The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 28, 2010

Boy Scouts save lives of two dogs

LEWISBURG — One of two dogs found by a Valley Boy Scout troop in rural Lycoming County was so weak it had to have food dropped into its mouth.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 509, of Lewisburg, are credited with saving the lives of the two escaped dogs they found during a midmonth weekend camping trip at Camp Good Lander.

The boys said Ruby, a 9-year-old Irish setter, and Gracie, a 2-year-old German wirehair pointer, were injured and lying on the side of a road near the camp.

Harry Yohn, 12, of Lewisburg, was one of the Scouts who first saw the animals.

They were full of ticks, he said.

"We spotted the dogs and saw they had tags on them," Yohn said. "They really didn't look well."

Yohn said the dogs were receptive to the Scouts and they began to follow them back to camp.

"I saw the German pointer had porcupine needles all over him so he must have been in a fight," Yohn said.

"I tried to take some of them out and the dog was really willing to let me, but there were just to many so we tried to just make him comfortable."

Keith Rice, assistant Scoutmaster, said he was impressed with both the dogs and Scouts.

"I never saw anything like that, when the dog just sat there and let someone pull out what was obviously a painful thing," Rice said. "We really didn't think the dogs would make it through the night, especially when we tried to feed Gracie and she just opened her mouth and we were putting food in it."

The dogs survived the night, to the surprise of the Scoutmaster, and that's when more help arrived.

Vickie Varklet, of Lewisburg, a Scoutmother, was informed of the dogs and brought them back to Lewisburg.

"Once I picked the dogs up I new I had to get Gracie to the vet," Varklet said. "The Watsontown Emergency Vet Clinic treated her and released her back to us and she stayed with us (temporarily)."

Varklet said she called Lycoming County and found out who the dog owners were.

"We got the names of the owner and called him and he was so happy we had Gracie," Varklet said. "They are such good dogs and well taken care of."

Sue Yohn, of Lewisburg, took Ruby in for the weekend until the owners were contacted.

"She was a great dog," Yohn said. "We loved her."

Alvin Nichols, Elimsport, owner of the dogs, said he was delighted the animals were safe.

"We had over 50 people out looking for my dogs," he said. "When I got the call they were found I was so happy and I think these boys are heros."

Nichols had a plaque made and held a pig roast at his home for the troop. He raised about $250 for the Scouts to use to purchase tents.

"I was happy to do it for them," he said. "Like I said before, these guys are heroes.

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