A Lucky dog: Students raise funds for three-legged pup

Lauren Fiola rolls out the dough that will make the dog biscuits as J.J. Hernandez looks on. Students at Corkscrew Elementary School make Peanut Butter Puppy Poppers during Jennifer Litwa's after school program May 27, 2010.  The dog treats will be sold to raise money to get a prosthetic limb for Lucky a three legged dog.

Photo by GARY JUNG // Buy this photo

Lauren Fiola rolls out the dough that will make the dog biscuits as J.J. Hernandez looks on. Students at Corkscrew Elementary School make Peanut Butter Puppy Poppers during Jennifer Litwa's after school program May 27, 2010. The dog treats will be sold to raise money to get a prosthetic limb for Lucky a three legged dog.

What do eager elementary school students, a three-legged dog named Lucky, and peanut butter dog biscuits have in common? A great story about a quest to get an adorable puppy a prosthetic limb.

When Wendy Mastandrea saw a small paragraph in the Daily News in April about Camp Bow Wow trying to raise money for Lucky, she knew what to do.

Camp Bow Wow is on Mercantile Avenue, and is a day care and overnight camp for canines. Although Lucky stays there on a regular basis, the dog does have a home with very loving parents.

Mastandrea is the director of the Sunrise-Sunset after school program at Corkscrew Elementary School. She is an animal lover, and thanks to her influence, her “children” have grown to love animals too.

When she proposed the idea to them, they all immediately came together, with four fifth graders leading the way, to create a way to raise money for the dog. Kristi Crain, Jordan Cleary, Sarah Kisner and Stephanie Garcia — all good friends — took control of the charity.

They all agreed that the story was “sad” but decided they wouldn’t stop until they had a “happy ending for this good cause,” Mastandrea said. They wrote letters to the principal, who agreed to let them go forward to help raise money. The students decided, by using the cafeteria ovens, that they would make dog biscuits. In addition, they designed flyers and posters about their quest for Lucky and pasted them up all over their campus, as well as the adjacent Corkscrew Middle School campus.

Near the end of the school year, the students baked even more treats. This time, eager third graders joined in the fun, and took to mixing and rolling dough, and using different stencils.

Bags of the homemade biscuits were soon for sale all over the school, and are still for sale during the summer break with Mastandrea’s summer programs.

Jennifer Litwa, a third-grade teacher at the school, has been one of the teacher leaders.

“Lucky is a lab mix and was adopted from Domestic Animal Services. He only has three legs, but it is unknown how he lost his leg,” she said. “He is a very active and energetic dog, but is having trouble walking and playing for long periods of time because of his leg. His owner took him to Camp Bow Wow in Naples to help him to socialize and interact with other dogs and hopefully help him to get rid of some of his energy.”

Litwa, along with Mastandrea, agrees that this charity has a great impact on the students.

“It’s a great opportunity that teaches them all how to work together, a trait that is important for the rest of your life,” she said.

Seeing how they get “involved with the community” at such a young age is also what’s great about this charity, said Litwa.

Mastandrea agreed by saying, “it teaches them respect, compassion and how to care for others. In addition, the character traits emphasized by the county’s public schools are touched upon.”

If you would like to continue this dog’s lucky streak, you can contact the elementary school about buying biscuits at (239) 377-6500, or Camp Bow Wow (239) 352-2275 for direct donations.

© 2010 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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