A white, curly-haired French poodle will use the McPherson County All Schools Day parade as a larger platform to spread the message he has promoted his entire life.
“You are worth a million.”
The small pooch was born blind in his left eye. That eye had to be removed and sewn shut, and because of his permanent new look, he was given the name “Wink.”
But his appearance doesn’t bother McPherson owner Annette Karr. In fact, within Wink’s five years, Karr has used her dog to be the face of acceptance and love through what many have called the Wink ministry.
Wink has met countless numbers of children and adults through school visits and community events. In addition, many have been reached through his book, “Wink the One-Eyed Wonder.” All the while his message has been the same.
“Even though you’re not perfect, you have value,” Karr said. “He’s just a wonderful vehicle to express that.”
For example, Karr remembers a girl who held Wink tightly. It was only after the girl returned the dog to her that Karr realized part of the girl’s arm was missing.
“I was just stunned,” she said. “The passion in her was amazing. That’s why we're doing this.”
This sense of purpose, and a knowledge that people of all ages have a need for acceptance, has led the duo to take part in the McPherson All Schools Day parade May 10. The public is invited to walk with Karr and Wink and a vehicle dubbed the Wink-mobile. Any who wish to attend are encouraged to wear white or green T-shirts and gather between 9:30 and 10 a.m. on the west side of the 500 block of North Main Street.
Karr does not know how many will join them in the parade, but she hopes it communicates a positive spirit.
“We see such destructiveness, and people think that’s what this world is,” Karr said. “This is as much a part of the world as evil. We want to give people that opportunity to be part of something like that.
“When you see that many people passionately walking with that dog, they’re saying, ‘I want to be part of that.’ It’s just more than me and Wink now. It’s a movement.”
Also walking with Karr and Wink will be friend and author Dixie Gallaspie. She wrote the book “Just Blow It Up: Firepower for Living an Unlimited Life,” which explains how to break through walls of negativity from self and others to accomplish one’s dreams.
Page 2 of 2 - Karr and Gallaspie are partnering together to give copies of “Wink the One-Eyed Wonder” to children in regional hospitals. They also will have a book signing from 10 a.m. to noon May 11 at The Bookshelf.
Karr said her outreach with Wink has been completely organic, but a blessing.
“This is what my life’s been about,” she said as she choked back tears. “It's just an honor to be in the place that I am with him”
Contact Jenae Pauls at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @PaulsSentinel