When social media first arrived, most thought it was the next evolution of the bulletin board and forums. There was a topic for just about everything, and everybody could respond in writing or post images or both. However, social media has since become a lot more than just posting thoughts and phrases. It has become an extremely effective way to influence many, many others. And it’s impact is so widespread, national governments now have to worry about it as an operational risk.
Some folks are just a natural to social media, jumping in like a fish to water. While making a digital dent might seem like the challenge impossible for many, these people are able to craft and deliver in such a way that that automatically develop large audiences online wherever they post. Dubbed “influencers,” these easy posters seem to be untouchable in the social media world, always seeming to draw more and more traffic no matter what they do. That was the case for one couple who had a huge following with their Instagram account. Every post they made was responded to with thousands of positive fans. Then they made one particular post that hit everything sideways. Like their other work, this post went viral too, but the effects were definitely unintended.
Who’s on First?
The couple in question involved Wendy Joseph as well as Dan Hennessey. These two were able to pull off what hundreds of marketing experts would pay thousands of dollars to learn how to do and still not get it right. That was because for these two, their postings were simply a natural extension of themselves. Their story begins back in 2006
The beginning date is in the middle of the 2000s. The real estate boom is in full swing, and college students are poking around with this thing call the Facebook among other apps available on the Internet. However, unlike the typical gibberish of voting someone good-looking or not, or filtering through various posts on MySpace, Facebook offered something unique: instant reaction from others. That made it attractive to young people.
Dan was barely in college and his number one goal was definitely not studying on Friday night. It was meeting girls. He and thousands of others just wanted to meet, socialize and connect. So, given that everybody seemed to be posting and connecting online to meet up, Dan like others signed up too.
Checking Out Friends
One of the key ways that Facebook became very successful was that once a person was accepted as a friend, they had access to another person’s contact list and friends. This networking feature allowed people to make additional connections with people whom they already liked and probably would like their friends as well. That was how Dan connected with Daphne, in a suggested friend message from the system. While Dan reached out, however, Daphne did not, but Daphne had friends too. That’s how Dan found Wendy. So, Dan tried Wendy next.
Dan Gets in Trouble
Unfortunately, while Daphne didn’t respond, she did talk to Wendy. When Wendy got Dan’s message, she asked Daphne about it, who confirmed Dan tried to connect with her as well. Dan wasn’t scoring points here. Wendy chalked up him to being shallow, which she wasn’t interested in and ignored him. Dan kept trying though. Finally, Wendy decided to find out more about him.
Dan was never known for being a quitter and he wore Wendy down. Finally, she decided to at least engage in a conversation. She responded and that’s when the flood doors opened. Not only did she realize she liked Dan, Wendy was actually realizing she was falling in love with him from a distance. Dan insisted in meeting, but she refused. She wouldn’t connect all the way with digital face. So, Dan got creative. Dan figured she wanted people and protection, so he invited her to a common friend’s party.
He figured it was a long shot, but Dan threw the party invite Wendy’s way anyways. So, what was going to happen if she accepted? He hadn’t really thought that part through. Was it possible to make a party up? He was in college after all. Dan recruited his friend in on the gig and made up a party after all. They got everybody talking about it and, sure enough, a party buzz was happening. Now, Wendy just had to accept the invite.
The First Date
Dan was totally wired up and stressed. This was the first time he was actually going to meet Wendy. Granted, he had his friends, music and the right environment, but he still actually needed to come off right and not look like a jerk to her. Fortunately, Dan didn’t need to worry. They hit it off so well, the natural chemistry between the two took care of everything.
The First Night
With the last of the friends leaving the dorm room, Dan and Wendy were still up talking, connecting and figuring each other out like a deeper and deeper puzzle you can’t quit. Surprisingly, they both agreed they should stay friends instead of getting more serious, but they bonded that night. Wendy wasn’t ready for a serious swing and Dan still had to get some of his party mode out of his system.
Usually, when a girl tells a guy she just wants to be friends it’s code-word for she’s not interested, period. However, the two stayed connected and close friends for six months. Only then did they actually decide to try a relationship.
