Sometimes, we find inspiration in the most unexpected places. Such is the case of Marshall, a three-legged dog, who was one of 60 animals rescued in a 2010 episode of Animal Planet’s “Confessions: Animal Hoarding.” Of all the injured and ill animals discovered in that raid, Marshall was in the worst condition. He had a leg injury that was so badly infected, doctors were forced to amputate it – and even then, they weren’t sure if he would make it. However, Marshall’s will to survive inspired everyone around him. They watched as he learned to walk on three legs, never giving up. It was because of this that Marshall was dubbed by his veterinarians, “Marshall, the Miracle Dog.”
Special needs dogs often have a hard time getting adopted, but rescuers knew they had to find this courageous dog a loving family. Once he recovered, Marshall moved into his forever home with Cyndi Willenbrock, an amazing woman who found him at the Humane Society of Missouri. Watching Marshall overcome his challenges made Willenbrock realize that resilient pup could help others, specifically children, overcome their own life struggles.
She went on to write a children’s book about Marshall and used it as a way to talk to kids about courage and loving yourself just the way you are. Seeing how inspired children were by Marshall’s story, Willenbrock went on to develop this into a campaign to help children struggling with bullying. She dubbed this “The Marshall Movement.” Together, she and Marshall have visited more than 450 schools in 25 states and have met more than 150,000 students!
The Marshall Movement promotes a universal message of acceptance, tolerance, and kindness. “I feel like Marshall carries a message that is individual to every person,” Cyndi explained. “Whether it’s someone with a disability and they can resonate with that, or someone who had been bullied or someone who just feels unlovable. I just tell his story and I watch it unfold, knowing everyone relates to a different message because everyone has a unique story.”
Not only has Marshall helped children, this special dog has even inspired a Hollywood film! The movie, starring Shannon Elizabeth, was released on November 16, 2014.
Learn more about Marshall’s incredible story in this video below.
Marshall is one remarkable dog. It’s amazing to see how one act of kindness – rescuing this pup – has lead to thousands of more through the Marshall Movement. Just goes to show, a little compassion goes a long way!
If you’re considering bringing a four- (or three!) legged friend into your home, always adopt, don’t shop.
All image source: Marshall the Miracle Dog/Facebook