Ralphie the dog had his day.
In honor of his seventh birthday on Jan. 31, students began collecting donations for Lawton Animal Welfare (LAW). The birthday dog, a black Labrador, belongs to Misty Mason, reading specialist and mentor to the gateway Success Center students at Douglas Learning Center.
Yesterday, the donations were presented to LAW. The dog goodies included 33 bags of dog treats, 16 flea/tick treatments, 12 leashes, an air freshener, 17 toys, two dog sweaters, and a 50 pound. bag of dog food.
Ralphie has been visiting the school for the last three years for celebrations. For Halloween, he was dressed as a Beanie Baby, complete with the tag, according to Mason.
“There is always a reason to celebrate,” Mason said. Since Ralphie had enough toys, food and supplies, Mason decided to make her dog’s celebration part of the donations to LAW.
Local vet Dr. Larry Chambers donated about $500 worth of toys, flea treatment, leashes and other supplies.
“I’m really appreciative of the students who made the event successful,” Mason said. “We’d like to thank the Lawton/Ft. Sill community, Douglas Learning Center and the staff for their donations. We’d also like to thank LAW.”
“It means a great deal,” Roy Rodrick, LAW field supervisor, said. “Toys keep the dogs at ease. We try to make the stay more pleasant. We try to give them a treat every day.”
With budget constraints and expected things that come up, donations like this help, according to Rodrick. The donations are “a godsend and a big deal,” Rodrick said. People looking to donate can come by LAW or visit their Facebook page. Rodrick said LAW maintains a list of needed items.
“I found it amazing. We were able to donate to dogs in need. Animals are important, too,” Micha Crosby, one of Mason’s students who helped with the donations, said.
“We hope to do it again for Ralphie’s eighth birthday,” Mason said.