Sheila Duncan Brings Hope Where There’s Trouble

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Carrie Schluter recently contacted Women You Should Know to share the story of her friend, Sheila Duncan, who, along with Trouble the Dog, is changing children’s lives around the globe. 

Working from her home in Marblehead, Massachusetts, an ocean- side suburb of Boston, 62-year-old baby boomer, Sheila Duncan is making a difference in her community… and beyond. Having retired from a long, successful career as the owner of Marblehead’s, most popular and famous bar, Maddie’s, Sheila now uses her time to bring hope and resilience to children in need. “It sure is a long way from serving fried clams and beer.”

Inspired after losing a number of family members to cancer within a short period of time, Sheila’s niece Kendra, then 12, wanted to help other children going through tough times. Together, they created Trouble the Dog, an adorable stuffed animal with a big heart who comforts children experiencing “trouble” in their own lives. Whether they are being bullied in school, have an ailing family member or experiencing divorce… whatever the cause of the distress may be, Trouble is there to help.

Trouble the dogTrouble’s magical affect on kids is perfectly summarized by a young child featured on the Trouble website, “If you are having a bad day and things seem rough, remember to stay strong, even if you are in trouble, there’s always hope.” Trouble has comforted children left in unthinkable circumstances, he was there following the earthquake in Haiti and has made numerous hospital visits to kids facing frightening health issues. He even soothes homeless puppies in shelters across the country and in Puerto Rico!

Having already produced a book and short film, Sheila has big plans for Trouble and is continuing to work toward making the character a global symbol of hope to help as many children in need as possible… one smile at a time.


  • Millie

    What a beautiful stuffed animal. Can’t you just picture a young child cuddling this dog and hugging it? That alone would bring comfort to the child. Way to go Sheila!