The Romance Takes Off
Dan, unfortunately, just couldn’t calm down with his partying. Wendy wasn’t blind; she was watching him connect and connect on Facebook, and his friends list kept growing, including a lot of other women. She never believed at that point that Dan was cheating on her, but he was definitely being very friendly, maybe too friendly.
Jealousy Kicks In
Wendy finally started succumbing to her doubts and wondering why the hell Dan had so many female friends on social media. Wasn’t she supposed to be his woman focus? That put Wendy into a negative spiral, and she stopped being social. Her studies had been suffering, and she needed to correct the ship quick to stay on track. Dan was, however, busy going elsewhere.
Dan kept with his partying despite Wendy’s concerns. He started leaving her alone and still going to his parties. Dan’s habit were starting to become a problem in their relationship, and he didn’t want to give them up. Then, Dan left his computer and Facebook page open, and Wendy came across it. Her curiosity got the best of her, and Wendy started reading his messages. Was Dan actually cheating on her?
The Message Was Innocent
Despite her suspicious, the message from a woman Dan never mentioned was innocent. But it was enough to set Wendy off, and she started tearing through all of his Facebook posts and messages, realizing he was talking to dozens of women. It sent Wendy into Sputnik orbit with her stress.
Getting to the Bottom of Things
Wendy was so full of doubt, she wasn’t sure anything Dan was telling her anymore was truthful. Her own confidence issues didn’t help. Dan wouldn’t quit partying, and her mind started play tricks on her. That led to arguments and soon their relationship was hurting. They finally broke up.
Dan felt like he was being trapped and forced to give up what he wanted. Wendy knew she couldn’t get him to compromise, so she let him go to focus on her studies instead.
7 Years Later
Interestingly, Dan and Wendy connected again seven years later. They had grown as people and as individuals, so was there anything left to bring them back together? Wendy had kept herself busy and developed a YouTube voice on fashion and fitness. Her line of natural beauty and health hit it big, and Wendy was very popular.
Dan was the first to try again. He happened to find Wendy’s YouTube channel and kept watching more and more of it. He was amazed with how she had grown, how her confidence had developed, and whom Wendy had become. He began to feel attracted to her again as well.
When they did meet up again, both felt awkward and wondered what the other one was thinking. The attraction was still there, but so was a lot of anxiety. Had anything changed? Was it worth even trying to just be disappointed again? Wendy didn’t want to be sucked down a hole again. So much had worked out for her since their breakup.
They continued to communicate and talk. Dan even guest appeared in one of her videos. Wendy began to feel closer to Dan again and the feeling was mutual. So where was this going a second time around? The didn’t know, but they kept spending more time together again. The YouTube channel was cathartic as they were able to give advice on their own mistakes to others needing help.
Two to Tango
Dan and Wendy realized they had something powerful. It wasn’t just a feeling; Wendy’s channel had exploded to 100,000 followers. It had been 10 years since they first met and got together. Dan and Wendy decided to surprise their fans with something big. The posted a photo that changed their digital world. Side by side, the couple showed themselves then and now 10 years later.
The couple’s photo and time lapse hit it big. Not only did the likes jump by the tens of thousands, the story hit the big press as well. Suddenly, their post was showing up in major newspapers and dailies. What the heck was going on? As it turned out, their dedication to fitness seemed to make time go backwards. Many thought the couple looked younger than 10 years earlier.
It’s no big secret that fitness and eating right makes people look healthier. It showed in the couple’s photo, but they were shocked by how their audience responded. Realizing they hit on something big, Dan and Wendy decided to focus their channel on fitness and make it work for them. There theme would be different world locations while making fitness videos on location. The fans loved it.
They were different people now. Wendy was full of confidence, and Dan was far more focused on them versus his party days. The change brought them closer together. And, on one trip in France, Dan took the chance to propose to Wendy right in front of a very famous Tower.
Making It Work
The two knew their bond was something unique and special, and it took some absence to find it again. Dan and Wendy continued to keep moving around and, ultimately, they relocated to Costa Rica because the location worked better for their fitness on location theme. Most importantly, their relationship came back even stronger.
