I really don’t know exactly what you are thinking.  But I do know what I am thinking… “I have missed you all so much!”

I have to tell you that, after the holidays, I decided to take a bit of a breather from my blog.  I was worn out by all of the parties, shopping, eating, and other wonderful things that happen from Thanksgiving through New Years.  And, truth be told, I do not stay this cute and adorable by working myself into a doggie frazzle everyday.  So, I did a little traveling and enjoyed some “ME” time.  Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and then, what do you know, it was Spring Break already.  I had so much fun over Spring Break that I found myself worn out again.  I needed a vacation from my vacation.  Long story short, I am now rested, looking good and ready to get back to work.  After all, back-to-school is just around the corner and it wouldn’t be fair for you to face it without me.

I should tell you right now that I do not want to talk about clothes, fashion or school uniforms today.  No, I’m not feeling sick.  Instead, I want to share with you a wonderful story that my owner just heard about at work.  It’s the story of two dogs who have been alone in the world for a long, long time that just found the love of a forever family.  One of the things I’m most proud of is that the new family is a Parker family.  “Whimper, whimper,” I love happy endings!

Instead of retelling the story, I’m going to share the link to an ACTUAL news article about it.  These dogs are famous – like ME!  But before you get started reading, you should know that Susan Sarpa, the super duper human who rescued the dogs, is the General Manager of Parker’s California stores, which operate under the name True Grits (http://www.truegrits.com/index.cfm).  By the way, did you know that Parker now has stores in California and Georgia?  My goodness, we do have a lot to catch up on!  But not today.  I am off to another week of relaxation in North Carolina.  All this writing has worn me out!  Don’t worry though, I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to get you all excited about back-to-school shopping.  I can hardly wait!  Until next time, Zoe the Dog.

Oh, and here’s the link: http://www.ocregister.com/news/sarpa-357316-rescue-knew.html


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The Dog Blog — Zoe Gives Thanks

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to all my human friends.  I am looking out my window today and feeling so happy I could almost howl.  After all, the weather is gorgeous, my owner is coming home early and, best of all, tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I absolutely love Thanksgiving.  Now I know that some of you tend to overlook this great holiday.  After all, between the fun of Halloween and the wonder of Christmas, it’s easy to forget just how special Thanksgiving really is.  With that in mind, I would like to try my paw at reminding all of you humans why you should always get excited about Thanksgiving.

Reason One:  The Food!!!  I know that if you were to look at my petite figure, you might assume that I don’t eat a lot.  Actually, you wouldn’t be far from the truth.  Let’s be honest, my stomach is only about the size of a large walnut.  Even so, that does not mean I don’t enjoy eating.  I especially love Thanksgiving because it always means extra TABLE SCRAPS.  I am not picky.  I love green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing and of course GRAVY.  Everything is better with gravy on it.  And, although I am not allowed to eat dessert, I know a thing or two about pumpkin pie.  (Don’t tell my owner, but one time I managed to snag a piece of pumpkin pie that a little human accidentally dropped on the floor.  It was divine.)  So tomorrow, when you sit down to your Thanksgiving feast, be sure to give thanks for all the wonderful tastes and smells at the table.  It doesn’t get much better than eating a great meal with those you love.  Speaking of which…

Reason Two:  Friends and Family.  Who doesn’t love to hang out with their favorite dogs and/or humans?  Now I know that some of you are thinking about your weird Uncle Lou who smells like outdated dog food and drools on the couch.  Oh wait, that’s just me thinking about my weird Uncle Lou.  (Thankfully Uncle Lou isn’t really my uncle.  He’s just the boxer who lives next door to us.)  Anyway, you only get so may times each year to sit down with your friends and family for the sole purpose of eating and enjoying your time together.  Don’t take that for granted.  I haven’t seen my family since I was adopted by my owner when I was just a little puppy.  I’d give anything to share a bowl of kibble and gravy with my doggy relatives.  For that, I would be truly thankful.

Reason Three:  Giving Thanks.  I love the idea of having one day each year that is all about being thankful.  One thing I know for sure is that humans don’t spend much time slowing down and thinking about all the good things in their lives.  It’s always go, go, go with you people.  That’s why Thanksgiving is so great.  On that day, you actually sit down together and eat, watch football, play games, and, hopefully, talk about what you are thankful for this year.  If you don’t already, let me suggest that tomorrow at the dinner table have everyone share what they are thankful for this year.  It’s easy and a bit addictive.  Once you get going, it is sometimes hard to stop.  Let me show you how it’s done.  This year, I am thankful for my new rawhide bone, my beautiful new princess outfit, my owner, my softie bed, this blog, my love of fashion, my enormous closet, my new bath salts, Uncle Lou…  Oops, see how easy it is to be thankful.

