Can dogs fight against bullying? A lot of kids find relief through Marshall's familiar story.
True
Petfinder

You might be surprised about what you can find in a rescue dog. There are remarkable dogs up for adoption in shelters nationwide who just need to find a home. Here's the story of one of them.

Meet Marshall.


All images and GIFs via Marshall The Miracle Dog/YouTube.

Marshall once had a lot stacked against him.

He was one of over 60 animals rescued in 2010 on an episode of Animal Planet's "Confessions: Animal Hoarding."

Out of all the animals, Marshall was in the worst shape. He'd suffered injuries so bad that his medical team didn't think he was going to make it.

But he did. Little by little, Marshall recovered, even learning to walk on three legs after his broken limb had to be amputated.

Marshall 's owner (center) and the vet who saved him (right).


Marshall earned a nickname "Marshall the Miracle Dog."

"(Veterinarians) started calling him a miracle dog because he just persevered and wouldn't quit," said Cyndi Willenbrock, who adopted Marshall from the Humane Society of Missouri.

Realizing children could relate to Marshall inspired his owner to share his story.

Cyndi knew Marshall's journey to overcome his troubled past could resonate with kids who struggled with problems in their own lives. She wrote a children's book about Marshall and used it as a way to talk to kids about courage and acceptance.

She turned this into a larger campaign, called "The Marshall Movement":

"The Marshall Movement serves to carry a universal message of acceptance, tolerance, and kindness. Our goal is to help children recognize, prevent, and speak up when experiencing or witnessing tough social issues such as bullying, peer pressure, abuse, or animal cruelty. The Marshall Movement, with the use of thought-provoking character building programs and activities, strives to provide children with the strength and path to find their own voice. We inspire them to be empowered."

Marshall was also trained as a therapy dog, making it easier to take him into schools to share his story. The training also helped Marshall cope with the anxiety left over from his trauma, and brought him into contact with lots of people looking to give him as much healing love and attention as he wanted to give them.

Marshall hard at work as a therapy dog.

Cyndi also encourages kids to volunteer with animals, or elsewhere, to help them cope with personal problems. In an interview with The Daily Republic, she put it like this:

"I always tell people if they're going through tough times to go volunteer. It's the same thing with animals," says Cyndi. "Having him trained as a therapy dog gave him confidence and exposed him to people in a really safe environment. It really showed him that he does have a purpose to serve. Everyone has a purpose and, more often than not, you find that while giving to others."

If that purpose is belly rubs, Marshall isn't complaining.

The pair now travels around the country to inspire children to be kind to one another and to "act with courage" to end bullying. They've visited more than 450 schools in 25 states and met more than 150,000 students.

Marshall's story is so compelling, it even inspired a Hollywood film about his life!

Hollywood caught wind of this amazing pup's journey and reached out to Cyndi and her husband about creating a film based on Marshall's journey. The movie released on November 16, 2014.

We need more Marshalls in the world.

Sadly, students live in a world that looks like this:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 students report being bullied during the school year
  • Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and poor school adjustment
  • Students who bully others are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems, and violence later in adolescence and adulthood

But there are thousands of dogs that may be able to help.

Researchers have found that therapy dogs are great for providing emotional support, but also for teaching kids better ways to interact with one another.

Students can try out "pro-social" behaviors with them, learning to care for the dogs and receiving the dogs' love in return. Practicing commands that the dogs already know is also a great way to instill a sense of responsibility and accomplishment.

They can also help with pervasive issues like anxiety and social skills.

It would be awesome to see more rescued dogs like Marshall get the chance to give and receive the support they once never thought they'd have.

Could your very own Marshall be just a Petfinder search away? Considering adoption could not only save a precious pet's life, but could give untold benefits to you and your family... and maybe even the world — just like Marshall.

Indeed, who has saved whom?!


Watch this video to learn even more about Marshall and how his new life has helped him leave behind his past:

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

Keep Reading Show less
via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

Keep Reading Show less