Allen Parton is the founder and vice-chairman of Hounds for Heroes, a nonprofit that provides trained service dogs to injured or disabled UK emergency services personnel and veterans. He established the organization in 2009 in memory of his first service dog, Endal, in the hopes of enhancing the quality of his clients’ lives as Endal did for him so many years ago.
In 1991, while serving in the Gulf War as a chief petty officer of the British Royal Navy, Allen suffered a head injury that left him hospitalized for five years, unable to communicate, move, or even remember his wife and two children. But Endal’s serendipitous arrival changed everything. The companionship and assistance provided by this yellow Labrador, who was able to understand more than 100 commands (some in sign language), helped Allen regain his speech, confidence and independence, as well as reconnect with his loved ones. Although Endal passed in 2009, his legacy continues with Allen’s current companion, Endal, Jr., the first service dog trained under the aegis of Hounds for Heroes.