Therapy Dog Icy Shares Pet Care Tips With The Brownies

Icy and I were thrilled to be invited to a Brownie (pre-Girl Scout) meeting at a local Elementary School!  They wanted us to talk with the girls, who were around 8 years old, about Animal Care and Pet Therapy to help them get their Animal Care Badges.  Isn't that great!?  I love that the Girl Scouts and Brownies are placing a focus on animal care.  They also wanted the girls to have some fun interaction with Icy and a few other therapy dogs.

Therapy Dog Icy Shares Pet Care Tips With A Brownie Troop


I don't have kids myself, other than the 4 legged kind of course, so it was really interesting for me to be at one of their meetings.  I was a Brownie as a kid too, but I don't remember much about it.  I remember my little brown outfit, and I recall sitting in a big circle, making a pillow large enough to sit on.  I remember that it was a fun project and that my pillow was red!  

Therapy Dogs, Animal Therapy, Pet Therapy, Dogs, Girl Scouts, Brownies
Icy shows off her Therapy Dog vest from the Bideawee animal shelter

When the meeting started, the girls all got up and said the Pledge of Allegiance.  I can't even remember the last time I said the Pledge of Allegiance, I'm surprised I remembered the words to it!

Pet Care Tips To Share With Kids


After that the girls recited their Girl Scout Promise and then the Girl Scout Law.  These are good pledges, I like that they have a section about being considerate and caring, as well as respectful.  Those words were a great segue into talking about how Therapy Dogs can be caring and considerate by helping people.  

Being respectful was a good segue into talking about how to approach a strange dog; the importance of politely asking the dog's owner if it's ok to pet their dog, and being respectful if they say No. If they ask you not to pet their dog, there's probably a very good reason. The dog may be fearful, aggressive, shy, or not feeling well.

When we talked about the importance of always asking before you pet a strange dog, I mentioned that they should also have an adult with them when they approach any stranger, even one with a cute puppy or dog!  Kids should always have an adult present when they approach a dog, or any stranger for that matter. We shared that when kids are loud or make squealing sounds it can frighten a dog.  

One of my favorite parts about visiting children is the questions they ask.  This group of 8 year olds was so engaging!  They had tons of comments and questions.  I love that they were SO interested in Icy and our visit, and in learning more about pet care and therapy dogs.  Here are some of the questions that were on these adorable Brownies' minds:

🐶 How old is Icy? (I get this one a lot)

🐶 How furry does she get - the girl who asked this wanted to know exactly how furry Icy could get, LOL!

🐶 What if you find a dog and you can't find the owner, (no collar and tags), what happens to the dog? 

🐶 What if someone finds my dog but doesn't try to find us, what happens then?  I got this question from a few of the girls, they seemed very concerned about their pet getting lost and not being returned. 

🐶 What if someone finds your dog and wants to keep it?

🐶 The girls made lots of comments about how they have found a neighbors dog and returned the pet.  And comments about their own dogs escaping the yard or running out the door and being found by a neighbor.

🐶 When I asked them what are some of the ways we can keep our dogs safe, they had great answers!  They talked about a collar with tags and keeping the yard locked.  When I mentioned microchipping your pet, many of the girls didn't know what that was and had some questions about it.  I explained what a microchip was how it works. I related it a bit like using a TV remote, and that analogy seemed to help. I talked about how small it was and compared a dog getting one to a child getting vaccinated. It's quick and pretty painless!

🐶 They wanted to know exactly where a microchip would be on a dog, and of course they wanted to know where Icy's chip was on her. I showed them that Icy's chip is between her shoulder blades, which is the usual location. 

🐶 They asked who and how people who find a dog would know to look for a microchip.  I explained that most Veterinarians and animal shelters have a scanner.  I told them that animal shelters will ALWAYS scan for a microchip if pets that come into the shelter don't have updated tags. We also talked about keeping dogs safe when you take them out for the day or when traveling. 

🐶 I asked them how they could tell if a dog isn't friendly?  Some of the answers surprised me.  Some said the dog will Bark.  Some said an unfriendly dog will jump on you. Some said a dog that seems like he can't stay still is unfriendly.  This turned into a rather lively conversation!  

I explained some body language signals such as a dog's tail being between his legs means he is frightened, and a frightened dog can act in an unfriendly way just because he's scared.  We talked about growling, stiff body language, and baring teeth being a possible indication of an unfriendly dog.  I told them that a very "Wiggly Jiggly" body and tail wag usually means "I'm Friendly"! 

They had so many great questions and comments, I really loved their enthusiasm and engagement!

At the end of the meeting, several of the girls proudly showed off the beautiful Animal Care badges they earned by meeting Icy.  The patch had a lovely embroidery of a Golden Retriever Service Dog on it. It was so cute I would have loved one for myself, LOL!  What a fun visit!

