Loretta’s tail didn’t stop wagging from the time she walked into Trinity Lutheran School in Edwardsville until the time she left two hours later.
And why not? Children, teachers and other staff treated the yellow Labrador retriever like a movie star, despite her carved-out abdomen and oddly-shaved coat. They petted her, kissed her, hugged her, scratched her ears, fed her treats, read her stories and drew her pictures.
“She’s cute,” said first-grader Lauren Hamlin Chulka, 6, of Livingston. “She loves kids, and she likes cheeseburgers.”
Loretta’s visit filled the school with excitement and prompted a lot of laughter on Monday, but students also learned a hard truth: The dog had been abandoned in late November by a neglectful owner who allowed a mass in her abdomen to grow to the size of a melon.