PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — This Veterans Day weekend is a lucky one for a sweet little rescue puppy.
Not only will she never be a shelter dog again, but someday she’ll become the best friend and confidant to one of America’s bravest.
This particular puppy is about to start her training to become a service dog.
But, first, she needed a name. That’s where Eat’n Park comes in. The iconic southwestern Pennsylvania restaurant chain is sponsoring the puppy’s service dog training.
So to start this weekend, when we honor our country’s bravest men and woman, they asked the public to help them give the 4-month-old black and white rescue pup a name.
Narrowed down to three choices, thanks to hundreds of suggestions from their employees, they left it up to their Facebook fans. After 3,500 votes, the people of Pittsburgh chose the name Parker over Honeybun and Delta.
Parker will be trained for service by Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. They have hubs in Florida, Michigan and right here in Pittsburgh. And have trained and paired more than 200 service dogs and veterans.
— Guardian Angels (@MediServiceDogs) November 9, 2017
According to Eat’n Park, Parker’s training will take 24 months as she learns how to help a veteran dealing with any number of conditions, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury, seizure disorders and mobility problems.
Then, she will be partnered with a veteran in need right here in southwestern Pennsylvania.
In honor of our veterans, we’re sponsoring Parker, a future medical service dog from @MediServiceDogs. Learn more about Parker here: https://t.co/pIjHFKwF5B. #HeroSmiles #ServiceDogs #GSDServiceDogs pic.twitter.com/Jw2K7oG1Oh
— Eat'n Park (@EatnPark) November 11, 2017
Both Eat’n Park and Guardian Angels say they are looking forward to following Parker’s exciting journey.
“We’re truly honored to be sponsoring Parker and are looking forward to sharing her journey with all of you,” says Eat’n Park on their blog.
Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs Communications and Development Director Christine Patrick said in a statement: “We are honored to have amazing organizations like Eat’n Park join us in unleashing the power to heal through our individually trained service dogs.”
And, so, for Parker, the journey is just beginning. An adventure that will eventually lead her to the love and companionship of a veteran, someone who has sacrificed so much for our country.
A dog saved from a lonely life, helping a veteran who has been through so much.
Now that’s the true meaning of friendship.