16 TulsaPets • September/October 2021 In the Doghouse Girl Scouts Build Canine Condo for Unchain OK by Lauren Cavagnolo | Photos by Kate Hartman I t’s a sweltering summer day in June, and most of their peers are swimming in a neighborhood pool or enjoying shaved ice at a snow-cone shack, but Annie, Grace, and Reese are hard at work. They are busy painting the doghouse they built from scratch after months of research and planning. The three young ladies, all aged 11, have big hearts for dogs. They have chosen Unchain OK, a program of the Oklaho- ma Alliance for Animals, as the recipient of their efforts to earn the Bronze Award, the highest-ranking award that Girl Scout Juniors can earn. To earn the award, the Girl Scout must do something to better her community. To be eligible to earn the Bronze Award, a girl must first complete a Girl Scout “journey,” or series of badges on the same topic. The three girls from a local troop in the Tulsa area decided to build a doghouse from scratch and to refurbish old doghouses in support of Unchain OK’s mission to pro- vide dogs with shelter from the elements. Troop leader Kate Hartman said the three girls began to meet in November 2020 (meeting virtually for months because of COVID-19) to brainstorm ideas, research, and plan. “It was pretty unanimous that they wanted to help pets or animals,” Hartman recalled. “They did some research. They had read about Unchain OK going out into the community and putting out doghouses for dogs that have to stay outside. So that’s what they landed on.” Extreme weather conditions in Oklahoma make it crucial for outdoor pets to have access to shelter. “It’s Oklahoma weather, so you will never know,” Annie said. “When it is hot, [a Girl Scouts Reese (left), Annie, and Grace built and refurbished doghouses for the Unchain OK program. Reese learns to use a power tool to build a doghouse for a Girl Scout Bronze Award project.