In conjunction with its annual Read-a-Thon, Glenridge Elementary welcomed two special visitors on Tuesday, Nov. 20: St Louis-based author Cynthia Willenbrock and her miracle dog, Marshall.
Each grade level attended a presentation by Willenbrock, who spoke about her book, Marshall the Miracle Dog, and why she felt compelled to tell Marshall’s story.
Willenbrock adopted Marshall from the Humane Society of Missouri after he had been rescued from the home of an animal hoarder in rural Missouri. When he was rescued, Marshall had a broken leg and bite marks all over his body, including a tennis ball-size hole on the side of his face, from being attacked by the 60 other dogs living on the property. While on the operating table to have his badly infected leg amputated, Marshall’s heart stopped three times and had to be revived by the veterinarian and his medical team.
“Marshall really fought to live,” Willenbrock told the students. “He knew he had a purpose.”
That purpose, Willenbrock soon discovered, is to help others heal and grow. Marshall is a Certified Therapy Dog, enabling him to share a powerful lesson in perseverance with Glenridge students and other children.
Marshall the Miracle Dog teaches readers about Marshall’s courage and determination, and it contains strong anti-bullying messages.
Marshall’s story will soon be shared with an even broader audience when he and Willenbrock travel to California to begin filming a movie based on Marshall the Miracle Dog. A play is also being developed based on the book, and Glenridge Elementary is one of only two schools to pilot a Girl Scout badge adapted from Marshall’s story.
Following Willenbrock’s presentation, Glenridge students had the opportunity to ask questions of the author and to pet Marshall. In addition, Willenbrock donated five dollars from each copy of Marshall the Miracle Dog purchased by Glenridge students to the Read-a-Thon, which will help fund the rebuilding of the school’s outdoor stage and play area.
For more information, visit www.marshallthemiracledog.com.