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An Alligator Comfort Pet…Wait Wait What?

Joie Henney is the first to admit he has issues. Suffering from repeated deep depression, he has regularly had to seek out help to get out of deep funks that could become seriously negative. However, while many folks use counseling, pharmaceuticals or support groups, Henney has an odd comfort pet for emotional support. He has an alligator.

Personal pets are well-known for their mental health benefits, especially for people who otherwise suffer significantly from loneliness and isolation. And that emotional bond is not restricted to ordinary pets like dogs or cats. Many farm animals have been known to provide emotional support as well, like horses, ducks and even pigs. Some even had fictional made about the same. However, no one until Henney has specifically identified an alligator as a comfort pet.

Alligators are normally treated and placed in the category of dangerous predators. They are typically cold-blooded, no pun intended, killers that will snap at anything they consider food, including people. As it turns out though, Henney is also an alligator expert. So he knows a bit more about big lizards than the average person.

Dubbed, “Wally,” Henney’s comfort pet is a wayward fellow who first crossed paths with Henney when Wally mistakenly parked himself in a pond at the local Florida Disney World. Obviously, Wally and Disney visitors were not a good mix, so Henney was brought in to remove the confused alligator. Under state law, relocated alligators can’t just be dumped in the wild again once they’ve been exposed to developed human areas, so Henney adopted the fellow instead. Wally can’t complain much; he gets a steady diet of raw chicken legs and Cheetos at Henney’s home in Pennsylvania.

Henney isn’t an idiot about alligators either. From his own training and experience, Henney knows alligators will snap at anything near their face or head. Wally, for some reason, was not a snapper. In fact, Wally doesn’t like to close his mouth. The odd behavior might explain why the alligator ended up at Disney World, unable to function normally in the wild. So, Henney figured out that Wally was very different and treated him accordingly. In his own words, Henney would describe their friendship and bond as very unique and special.

Um…what?

Henney himself has been through a lot. Having lost a number of close friends and relatives, he’s been through the ringer with depression and many times would feel very down day to day. For some reason, Wally picked up on this and clearly made it evident he was there to help and comfort Henney. How was that signaled? Well, Henney would be sleeping on the couch and, since Wally was never kept in a cage, the alligator would find a way to get up on the couch and park himself on Henney. At least he didn’t bite.

Some could argue the alligator just wanted to warm up on Henney since cold-blooded animals can’t regulate their body heat well, but Henney has decided it’s something more. These days, Henney brings Wally with him wherever he goes, whether it’s on a walk or a visit to the doctor. Of course, they do have to keep their distance from folks, and the duo use the drive-through option a lot. Henney did get married as well, and Wally was the ringbearer. That said, no one was quick to grab the ring from the big lizard.

And for Henney, Wally has been a lifesaver, keeping the alligator expert out of depression and looking forward to tomorrow.

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Bus Driver’s Heartwarming Act: Helping a Boy on Pajama Day

Kevin Wells

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In Louisville, Kentucky, a heartwarming story unfolded on a school day that was meant to be special for young Levi, a first-grader at Engelhard Elementary School. It was Pajama Day, and all the kids were excited to wear their cozy pajamas to school. But Levi didn’t have any pajamas, and this made him very sad.

Levi’s usual cheerful demeanor caught the attention of his bus driver, Larry Farrish Jr., known for his kindness and caring nature. Larry noticed Levi sitting on the ground with a jacket over his head instead of his usual spot waiting with a big smile. Concerned, Larry asked Levi what was wrong.

Through tears, Levi explained that he didn’t have pajamas for Pajama Day. This touched Larry’s heart, and he knew he had to help. After finishing his morning routes, Larry went to a nearby store and bought two pairs of pajamas for Levi. He then went to Levi’s school to deliver them.

When Levi saw the pajamas, his face lit up with excitement. He hugged them tightly, grateful for Larry’s kindness. Levi even said, “I can tell Mr. Larry is nice and his heart is filled with joy,” and “When he got me the pajamas, I did a happy cry.”

Larry, who has worked in various professions before finding his passion for bus driving, says he loves building bonds with the children. After the school district shared the story on Facebook, many people praised Larry for his kindness and shared their own positive experiences with him.

Larry Farrish Jr.’s act of kindness not only made Levi’s day but also inspired many others. It’s a reminder that small gestures of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life.

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“More More More”: A Grandson’s Gift of a Lifetime

Jess

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Fifty years ago, Barbara, a loving grandmother, penned a children’s book titled “More More More”. Little did she know that half a century later, her dream of seeing it published would come true, thanks to her grandson, Chad.

“More More More” is a heartwarming story about two little girls from different economic backgrounds – one rich and one poor. The book beautifully illustrates how friendship transcends material wealth, a lesson as relevant today as it was when Barbara first wrote it.

Barbara’s journey to getting her book published was not easy. Despite her efforts and dedication, her manuscript was met with rejection after rejection. She kept all these letters, perhaps as a reminder of her dream, in a folder that symbolized both hope and disappointment.

Understanding the significance of his grandmother’s book, Chad decided to take matters into his own hands. He navigated the world of self-publishing to bring “More More More” to life. The moment Barbara opened her gift and saw her book finally published, she was speechless and overcome with emotion. This wasn’t just a book; it was a fulfillment of a lifelong dream, made possible by the love and dedication of her grandson.

The book’s publication was just the beginning. To the family’s surprise, “More More More” quickly climbed the charts, becoming a bestseller. The response from readers was overwhelming, with many praising its timeless message and charming story.

Barbara’s story inspires us to hold onto our dreams, no matter how long it takes for them to come true. And for Chad, it’s a reminder that sometimes, the most meaningful gifts we can give are those that realize the dreams of the ones we love.

