Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Meet the Dog Scouts of America

The Associated Press reports that Dog Scouts of America have troops in 22 states.

They've got badges and campouts, cookie drives and troops. The Dog Scouts of America even has a motto or two as the half-human, half-hound organization goes about the business of doing good deeds.

One of the first badges for Jasper, a 3-year-old collie-lab mix, was disaster preparedness. After all, he lives with Robert and Misti Verdahl in Milpitas, southeast of San Francisco, where you have to be aware of earthquakes and other natural disasters. Jasper and his humans belong to Troop 198 in Santa Clara and have earned 18 badges altogether. Each, the humans said, has made him a better dog.

Dogs are not required to earn badges beyond the first one, for basic obedience and appropriately called the Dog Scout badge.

Community service is part of any good Scout program, Olson said. The DSA members make about $10,000 a year for the Salvation Army and participate in several Christmas projects. Most troops also work with local groups to do whatever is needed in their hometowns.