Very well done, Brownies!!  Congratulations on earning your Animal Care badges!  

Sorry Icy, I know YOU did all the work but those Girl Scout cookies up on the counter are for MOMMY!

Just before leaving, the troop leader gave me two boxes of Girl Scout Cookies!  I was so thrilled and touched by her kind gesture.  We always get a hearty Thank You after visits, but we've never gotten a gift of delicious cookies before.  Thin Mints and Trefoils, YUMMY!! I'd better grab some before the husband eats them all!

A big Thank You to this wonderful troop of Brownies and to Bideawee Animal Shelter, who made our Therapy Dog visit possible!

Bideawee, which means "Stay Awhile in Scottish, is one of the oldest animal shelters in America!

What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie? Mine are Samoas and Thin Mints.  Tell us yours in the comments!!


21 comments:

  1. Thin Mints! They had a lot of questions to ask. It sounds like it was very informative. I did a session with some younger kids and they were mostly just interested in petting Mr. N.

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  2. I love the little vest. Dogs can be so therapeutic, can't they? Officially or un-officially.

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  3. What a fun event and such great questions asked by the girls! And I gotta say, I'm a Thin Mints girl all the way, but the Smores ones look pretty appealing!

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  4. I was a Brownie too and my friend and I were also called upon to help the Girl Scouts with their badges...okay, they might have been Brownies. I wish I knew someone that sold Girl Scout cookies...haven't eaten any for years.

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  5. What a fun visit. It sounds like the girls had some great questions. Plus you and Icy were able to help them learn the right way to approach a dog as well as what common doggy body language means. Way to go team!

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  6. This makes me so happy as I have been working on Kids' Pet Club to educate kids about dogs and other pets and promote empathy and respect. I am so glad Girl Guides have an Animal Badge with a beautiful golden and that Icy got to be such a good ambassador. I love the Girl Scout mint cookies. I'd be very interested to hear more about their questions. XS

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  7. I prefer the thin mints over any of the other cookies. I eat them too quickly though. I can't help myself!

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  8. Nice job Icy! I remember being in Brownies too. The girls sounded like they were very respectful and kind toward Icy. And inquisitive! Two boxes of girl scout cookies is the perfect reward to me!! Yumm.

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  9. Frozen Thin Mints are delicious! You and Icy did such a great job helping the Brownies earn their Animal Care badge. It’s great that GSUSA is integrating more diverse topics into their badges. With this topic, I’m sure having guest speakers is a treat for the girls too.

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  10. This is such important work well done Icy. You are teaching the adults of tomorrow respect for animals by being there and being real (and looking cute).

    They did ask some intelligent questions didn't they? Oh and we hope yogurt the mints!!!

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  11. When I go to schools for our book readings I love the questions I get too! I try and split the questions between the book and general dog stuff. I am so happy to say that I have noticed a huge increase in kids that know to ASK before petting a dog. I think all of this work dog awareness folks like ourselves are doing is paying off! YAY!! well done! and some fun answers there. (kudos to bringing up microchips!)

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  12. What a fun day! Icy is so beautiful and I bet the Brownies just loved her. Thanks for sharing pet care tips with the children.

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  13. What a special treat for the Brownies. I'm sure many of them will remember Icy for a long time. That was very thoughtful of the leader to give you some cookies too!

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  14. I love Girl Scout cookies (and my hips show it)! I was a Girl Scout growing up, but I don't remember doing much exciting. I wish we had the opportunity to work with dogs and cats.

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  15. I love this! As a mom of an 11 and an 8 year old, I am always fascinated by how perceptive and knowledgeable kids can be even in areas they know nothing about. Thank you, Icy, for being the wonderful canine ambassador that you are. I’m sure those Brownies will never forget you and your momma!

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  16. I am IN LOVE with thin mints lol I love that there is so much focus in Brownies on teaching proper animal care and safety by offering a badge like that. It's so important, especially with the number of dogs being owned and travelling with their owners continuing to grow year to year. Thank you to Icy for being a great example of the dog community!

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    1. I love them too - Yum! I was very impressed that there is an animal care badge and that the girls were so interested in learning about animal care and getting their badges. We love visiting kids!

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  17. What an awesome event and great way to teach kids, I was a Brownie also LOL but cannot remember much but the uniform. I think the earlier you teach kids about animals and caring the better. Thank you Icy for being so good.

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    1. It was a wonderful visit, we love visiting w/ kids it's always such a pleasure. I agree, the earlier we teach kids about animal care, and kindness and respect toward animals the better!

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  18. The questions are epic and so thought provoking. I am going to share this a LOT.

    Well done being a PAWsome therapy dog Icy!!!

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    1. Thank you so much Marjorie! I am always impressed with the questions kids come up with when Icy visits them. Thanks so much for sharing! I really appreciate it.

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