From Outcast to Therapy Dog:
Parker's Love-based Transformation
Hi! This is Parker. I want to share a little bit about my life with you. I was born Oct. 20, 2014. Life wasn't too bad, but it sure could've been better. I prefer not to talk much about my first year of life. But let's just say, my birthday celebration didn't last long.
The day after my first birthday, my owners took me to the vet to have me euthanized. Why? Because I had demodex mange - a common mite infestation - so bad that I had lost most of my fur and had oozing sores all over my body. I looked a mess and smelled even worse. Even though my mange was completely treatable - requiring just some dedicated physical and physiological care - my owners weren't willing or able to invest the time and effort.
At the vet's office, vet tech Diana Parker (my namesake) convinced the owners not to euthanize me, but instead surrender me to Lone Star Bulldog Club Rescue. They agreed, and my life was spared. I will always be thankful to Ms. Parker. She IS the person that saved my life.
Living life with my foster maw
After entering into the rescue group, this wonderful lady named Nora Phare came to get me. She told me that she was my foster maw and that she would do everything in her power to get me healthy. I heard foster maw tell someone one day that I was "absolutely the hardest situation she had ever dealt with." I guess it was because I could barely stand to be touched - it was just that painful. Luckily, foster maw found a few spots - like behind my ears and under my chin and belly - that could withstand affection. I loved the attention. Foster maw made me feel beautiful and loved. She always told me I was beautiful and that she loved me.
When I first came to foster maw, I was terribly skinny. But foster maw was determined to fatten me up and so I quickly began enjoying four meals a day. My meals were awesome and included raw goat's milk and fermented fish stock (might not sound great to you, but I loved it). The delicious meals fueled my energy to play and wrestle with my best friend and foster sister, Piglet.
With medicated baths every other day and lots of attention, food, and love, I started to thrive. Throughout November, I healed fro
m the demodex and learned how to be a puppy - including "using my words" when nature called. At Thanksgiving, I had lots to be grateful about. Not only was I starting to get back my health and strength, but I had my first Thanksgiving experience ... my first bites of turkey and mashed potatoes. And I thought raw goat's milk and fermented fish stock were yummy!
At the end of November 2015, I was given a clean bill of health from the demodex - one step closer to finding a forever home. Spaying was next, but I prefer we don't talk about that.
A home fit for a princess
One day in December, I was at an outdoor event, with Lone Star Bulldog Club Rescue. I noticed that this nice lady with a big white dog was asking people about me. I had never met her before and didn't know why she was wanting to meet me. She found me and foster maw, and her and the bi
g white dog hung out with us for a while. I heard her tell my foster maw how gorgeous I was and how she had fallen in love with me the first day she saw my picture in October. That made my heart happy. I got spayed (UGH) and continued to grow stronger and less shy - foster maw said I was ready for my forever home. What.... I have to leave this haven?!
On Jan. 23, 2016, foster maw told me I was going to my adoption party. I wasn't sure what that meant, but she told me there would be cake! Woohoo ~ who doesn't love cake? I had just arrived at my party when that same lady came in. Foster maw told me that she was my forever maw and her name was Donna Rodriguez.
My forever maw was all smiles and immediately swooped me up and hugged and kissed me all over. She told me I was a princess and the next thing I knew.... I was in a party dress. I was the true belle of the ball. I was the happiest Bulldog ever. I spent the entire day being loved on by all the people that had prayed for me and supported me during the past three months. Everybody kept telling me that I was beautiful and I felt beautiful! At the end of the day, I said goodbye to my foster maw. I will always be eternally grateful to my foster maw, Nora. She is truly an angel and without her, I wouldn't be where I am today.
Which leads me to my forever home. I arrived at my forever home and was immediately greeted by my forever brother ... that big white dog. His name is Roscoe and he is a 105 pound Boxer mix. He is the best brother a Bulldog can have.
From the moment I arrived, I have been treated like a princess. I have a full wardrobe of pretty dresses and coats. I even have a robe to wear to keep me warm after my bath. My maw likes to take me wherever she goes, but because I can't stand the heat, I ride around in style in my dog stroller, complete with a cooling pad. I feel like Cinderella in a chariot.
Now, I might be a princess on that catwalk, but at the dog park? That's a different story. Here, I'm a tomboy. I tussle with the best of them - the bigger, the better. Often times, I'm the only female dog in the bunch and I'm usually the shortest ... notice I didn't say the smallest.
When maw has to go to work, she takes me to daycare at the Barkly Pet Retreat and Spa. I love the Barkly. I get to play with a bunch of dogs all day. The Barkly has a huge pool and when I first started coming, maw told them not to let me get near the pool, something about Bulldogs not being able to swim. Well, I'm glad they didn't listen to maw because I love swimming. I swim and play and fetch the ball with all the big dogs. It is here that I have been able to come to my next juncture in my life. I recently became certified as a Canine Good Citizen through the American Kennel Club. Can you believe it? I'm officially a therapy dog!
Learning to read
I'm excited that I can finally show others the love and support that I was shown. I can show kids that they are important, just like everyone showed me. I have already begun the process to become part of the literacy program with Montgomery Pet
Partners. I passed the mock drill
with flying colors and was invited to come for a final assessm
ent on Novem
ber 5. After I successfully complete the assessment, I'll begin going to schools, hospitals and libraries. I'll be paired with kids who will read to me. I'll help children gain better reading skills and confidence while I get a dedicated audience an
d endless affection. Talk about a win-win
I have endured a lot of physical and emotional scarring, on my journey from castaway to service. But I've done it with spunk and style and transformed into a dog that I hope everyone can be proud of. We're always told to not judge a book by its cover - and I'm living proof of that. I'm also living proof that every Bulldog can make a difference in life, if just given the chance. Wow.... all this and I'm only 2!
situation! I can't wait!
Thank you to everyone that supports Lone Star Bulldog Club Rescue. Without them, I would not be here today