Dog Trainer and Dog Groomer Get Married Accompanied By Their Best Friends
Weddings Are for Sharing With Loved Ones
When people get married, they spend one perfect day with their most loved friends and family. While many people only think about their human friends and family, there are a lot of people who could never imagine starting this important new chapter in their lives without their beloved pets. In fact, many people might have to admit, if they were being honest, that they loved their pets more than some of the relatives who came to the wedding, especially if they felt obligated to invite some relatives they rarely see and barely know.
Some People Already Spend Their Lives With Pets
Anyone who works full-time as a dog trainer or groomer already spends most of their working days with animals. They see dogs all day long, and they make the choice to do so because of many reasons. Working with pets is rewarding on many levels. Especially if you see the same dogs again and again, you form a close bond. Communicating with pets is therapeutic and generally far less stressful than dealing with humans. The people who work with dogs don’t get sick of dogs and try to go home to a quiet house; they tend to have larger pet families than average.
A Dog Trainer and a Dog Groomer Tie the Knot
Paul and Annette Anthony are typical in that they work with dogs as a profession, and they have a large pet family. On the day they got married, their family consisted of 2 humans and 9 canines. Both Paul and Annette admitted that their pets were more to them than just fun — their beloved dogs also helped them get through rough times in their lives, including personal tragedies. Annette’s German Shepherd Pesci is even an emotional support animal, helping her to deal with severe anxiety and depression. There was no way that their pets were going to be left out of the most important day of their lives going forward.
Canine Best Man
Paul’s service dog Finn has earned his retirement. Finn has competed in over 40 events, earning titles and even setting records. He was also there for Paul when Paul developed PTSD after being at the scene of the deadliest plane crash in Pennsylvania’s history. Finn was the one who helped with the proposal, giving Annette the ring with a note asking her to marry his dad. It was only fitting that Finn ended up being one of the best men at the wedding too.
A Family Affair
All 9 dogs walked down the aisle and stayed throughout the ceremony. Annette’s dog Pesci even came to comfort her during the ceremony when she started to cry from happiness because he wanted to make sure his momma was all right. Whether you want to use your dogs in the ceremony as ring bearers, best men, or flower girls, or if you just want them to be present, it makes sense to have your pets help you celebrate such an important day in your life.
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.
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.
Population of Endangered Lemurs Is Growing At New Zealand Zoo
On October 11th, Wellington Zoo’s primate manager announced that their population of endangered ring-tailed lemurs had more than doubled after their four females gave birth to two sets of twins.
Endangered ring-tailed lemurs, found in Madagascar, have been at Wellington Zoo for less than two years. They obtained Zeus, a male lemur, early this year with the goal of increasing their population.
Lisa Ridley, the primate manager, said that they were not 100% confident whether they’d succeed in breeding the four adult female lemurs since they were all first-time mothers.
“We’re ecstatic that we’ve had four sets of twins, and they are all very healthy,” she said.
The first set of twins was born in August and the second, smaller set was born last week.
The number of ring-tailed lemurs in the wild is decreasing. A contributing factor to this decline is that female ring-tailed lemurs are only interested in mating a couple of days per year.
Ridley said that the window for breeding is very small, usually only 24 to 36 hours. She added that Zeus is a relaxed and respectful male who understands his role within the group.
Ridley said that the zoo was unsure what sex the young lemurs were; they try not to disrupt them until they are older, in order to find out what their sex is.
Once they reach maturity, it is likely the new males and Zeus will be divided to create a bachelor group, which occurs in nature.
Ridley said that Zeus would be used for breeding for several more years before being replaced in order to stop the genetic pool from shrinking.
A Funny-Named Bat Gets Australian Top Honors
When winning an election, it helps be popular. That was the case for one particular mammal. Over the period of a month and a half, or six weeks, a massive voting event occurred. Some 50,000 animals were included on the ballot. And only one of them was going to be the winner. If selected, the particular animal would be voted as the Australian Mammal of the Year, and the 2022 selection would be the first one of the event in history, a pretty hefty title even if that particular mammal had no clue about its significance.
