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Girl Scouts Sew Pet Beds For Cancer Patients at the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center

May 17, 2010
Melissa Murray, Girl Scout Troop 150 Leader, (515) 296-1015
Tracy Ann Raef, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-4602


AMES, Iowa – It’s not often that pedestrian traffic in the hallway of Iowa State University’s Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) stops. But it did on Thursday when Girl Scouts from Troop 150 rolled two carts stacked with 24 pet beds through the main hallway. The pet beds were made by Jordan Davis (age 12) and Eileen Murray (age 9), two of the Junior Girl Scouts, for the cancer patients at the VMC.
Presenting the pet beds to Dr. Leslie Fox, veterinary oncologist, and Mike Ridgway, oncology technician, was the final step of their months-long journey to earn their Girl Scout Bronze Award. The award is the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can earn. The award requires that the scouts complete a project that that makes a positive impact on the community.
“The two settled on this particular project because of their love of animals and a desire to help them,” said Melissa Murray, Troop 150 scout leader. Jordan recently lost her beloved pet Midnight to cancer and the girls decided the project was a fitting tribute to Midnight, and to help make the lives of other animals more comfortable as they battle cancer.
“I was so impressed with the kindness of the Girl Scouts,” said Dr. Fox. “Our patients with cancer are older and often have chronic diseases such as arthritis. The beds are soft and beautiful. They will provide much needed comfort for our patients while they are going through cancer therapy.”
George Clooney, a 12-year-old Labrador Retriever and cancer patient, was the first recipient of one of the pet beds. As the girls gathered around George, laughing and petting him, he barked and gave his “Paw of Approval” that the bed was indeed a comfortable place to rest.
The pet beds were created with polar fleece and flannel that the scouts received from requests for donated materials. The girls created several smaller beds with appropriate fleece patterns for cats; and larger beds for dogs, some with paw-patterned material and others with red fire hydrants. Each pet bed has a sewn label on it that says: This pet bed was made by Eileen and Jordan of Junior Troop 150. It was a Girl Scout project for the Bronze Award. We hope this will make your pet more comfortable!
The pet beds will be offered to owners whose beloved companions are struggling with cancer and need a soft, comfortable place to rest.
Before the scouts left, oncology technician Mike Ridgway said: “In my four years working in the oncology unit, this is the most touching gesture I have ever seen.”
“When George Clooney went home from the hospital that day, his owners were very touched that the Girl Scouts thought about his comfort and gave him the bed to lie on at home,” Dr. Fox said.
Photo caption: Jordan Davis (far left) and Eileen Murray (far right) pet George, a cancer patient at the VMC and first to relax on one of the beds they made for the Girl Scout Bronze Award. Joining them are (from left) Kira Davis, Kate Murray, Mike Ridgway, and Lara Murray.