Troop once again top dog scouts

BAR HARBOR — For the seventh year Downeast Dog Scouts Troop 159 has been recognized as a “Top Dog Troop” for 2014 by the Dog Scouts of America.

The Dog Scouts of America Troop Recognition Program rewards troops for being active and helping in their community.

All troops work toward the goals and mission of the Dog Scouts of America while focusing on the needs and interests of each local community.

Troop 159 offers a local membership program for people who advocate responsible dog ownership and enjoy participating in dog centered activities. Troop members and their dogs learn new skills working toward the Dog Scouts of America merit badges. The troop promotes the positive treatment of animals, advocating only the most modern behavioral approaches to training. Promotion of responsible dog ownership and involvement in the community lies at the heart of this group.

“Maine is fortunate to have a thriving dog community in which dogs are highly involved in the lives of their people. The troop dogs are fine examples of the value that pets can have for the community at large,” said troop spokesperson Robyn Douglas.

The troop earned the Bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award for the year 2014. Troop members gave 478 hours of service to their communities.

Troop members visited as representatives of their respective therapy organizations at Birch Bay Retirement Village, Tremont School, Northeast Harbor Library and the Blue Hill Library.  Children Reading to Dogs Programs increase literacy skills and boost the self-esteem of young readers. “Imagine how relaxing and fun it is to cozy up to a warm and welcoming dog that loves to hear stories!” said Douglas.

Reading is the cornerstone of all learning and some of the troop dogs are also Reading Education Assistance Dogs.

Pam Bourque and her dog Jillian presented a reading program at an Early Childhood Education class at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. She is also a member of the statewide Raising Readers Book Selection Committee.

Douglas and Cirra provided Children Reading to Cirra Programs at the Northeast Harbor for Mount Desert Elementary School students and local library readers during the school year.

Douglas serves troop leader coordinating the troop’s activities.

Contact her at [email protected] or 266-5807.

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