Our Hero Dog Parker -What An Inspiration!
Dogs have a special ability to connect with humans, to help heal and to comfort those in need. Thank you to Jennifer McFarling for celebrating her wonderful dog Parker and the human-animal bond with us.
A Hero can be defined as a dog or humanA or dog and
Parker is our Hero Dog today. He is unbelievably talented. He’s the perfect family pet, an AKC agility competitor, a professional doggy model, an animal actor, a registered therapy dog with Pet Partners and a cancer supporter. The McFarlings never could have imagined the impact that a cute little Golden Retriever Puppy would have on their family and the community.
Parker helps people with his gentle nature, his big eyes, his happy smiles, and his soft coat. He offers a sweet little chin in a lap or a snuggle to those in need. It has been shown that looking at a dog’s face and patting a dog can trigger feelings of happiness and reduce anxiety and loneliness.
Parker loves to do tricks and entertain. He can even connect with people from a distance while they are in isolation. In hospitals, he walks into a room and is usually greeted by huge smiles and outstretched arms from those awaiting his visit. Parker helps children who are scared or crying by offering a gentle cuddle or even performing little tricks to entertain or distract them. He has even helped children who were not talking at all to start to speak and communicate by lending an attentive, calm, non-judgemental ear. During his visits to the oncology clinic, he’ll often just sit by patients, and for a moment those patients will be able to escape the stress and the worries.
Parker also participates in the Read to the Dogs Program at the local library. Jennifer explains, “It’s fun to see the children open up and not be afraid to read out loud, and even WANT to read and be excited about it”. We are big supporters of these wonderful Reading programs and have seen the evidence of their success with Gizmo, Bocker and Therapy Pugs.
Parker makes pre-school to college visits, and helps teach children or comfort those preparing for exams.
He works with the Sheriff’s office providing comfort and love to those in the Cascade Canine Crisis Response and is always on call to respond to any urgent crisis’. He can be a quiet presence when someone is faced with a life-altering event and just provide love and comfort.
In addition to therapy, Parker is actively involved in raising cancer awareness. He has a vest with thousands of names on (and in) it of those battling cancer — people, dogs, cats, anyone. It’s something the McFarling’s decided to start a few years ago.
“It’s cool to see people who have requested their names be included follow the vest from walk to walk. He has walked up and down the west coast. It’s a great way to showcase how cancer truly affects everyone. And it also helps people feel like they are a part of the solution as they can see their names being represented at different walks and donate to the various non-profits we walk for.” – Jennifer
Parker also actively supports the Morris Animal Foundation, which is currently doing a study of 3,000 golden retrievers, called the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Parker’s his little brother Reser is one of the hero dogs participating in the Foundation’s study. They both walk for various other charities, including American Cancer Society, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, among others.
The impact dogs have on humans is only starting to be understood. The power of the human animal bond is a very deep connection that has the power to help heal. We are very inspired by Parker and his dedication in the fight against cancer and his special ability to comfort and support those in need through his therapy work.
Vote For Parker
Help our hero dog Parker spread cancer awareness and share the importance of animal assisted therapy by voting for Parker to be the 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards Therapy Dog Ambassador. You can Vote for Parker DAILY.