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Season of Hope: Parker Puts His Talents to Work Against Cancer

Jennifer McFarling couldn’t be prouder of her Golden Retriever Parker.

At only 7 years of age, he’s already accomplished so much. Parker’s a professional animal model and actor, a registered therapy dog with Pet Partners and he competes in agility in his spare time. He can skateboard, surf and even play a very bad rendition of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the keyboard—if you listen very carefully and have a lot of imagination. 

“He is trained to touch the keyboard with his paws so really he just sounds like a toddler hitting the keys excitedly,” Jenn admits with a laugh. ”No, he can't really play any song, but we joke about it.”

The happy, mellow dog who is obsessed with tennis balls is also a big-time canine cancer research advocate. Through the website that documents his adventures, ParkerPup.com, and his Facebook page, which has more than 775,000 followers, he raises awareness of the disease that affects half of all dogs.

Jenn’s father battled an aggressive form of cancer and she also lost three of her five Goldens to the disease. She wanted to fight cancer and through that work, she learned of Morris Animal Foundation. She’s been supporting our research through our K9 Cancer Walk Program and various personal fundraisers, which she promotes on Parker’s Facebook page.

“We routinely get messages from people on Parker’s Facebook page about the dogs that they have lost due to cancer,” she says. “Cancer is far too common, and we need to better understand the causes and how we can treat this deadly disease to avoid losing so many loving companions.”

Recently, Parker’s little “brother,” Reser, joined the fight in a different way. He became one of the hero dogs participating in the Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.

Jenn is optimistic about the future of animal health, and she appreciates the Foundation’s work on behalf of all animals, not just dogs.

“We value the progress that Morris is making not only with domestic animals but wildlife as well,” she says. “If anyone has ever loved a pet or enjoyed watching the comical antics of a sea otter, they should value the work that Morris Animal Foundation does. The more people we have working together with Morris Animal Foundation, the more they will be able to accomplish.” 

Her encouragement and hard work inspires us. During this Season of Hope, Jenn, Parker and Reser give us hope that we will one day prevent and cure cancer in our canine friends. Join us this holiday season by giving all animals the gift of a lifetime of good health.

By: Heidi Jeter


Categories: Animal health
December 22, 2014