Marshall the Miracle Dog was bullied and abused, but never gave up and never lost hope. His story is full of heartbreak and tragedy, but also courage and triumph. To summarize: Marshall was rescued from an animal hoarder in 2010, where he lived in deplorable conditions with 60 other dogs. At the time of his rescue, Marshall was struggling to survive and required multiple surgeries. After months of recovery, Marshall found a forever home with Cyndi Willenbrock and now knows a life of hope and love.
Behind the Scenes – Inspiration for Marshall’s Anti-Bullying Message
The story behind the Marshall Movement goes much deeper than the tragedy of his abuse and neglect. The inspiration came from Marshall’s owner, Cyndi, relating his tragic story to her own. Cyndi was bullied for many years – from third grade all the way through college – and turned to alcohol to ease the pain. After years of being bullied and struggling with alcoholism, Cyndi began writing in a journal to find her voice and regain some of her power and take charge of her life. Now Cyndi celebrates over 22 years of sobriety and dedicates her life to helping others.
The Marshall Movement – Anti-Bullying Cyndi began the Marshall Movement in order to teach children about the importance of standing up to bullies and inspiring them to have the courage to put an end to bullying. Cyndi knows what it’s like to be bullied, so she encourages students that stand up, have a voice and be part of the solution. Marshall is integral to this mission because he embodies and instills empathy. He is a living reminder that we are all enough, exactly as we are; and he proves that victims can overcome their tragedies, learn to trust again, and do great things. Cyndi emphasizes that “there is a Marshall inside all of us – he has been through so much but is still full of life, love, trust and confidence”.
Perhaps the most moving message that Marshall and Cyndi convey to the world is:
“If you just hold on, there is a miracle waiting around the corner, just like it did in Marshall’s case. The only limitation that we really have in life is the six inches between our ears that tells us know no we can’t do something. If could all just think like Marshall and never give up, we can do anything.”
If you or someone you know needs help with a bullying problem, please visit one of the many valuable resources listed below:
- StopBullying.gov is the White House’s resource guide, including information and best practices for multiple stakeholders to stand up to bullying. http://www.stopbullying.gov
- Be a Friend First (BFF) online portal discusses the importance of girls standing up for one another. Provides tools, including videos and quizzes aimed at identifying bulling, resolving conflicts, and being a better friend. http://forgirls.girlscouts.org/BFF/
- Teacher Advice for Bullying Prevention: Guide helps to address common misconceptions about bullying in a school environment as well as the importance of creating a civil classroom environment to “sign up, stand up, and open up” to create a safe and nurturing learning environment. http://www.alverno.edu/media/alvernocollege/rcwg/pdfs/Best%20PracticesTeachersOnline.pdf
- ParentFurther is an online resource guide to help understand both bullying and cyberbullying, as well as ways to help you and your child rise above bullying in all forms. http://www.parentfurther.com/high-risk-behaviors/bullying
- Bullying expert Ashley Mcguire sets out to identify reasons why kids are bullied, signs to recognize it, and solutions on what to do to help: http://2point5kids.com/bullying/
- National PTA’s anti-bullying initiative, Connect for Respect (C4R) is aimed at preventing bullying through creating a positive school and community climate. Includes step by step action plan to making a difference in your community: http://www.pta.org/programs/content.cfm?ItemNumber=3003