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 human of distinguished courage or ability, admired for their brave deeds and noble qualities. person or dog who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities and is regarded as a model or ideal. 
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 the Hero Dog
When the McFarling family first brought Parker home as a little puppy, they saw how incredibly mellow, smart and eager to please he was. They began training Parker and soon he was winning trick and obedience contests and getting modelling jobs and commercials.  They decided to try therapy work with him after Mr McFarling (Jennifer’s Dad) fought a very aggressive cancer. He had always been a proponent of animal assisted therapy (he was involved with changing regulations for Oregon nursing homes in the 1980s) and the family wanted to use Parker to give back somehow.
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 the Hero 2 hospital visit
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.
Parker the Therapy Dog
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.
Parker hero dog supporting cancer
“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.
Check out Parker’s Website or Facebook! 



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  • I’ve met Parker and his family in person. All I can say is that these people and this dog are the real thing. Parker is an amazing dog who is willing to do whatever is asked of him. His family are committed to helping others in whatever way they can. You can see by the story, it isn’t just one thing they do, it is everything they can do. We should be more like them, each one of us.

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Thank you so much Gene. I am so inspired by what they do. It was an honour to celebrate them. I agree, we should all be more like them! The world would be a much better place.

    • Thank you so much, Gene! <3 That means a lot.

  • Go Parker, go! I always found it so rewarding volunteering in hospitals – I did it with cancer kiddos. You are doing some great work, and it makes a huge difference! Thank you for all you do to bring cheer and joy to everyone – and you bet I’ll vote for you!

  • What a pawsome dog! He’s doing a lot of good for a lot of people. It looks like he enjoys his work too. 🙂 You’re right, he is a hero.

  • Parker is one busy guy and that’s just awesome. To be able to support and give hope to that many people in a lifetime is truly inspiring. He sounds like the perfect fit for such a lovely family that’s committed to making a difference – I know he’d bring instant comfort to me with a sweet face like that. Such a great testament to the fact that we can’t all do everything, but we can each do something.

  • Parker is involved in a lot of worthy causes. The human-animal bond is really amazing. I don’t know what I would do without my two kitties. Animals are so wonderful!

  • What a great dog and family! Thanks to them for all they do for others!

  • Parker is an amazing boy and has a great family that has helped him to spread his love!

  • Woohoo! Go Parker! Thank you for sharing his story!

  • Maureen 2 years ago

    Parker is an amazing dog. It’s incredible to think about how much love he gives to others. One of a kind!

  • Wow, Parker is an amazing, special dog! He sure is a Hero Dog!

  • Jeannine Mallory 2 years ago

    I have never seen Parker pup in person, but I look for his photo every day on Facebook. I face challenges myself with PTSD and a few other things, and just seeing Parker in his daily activities always brings a smile and good feeling to me.

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      I’m so sorry about your anxiety- so tough. It is amazing how looking at a beautiful dog’s face can lift our spirits. I find I am happier after looking at photos on FB and my own little rescue rascal. XOX

  • Margaret 2 years ago

    So proud of “our ” Parker! (that is, his extended fb family). We’re so grateful to Parker’s family for sharing their amazing pup with us. Grateful also, to Talent Hounds, for featuring “our ” ParkerPup! <3

  • Rick Sullivan 2 years ago

    wonderful story of a loving healing creature in our midst

  • Sharon Maness 2 years ago

    I just love Parker, he is so pretty and he does so much to help others, My dad’s name is on his vest, also several dear friends who have passed due to cancer. Would love to see Parker in person. I vote for him every day for the HERO awards. God Bless Parker and his family.

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Parker and his family are amazing. They bring so much joy. I’m so sorry about your Dad but how lovely his name is carried on the vest. I hope you get to meet Parker. Hugs and thanks for commenting. We appreciate it and I know Parker appreciates your votes. XS

  • Pamela Dorng 2 years ago

    Parker you do so many wonderful things. Krep up the good work.

  • Kathleen sawyer 2 years ago

    I so admire the work of your family and Parker blessings to you all.

  • Jennifer 2 years ago

    Parker and his family are amazing. Warms my heart to see how much live and support Parker offers a true hero!

  • Debra Crockett 2 years ago

    Parker is absolutely a wonderful dog with an amazing family! He is a HERO!

  • Karen Taylor 2 years ago

    How wonderful! Love these precious dogs. I hope your show airs in the US!

  • Kathie 2 years ago

    Parker is the real deal, and so is his family. I found Parker’s FB page a few months after I lost my heart dog to cancer. Buster’s name was one of the first names on Parker’s vest. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Parker in person, and last summer I got to see Buster’s name up close on Parker’s vest when I joined Parker and his family at a walk benefiting Morris Animal Foundation. Following Parker on FB helped me deal with my sadness over losing Buster. After two years I decided to take the risk and adopt another dog. This time a Golden Retriever. I honestly believe that if I hadn’t found Parker’s page that December day in 2011 that I wouldn’t have my Jake today.