He’s on first-name basis with Von Miller. He opens concerts at Red Rocks, such as Icelantic’s Winter on the Rocks. He has his own signature microbrew—oh, he also has four legs. Meet Parker the Snow Dog, official mascot of Loveland Ski Area, and one furry Rocky Mountain celebrity.
The 2-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog’s career in public relations began when he was adopted by Dustin Schaefer, who works with sales and marketing for Loveland. Together they attend Front Range events, handle social media and make public appearances in places such as Denver Broncos games and Monday Night Football. They also spread goodwill and give back to the community. Parker serves as a therapy dog for the Rocky Mountain Easter Seals summer camp, where he cuddles, poses, plays and even dances with special needs kids. He looks out for his fellow four-legged friends too; his second birthday party raised $1,100 and 274 pounds of dog food for Charlie’s Place, an animal shelter in Clear Creek County.
Of course, there’s a lot to do at Loveland too. “Up here, he hangs out on the mountain with me after hours,” Schaefer says. “He’s basically my camera assistant. He’s out there hiking around, getting photos with me in the field and just getting content for Loveland Ski Area.”
Parker is a seasoned model, and he’s known to blow up Instagram. “I’ll take an amazing photo of a skier in chest-deep pow, where you can only see his goggles, and I think it’s an incredible shot,” Schaefer says. “But then I post a picture of Parker with his goggles in the snow, and he’ll get double the amount of likes.”
Despite his fame, Parker has big paws to fill. His predecessor in the snow dog role was Toby, Schaefer’s first Bernese Mountain Dog, who died at only 5 years old. It was Toby who made the first connection with the Broncos and Von Miller. Miller saw Toby on social media decked out in cowboy hat and sunglasses and invited him to a meeting at the team’s Dove Valley training center. Now Miller messages Parker on social media and greets him on his way into the players’ lot before each home Broncos game.
As for that beer, Parker appears on the label of his signature Bernese Mountain Brown Ale at Guanella Pass Brewery in nearby Georgetown. You can enjoy it at Loveland Ski Area or at the brewery. There’s always a good chance of catching Parker at either location. “He’s down [at the brewery] a lot, sitting on bar stools, hanging out with the customers,” Schaefer says.
Of course he is. It’s all just a part of a snow dog’s life. Check out our conversation below with Parker himself.
From the Dog’s Mouth
A conversation with Parker the Snow Dog—with a little translation help from his dog dad.
Springs: There have been a lot of famous dogs, like Lassie, Rin-Tin-Tin, Balto. Do you have any canine heroes or dog celebrities that you look up to?
Parker the Snow Dog:Well, I’ve been told I’m the modern-day Spuds MacKenzie. I love to wear the sunglasses, the cowboy hats, and I’ve been known to have an entourage of good-looking girls around me. So I would have to say Spuds MacKenzie is my hero.
How do you handle the fame and balance all of your media appearances?
I try not to let it go to my head. My dad’s pretty good at keeping track of my calendar and all of my events—and making sure I get there on time looking sharp. If it wasn’t for Dad, it’d be pretty tough to make all the events and look as good as I usually do.
So do you like it when Dad gives you a bath, or you do you just tolerate it because it comes with keeping up your style?
I wasn’t a fan of the baths at first, but when all my fans come up and tell me how good I smell—it would be better to smell good than to have people say, “P-hew, you stink.”
Is it hard to be recognized constantly in public?
I never get tired of people coming up asking if I’m Parker the Snow Dog. If you see me out in public, come on up, give me a hug, shake my paw, take a photo with me. Being this popular, it’s just part of the territory. It’s just one of the perks of this job—to get to meet new people and put smiles on people’s faces.
What’s your perfect day?
My perfect day would be waking up and Dad tells me there’s a powder day up at Loveland, and we have to go get photos. I jump in the car, and we head up to Loveland Ski Area before they open. We hike up to one of our favorite places, and I get to roll around on my back in the deep powder. No Broncos jerseys on, no shoes on, no cowboy hats on. I just get to roll around in the deep powder and have it cake onto my long fur.
Freedom. Just to get to roll around and play in the snow, and hang out with Dad.
So what’s better: a belly rub or a scratch around the neck?
Belly rubs, no doubt. I’m pretty good at knowing when people are gonna give me a belly rub. I’ll get on my back with all four legs up in the air and just let them go at it. Love the belly rubs.
How about cats. Hate them or tolerate them?
Love ’em. Some of them don’t love me. It’s a love-hate relationship. I want to give them kisses; sometimes I get slaps in the face.
You’re everybody’s friend, aren’t you?
I’m everyone’s friend. Even when they whack me in the face.
Are there any secrets for your adoring fans? Is there a Mrs. Parker in the picture?
No Mrs. Parker. There are a lot of dogs on Instagram that sneak into my DMs wanting to be a Mrs. Parker. I try to stay away from all the Instagram drama. If you don’t follow me on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, just look up Parker the Snow Dog. Or my handle is @officialsnowdog. I’m always up for play dates or meeting up at breweries.