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Girl Scouts supply food and treats to shelter dogs

Ten-year-old Cheyenne Rowland, left, and 11-year-old Jessilyn Miller of the Junior Girl Scouts Troop No. 2562 at Nashville are greeted by one of the residents of the Holmes County Dog Warden Department and Adoption Center.

Colleen Callahan

Girl Scouts Cheyenne Rowland and Jessilyn Miller delivered a truckload of dog food and homemade indulgences including dog blankets, toys and cookies to the Holmes County Dog Warden Department and Adoption Center Wednesday, May 4. They were greeted by an enthusiastic recipient — a 3-month-old boxer mix who was more than happy to reward the girls with wet, sloppy puppy kisses.

Both Cheyenne and Jessilyn belong to the Junior Girl Scout Troop No. 2562 from Nashville. They are in different stages of projects that lead to the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can receive — the Bronze Award. Eleven-year-old Jessilyn has been sewing homemade dog blankets and creating unique dog toys for the residents of the dog shelter since January. “I love dogs, I have an Australian shepherd named Sadie. She is 15 years old,” Jessilyn said. “I wanted the dogs in the shelter to feel loved … like I love Sadie.”

Jessilyn discovered a joy for sewing in the process of making the 19 dog blankets. According to Troop No. 2562 leader Helen Breitenbucher, reaching out and asking for help is part of the process in implementing a Girl Scout project. “Jessie had the opportunity to learn a new skill and work with others to complete her project,” Breitenbucher said. “This helps to build confidence and leadership skills and gives the girls the opportunity to give back to the community.”

Jessilyn also tested her baking skills as she whipped together two dog biscuit recipes including a pumpkin-peanut butter confection. She baked over five dozen homemade dog treats, knowing that homemade is better than boxed. “It’s very rewarding for me to know that the dogs will be cuddling up in these homemade blankets and eating these cookies, and I hope more people will bring these dogs special treats. They deserve love too.”

Ten-year-old Cheyenne has been with the Girl Scout organization for over three years. She started out as a Daisy and has worked her way up to a Junior. This was her fist community service project, which will eventually contribute to her Bronze Award. Cheyenne does not have any family pets, unless you consider goldfish a family pet. According to her mother, Kristie Rowland, she has had a fear of dogs for most of her life. That is, until she decided to work with the dog warden’s office in her project of supplying 57 bags of dog food to the shelter dogs. “Cheyenne is not afraid of dogs anymore,” she said. “Her confidence has increased along with her leadership skills, and now she wants to continue her community service with the dog warden by planting flowers in front of their building.”

Cheyenne is a coupon clipper — a hobby she enjoys with her mother. She collected two-for-one coupons over the course of many months and worked with the manager at CVS in Wooster who kept the dog food in stock. “I knew the dogs at the shelter could use the dog food. They need our help; they need shelter, food and water,” she said. “The dog warden could run out of money. I think more people should help the dogs by bringing in food and loving them. I love dogs now — I want one.”

Cheyenne and Jessilyn want others to be inspired by their actions. They both live by the Girl Scout Law: “I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.”

Both girls have the admiration of their troop leader. She is very appreciative of their dedication and selfless philanthropic endeavors. “Both Jessie and Cheyenne are leaders,” Breitenbucher said. “They have embraced the three dominant traits of what makes for a strong Girl Scout: Courage, confidence and character.”

Dog warden Jonathan Beam is also impressed. “I know how much time these girls have spent on these projects,” he said. “It’s not the cute puppies that will benefit from these homemade treats, toys and blankets — they’re not here (in the shelter) for long. It’s the older dogs like Frisky who have been here for a few months now; these dogs are grateful. I want to thank Jessie and Cheyenne for choosing us as the beneficiary of their community service.”

Before leaving the dog shelter, both girls wanted to personally meet and greet all the dogs in the kennel. They approached every cage, petted and reassured the dogs that their day was coming — a forever home. “I hope all of the treats, blankets and toys make them feel like somebody finally loves them,” Cheyenne said. “They must be happy knowing that somebody cares, and that makes me feel very good.”

Published: May 17, 2016
New Article ID: 2016705179965