As it turned out, with a whole lot of voting and wondering and finally a selection, the winner turned out to be, hold tight, the Southern Bent-Wing Bat. Yes, a flying animal won the honors for being the inaugural mammal chosen for the title above.
The dingo was assumed to be a favorite, but that contender fell by the wayside pretty quickly in the early weeks. Day after day, week after week, the Bat just kept climbing the ranks and holding on, almost as if playing out a voting version of what it’s been doing in nature, surviving as a microbat and an endangered species.
In real life, the Southern Bent-wing Bat doesn’t live in such a glamorous hallway or venue as the voting podium online. Instead, it’s a cave-dweller, making a home in the stretch between the southeast part of South Australia as well as Victoria. Sizewise, the Bat is extremely small too, only measuring some 5 centimeters in terms of body length. It’s practically a feather in terms of weight.
Like other bats, the Southern Bent-wing Bat uses its ears and echo-location to find its way while flying, as well as to hunt. The Bat can definitely see, but all of its primary sensory work happens with ears and listening. It’s also a long-distance flyer, usually traveling well over 70 kilometers at night to find insects for dinner.
While they are extremely proficient at using body heat and consolidation of numbers to create the perfect breeding and maternity environments in caves, easily boosting the humidity and heat for new pups, the Bat species in general has been significantly harmed by encroachment of development and the loss of viable cave systems for homes. The population is at serious risk of decline, with a 97 percent collapse expected over the next two or three decades without serious protection.
The goal of the contest is to boost awareness of the most endangered animals worldwide, an Australia has a significant share of them, found nowhere else and in short number where they are. As a result, by boosting people’s awareness through the contest, the hope is that it will also increase conservation efforts for the species that are endangered, ideally reversing the trend if possible.
Baby Giraffe Surprise for Zoo Visitors
When you go to the zoo, you expect to see animals from the other side of the world, get a bit sunburned, eat some overly expensive park food, and feed some peanuts to the farm animals. You don’t expect to get a front row seat to nature at work. That’s exactly what happened to visitors who happened to be watching the giraffes at Milwaukee County Zoo and who got the odd but amazing miracle of seeing a new giraffe come into the world.
The mother to be until the special day was a giraffe named Ziggy. She was expected to have her baby soon, but the exact day was still a surprise and hard to predict. As it turned out, Ziggy’s new baby decided to arrive just before lunch at 11:40am. The staff were alerted the giraffe mother was in labor, and everything went into operation to prepare for the arrival. Less than an hour later, a new baby giraffe was born. And, amazingly, by 1:40pm that same baby giraffe was up and walking around. It is amazing how fast animals start fending for themselves versus humans, who take years before they can even move properly. The Milwaukee County Zoo got the announcements out online within minutes of the arrival.
Even for the Zoo staff, the giraffe’s sudden arrival still caught folks a bit off guard. Mainly, the speed of the birth caused folks to scramble. The last time a giraffe was born in the Zoo was somewhere in the 1990s. Lots of other animals have had births, but giraffe newborns are extremely rare, maybe a once in a generation event.
As for a name for the new giraffe, the Zoo staff will get the privilege. Some hoped it might be a contest, but the staff who worked so hard to make everything run smoothly with little warning earned the right.
As for new arrivals in 2022, the new giraffe was not alone. Spring heralded a big wave of new animal arrivals at the Zoo. That list included a new baby seal, two jungle birds and a second giraffe baby that ultimately was named Poppy.
For some Zoo visitors, the birth was a bit of an abnormal experience. Most times, animal births are kept out of sight. The newborn animal just appears one day after it’s been cleaned up and is able to walk. In this case, however, Ziggy’s baby was born in front of everyone. Some of the visitors weren’t used to seeing nature play out in raw display. As for the mother, Ziggy could have cared less about privacy. She was in her home, and her baby was going to happen regardless of the Zoo staff’s wants or schedule.
And as for the giraffe baby, he’s healthy and doing just fine, nursing with Ziggy and growing every day.
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