Marshall the Miracle Dog Visits Cold Water Elementary During Character Camp

Isaiah Buggs meets Cyndi Willenbrock and Marshall after the presentation that Willenbrock and Marshall gave to students at Cold Water Elementary School.

Students had a special visitor during Character Camp at Cold Water Elementary when “Marshall the Miracle Dog” came to share his story.

Character Camp highlights six important character traits at Cold Water Elementary: caring, fairness, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness and citizenship.

Stephanie Knight, a third-grade teacher, invited Marshall to visit with students after attending the Character Education National Conference this past summer and hearing Marshall’s story.

“His story touched me so much that I had to get his ‘no bullying’ and ‘be a friend/caring person’ to every one of our students,” said Knight.

Marshall was rescued from an animal hoarder in September 2010. At the time of the rescue, Marshall had bite marks all over his body, a broken front leg and a hole the size of a tennis ball on the side of his face.

Thanks to the Humane Society of Missouri, Marshall was nursed back to health.  When he was available for adoption, Cyndi Willenbrock adopted him. She has since decided to visit schools with Marshall to share a positive message of anti-bullying, self-acceptance and kindness towards others.

While sharing Marshall’s story, Willenbrock incorporated the six character words. She said Marshall loves to visit with children because they don’t make fun of him; they just love him and do not judge him.

One student in particular had a special connection to Marshall. Isaiah Buggs, a third-grade student, said he related to Marshall because he only has one arm.

“He was so cool,” said Buggs. “I really like his story because he only has three legs and I only have one arm. He can do anything a dog can do and I can do anything a kid can do. Marshall is just like me. He had to learn how to walk again, and I had to learn how to stretch my arm.”

Buggs said Marshall’s story helped to teach his classmates why you should always be nice to people.

“Nobody should make fun of Marshall or me, because everyone should just be nice to each other. When you make fun of someone you can really hurt their feelings,” he said. “It changed my life meeting Marshall because I learned that dogs can have three legs and still be just like normal dogs. They can walk, run and even chase after squirrels. Just like Marshall is a normal dog, I’m a normal kid. I can do the same things normal kids do.” (story provided by Hazelwood District Communications Dept.)

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