“More More More” is now available for a new generation of children and parents to enjoy, serving as a beacon of hope for aspiring authors everywhere. It proves that sometimes, all a dream needs to become reality is a little help from someone who believes in it.

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Lost Letter Finds Its Way Home After 80 Years!

Kelly Taylor

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Imagine discovering a message from the past, tucked away in the dusty corners of a post office. That’s exactly what happened in DeKalb, Illinois, where an 80-year-old postcard finally completed its journey, thanks to the dedication of a kind postal worker and the power of social media.

The postcard, written in 1943, was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Louis George, residents of South 6th Street in DeKalb. It had somehow gone astray for eight long decades, gathering dust amongst forgotten packages and misdirected mail. But its story wasn’t over yet.

Sarah, a sharp-eyed employee at the DeKalb post office was determined to reunite the letter with its rightful recipient, she scoured records and tapped into the magic of social media. With a heartfelt post online, she spread the word about the lost letter, hoping to find any living members of the George family.

And guess what? Social media worked its magic! The online sleuthing led Sarah to Jeannette Salazar, Grace’s daughter and the granddaughter of Louis and Lavena George. Turns out, the Georges had relocated from DeKalb decades ago, and Grace had recently moved to Portland, Oregon.

The reunion was emotional, to say the least. The postcard held a message of condolence from Louis’s cousin, offering comfort after the heartbreaking loss of their daughter, Evelyn, to Cystic Fibrosis. “It got me emotional,” Jeannette shared. “Losing a child is always horrific, and it just put me in touch with my parents’ grief.”

For Jeannette, the letter wasn’t just about the past; it was a bridge to the present. “As I get older,” she said, “I appreciate family more and more. This letter connects me to my family’s history and makes me feel part of something bigger.”

This heartwarming story shows that even in the age of instant messaging and online communication, old-fashioned snail mail can still hold surprises. Thanks to Sarah’s diligence and the power of social media, a long-lost message found its way home, bringing peace and a touch of magic to a family across the miles. Now, that’s something worth writing about!

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A Special Surprise: 7-Year-Old Girl Throws Unforgettable 100th Birthday Bash for Longtime Friend

Jess

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In a cute celebration in Pennsylvania, a 7-year-old girl named Layla Peck pulled off an incredible surprise for her “best friend” Joe Gagliardi, who was turning 100 years old. The surprise involved a fire truck, jokes about their shared age, and a thoughtful gesture that left everyone touched.

Layla made quite the entrance at Joe’s house, arriving in a fire truck with sirens blaring, creating an exciting and memorable moment for the birthday celebration. The playful banter between Layla and Joe about their shared age added a touch of humor to the festivities.

“We’re both the same age,” joked Gagliardi. “Give or take 93 years.”

Curious about the remarkable friendship between Layla and Joe, reporters asked, “How long have you guys been friends?” Layla responded with a smile, “Since I was a baby.” The unique connection between them goes beyond their age difference. Layla’s dad, Sean Peck, grew up just two houses down from Joe.

“I grew up two houses down. I always listened to Joe’s stories as a veteran, and that encouraged me to join the Army,” shared Peck, highlighting the influence of Joe’s experiences on his own life choices.

The highlight of Layla’s surprise was the 100 handmade cards she brought from her friends at St. Andrew’s Catholic School in Newtown. Layla explained the thoughtful gesture, saying, “I thought, ‘Since he’s turning 100, maybe we should make him 100 cards, ’cause he’s a good person!’ We made 100 cards, the whole first grade did.”

The touching display of affection from Layla and her classmates demonstrated the impact that Joe has had on the community and the deep appreciation they feel for his presence in their lives. The handmade cards, filled with love and good wishes, added a personal and heartwarming touch to the birthday celebration.

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Lost Pigeon Found Outside Florida Hair Salon

Kelly Taylor

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A lost pigeon was reunited with its owner after being missing for over 15 months. The story unfolded outside Eva’s Hair and Skin Salon in Cape Coral, Florida, where the pigeon captured the attention of salon staff and customers alike.

The pigeon’s journey began during Hurricane Ian, when it got separated from its owner. Somehow, it found its way to the vicinity of Eva’s Hair and Skin Salon, where fate had a different plan in store.

It was a regular day at the salon when people started to notice the bird outside. Unusually friendly and approachable, the pigeon caught the eye of Elizabeth Merriken, a customer at the salon who had a soft spot for stray animals. Elizabeth decided to approach the bird and was surprised to find a phone number attached to its foot.

“I’m always finding homeless stray animals. So it was typical for me,” Elizabeth shared, describing her initial encounter with the pigeon.

Tammy Pangburn, a massage therapist at the salon, was the first to observe the bird’s friendly behavior. She noticed the pigeon attempting to drink water dripping down from a recently watered plant. Little did they know that this seemingly ordinary bird was someone’s missing pet.

Upon discovering the phone number on the pigeon’s foot, Elizabeth and the salon staff decided to call it, hoping to reunite the bird with its owner. To their delight, the person on the other end of the line revealed that the pigeon had gone missing during Hurricane Ian more than 15 months ago.

“We called him to see if he was missing a bird, and he says it’d been missing since the hurricane,” recounted Merriken, describing the unexpected phone call that led to a heartwarming reunion.

The owner, overwhelmed with joy at the news, expressed gratitude for the unexpected turn of events. The reunion, which took place just in time for Christmas, was dubbed a “little Christmas miracle” by Tammy Pangburn.

The touching moment was captured by the salon staff, showcasing the special bond between the pigeon and its owner. Elizabeth reflected on the emotional connection between the two, noting how the bird clearly recognized and responded to its owner.

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