I have one final comment about Thanksgiving.  I may not be able to talk, but I do listen.  If there is one thing I know from listening to my owner, it is how thankful everyone at Parker is for all their great customers and the super year you have all had together in 2011.  On behalf of everyone at Parker, let me wish you a great big Happy Thanksgiving!  Until next time, Zoe the dog.


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The Dog Blog — Zoe’s Halloween Costumes

Hello Human Followers.  I hope you are all enjoying this cooler weather.  Times like these make me thankful to be a long haired Chihuahua.  After all, I have built-in outerwear.   I find it very interesting that humans have so little hair.  Just think of all the time you could save putting on and taking off coats in the winter if you had a lovely coat of fur like me.  Speaking of coats, I hope you are all going to take advantage of Parker’s Outerwear Sale.  From now through Monday, October 24, you can take 20% off your online outwear purchase (sweaters and sweatshirts too) and get free shipping.   Bark, bark, bark, bark (that’s doggie speak for “what a deal!”).

Now that I have made my shameless Parker plug, let’s get down to business – fashion business.  This cool weather has inspired me to take paw to paper for a seasonal Dog Blog about my favorite season, fall.   I love fall!  I love it for many reasons:  nice cool walks to the park, lots of squirrels to chase, and of course, Halloween.  I love Halloween almost as much as I love fall.  After all, who doesn’t love dressing up in fun outfits, walking around the neighborhood, and getting free doggie treats just for looking cute?  It doesn’t get any better.  Although I don’t like to reveal my age, I have had the pleasure of experiencing two Halloweens.  The first year, I was Little Miss Perfect (what can I say – my owner loves me) and the second year I was a very cute bumble bee.  I especially loved my Little Miss Perfect costume because it came with a very fancy doggie stroller.  I didn’t even have to walk around the neighborhood to get the doggie treats!  Hey wait, I think Halloween did get better.  Keep watching Facebook and I might just post a picture of me in this year’s costume…

I know there are differing opinions out there about what makes the best costume: store-bought or homemade.  I am going to be up front here – I have always been a store-bought kind of pup and I think it’s obvious why.  Unless you are a master seamstress, it is hard to sew doggie outfits (or so my owner tells me).   That fact, plus my love for the finer things in life, has led me to go the store-bought route.  This year, I have noticed many fine costumes in my local stores.  For humans, there are costumes from the popular Twilight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, and Disney Princess movies.   And for us dogs, it’s hard to beat the classic pumpkin, hot dog and dinosaur costumes we have all come to love.

That being said, let me encourage all of you to consider going the homemade route this year.  Homemade costumes not only help you save human dollars, they also encourage your kids’ creativity.   There is no end to the number of fun and creative costumes you can make at home.  I love this website, http://www.robinsfyi.com/holidays/halloween/costumes.htm#tights, for its many great costume ideas.  Of course, my favorite suggestion is the puppy costume, but the website also has a ton of other ideas from a basket of laundry to a bunch of grapes.  Be sure to check it out.  Of note, if you or your child decides to go with the always popular grandma, grandpa, nerd, or even American tourist costumes, you might want to stop into Parker and ask what clothes they have on clearance.  Most humans don’t know that Parker stores have a clearance section.  Parker’s clearance items are usually embroidered, plaid or discontinued merchandise, but who knows, you just might find the right pair of plaid shorts to complete your look.   So good luck creating your costume and happy trick-or-treating.  Until next time, Zoe the Dog.


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How Times Have Changed

As we were researching last week’s blog, http://blog.parkersu.com/2011/09/15/still-learning-in-a-one-room-schoolhouse, we came across some information that made us both smile and grimace.  We knew immediately we had to post it on our Just for Fun page.  Take a look at these common rules for one-room schoolhouse teachers in the late 1800s.  How times have changed!

1.  Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.  You must sweep the floor at least once daily; scrub the floor at least once a week with hot soapy water; clean the blackboards at least once a day; and start the fire at 7 a.m. so the room will be warm by 8 a.m.

2.  Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session.

3.  Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.

4.  Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.

5.  After ten hours in school, teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.

6.  Women teachers are not to keep company with men.  You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man, unless he is your father or your brother.  (No kissing cousin.)  Those who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.

7.  Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.

8.  Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention,  integrity, and honesty.

9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase in pay of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.

Even as late as 1915 one school dictated that their teacher could not wear bright colors, loiter downtown in any ice cream stores or travel beyond the city limits unless he had the permission of the school board.  It took a special kind of person to teach in a one-room school house.  It still takes a special kind of person to teach — no matter the size of the school — and thank goodness they are now free to go to the ice cream parlor!

Source:  http://www.cedu.niu.edu/blackwell/oneroom/aboutTeachers.shtml


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