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We Know Her As 'Parker'

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

Parker is a beautiful soul. She is at the end of her life's journey, but before we say a final goodbye, a note of appreciation is in order.

As a younger woman, Parker was a magnet for people. Her vibrancy shone through her smile and dancing eyes. Her laugh was infectious, but Parker had a 'serious side full of no-nonsense and doing the right thing.'

Parker, A Slab of Concrete & A Shared Vision

In the summer of 2020, we received an email from 'a friend' explaining that an extraordinary senior-aged woman wanted to celebrate her 'last birthday' by visiting the Ranch and meeting our founder, Rhonda Minardi.

She was still not deterred by explaining that the only thing for her to see was an overgrown, weedy field and a concrete foundation. Seeing a highlight of Living Grace Canine Ranch on a local TV station, she knew she still had much to give. And give she has.

Because of Parker's shared vision of a world where animals are safe and creatures are valued, she gave generously, without any expectation of receiving.

Unbeknownst to Rhonda, Parker had been diagnosed with terminal Stage 4 colon cancer at the first ranch visit. As their relationship blossomed over months to come, Parker endured two bouts of COVID-19, a stroke, and perhaps the worst of all, loneliness.

Knowing Parker's deep connection with dogs and the value they play in human wellness, to Rhonda's delight, Parker was enthusiastic about LGCR resident visits. When asked, "Who do you want to visit?" every time, Parker's answer was the same, "Surprise Me."

Parker, The Woman That Loves All Creatures

A blessing to the senior canines at Living Grace, but many before have benefitted from Parker's kind heart.

Her true love was a red Warlocks Doberman named Amber Sorceress. As Parker describes this magnificent animal, "she was an amazing person in a dog suit." After sharing life with Amber, Parker had a hole in her heart that never filled again. But that didn't stop her from loving other animals.

One of her favorites was an Appalachian horse named Haziem, which means Great One in Arabic.

For years, Parker served as a docent at the Dallas Zoo, where she spent many wonderful years doing all sorts of chores like picking crickets out of the groundkeeper's debris and working with the gorillas!

Life took Parker to Costa Rica for 13 years, where she served others and cared for abandoned animals, including one cat, four dogs, and a horse. When asked about taking them in, she said, "they needed help." And that was that!

Upon getting her cancer diagnosis, Parker returned to the states and landed in Texas. Her resilience overshadowed her cancer, and she began working with mini horses. Parker would load up the therapy horses and take them to libraries so children could read to them, and they would visit nursing homes where seniors could talk with them. She found that even the most non-verbal seniors would have complete, colorful conversations with the horses. It was so rewarding.

In Life We Honor, In Death We Will Memorialize The Forever Essence Of Parker

When Parker's health continued to deteriorate, she knew she still had much to give but not much time. And now our story has gone full circle. Parker continues to be a supporter of the Ranch, and we are so very grateful for this woman of generosity and kindness.

Parker's Place Memorial Garden

To honor Parker both in life and death, we have designated a unique memorial garden for our rainbow residents, and it will be called 'Parker's Place.'

Parker, all of our lives are better for knowing you. Thank you. Whether on this earth or in our memories, we will never forget you.


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