PAWS Pup Finds Home at Park Hyatt Hotel
by Alison Martin | Jun 10, 2016
It’s midafternoon on Michigan Avenue. Outside, cars honk at the stop light, and music from street performers fills the air. Inside the Park Hyatt Hotel, Parker hears none of it as she snoozes on her plush bed behind the front desk.
Parker, the sweet, one-eyed pug who now calls the Park Hyatt home, lives the ultimate Cinderella story. Ever since her story went viral in early June, Parker has become the Park Hyatt’s star.
But before Parker’s happily-ever-after, her life was anything but luxurious. Rescued from Tennessee and brought to PAWS Chicago last November, Parker – then Tigris – needed plenty of love and care. She could no longer use her right eye, and painful skin tags covered her belly. She needed to lose a few pounds, but most of all, she needed a home that would be willing to provide her with additional support she needed.
In May, the Park Hyatt’s general manager, Walter Brindell contacted PAWS looking to adopt a dog for the hotel. When Parker sufficiently recovered, PAWS staff immediately recommended her to Brindell, who sits on PAWS’ Development Board. He says he wanted a senior dog, one with limited energy who might be less likely to be adopted by a traditional family. When he first saw Parker at PAWS, he says it was “love at first sight.”
“They brought her out and she was just the sweetest pup,” he said. “She had the sweetest temperament.”
So Parker came home to the Park Hyatt hotel on the Magnificent Mile. Though she seemed to feel out of her element for her first few days, Parker quickly adapted to her new home and family. Now the whole staff pitches in to feed, walk and pamper Parker.
Staff members aren’t the only ones who love Parker. Hotel guests love greeting Parker as they check in, and she’s become a bit of a canine-cierge. Dressed in a signature Burberry bandana, Parker welcomes guests in the lobby, struts around the NoMi Garden on the rooftop and escorts guests up to their rooms.
With such a friendly four-legged concierge, it wasn’t long before Parker’s story caught the attention of both local and national media. Parker and Brindell gave interviews to the Chicago Tribune, Time, ABC News, The Today Show and plenty of others.
Since Parker’s arrival at the hotel, Brindell says he’s received dozens of phone calls from other hotels asking for advice on adopting a pet of their own. While Brindell wants to see more pets find good homes, he cautions other hotels.
“I think this can only be successful if you do it for the right reason and your heart is in it,” he says. “Unless you’re ready, unless it’s something you really have in your heart, you shouldn’t do it.”
For now, Parker is enjoying the high life, and she has plenty of fans around the city.
“People come in from off the street,” Brindell says. “Police officers that come in late at night and want to pet her. Horse carriage drivers know her.”