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Dog Gets a Baby Shower & Everyone is Caught by Surprise

There is no question that dog-owners have a unique, special bond with their furry friends, sometimes even going so far as to treat them literally as one of the family. And that means all the emotional ties connected to a canine friend are part of the package. Is it any surprise then that some even talk to their dogs like a roommate, telling them to be good and enjoy the day at a home until seen again in the evening? When you see this on a regular basis, the human-canine connection becomes natural and familiar, which probably explains why dogs do remain man’s best friend through the centuries.

Is It All In Our Minds?

In reality, dogs don’t really understand the specifics of what we are communicating when we talk. They hear sound and associate it with our pattern of behavior, interpreting care, attention, love, anger, disconnection and sadness in our tone and timbre. And dogs do feel connected back to us as well, as one of their pack. For anyone who doubts this, when you have a dog become so accustomed to you that it jumps up on the couch and pours its entire weight against your leg or side and goes to sleep, that a canine version of attachment.

The most traditional way of showing affection and favor of a dog is, of course, to give them an edible treat. Baths definitely don’t do it, and dogs really don’t care if they wear a sweater or not that says Merry Christmas on it. But put even a hint of food in front of them, and that canine olfactory sense kicks into overdrive on four legs. Physical affection is definitely understood as well, and most dogs love a good belly scratch or scruff behind the ears or under the neck. And then there are the dog owners who send their furry best friend flowers. Yes, we did write the word, “flowers.”

The Baby Shower Sneak Surprise

One teenager loves her baby doll so much, she gave her favorite canine a baby shower for the dog’s upcoming pregnancy. The party was set up with all the fixings and expectations of a baby shower except for one thing. The teenager didn’t tell anyone the party was for the dog. So, the invites went out, people got excited even though it was from the teen (yes, a few comments got passed around), and the baby shower date was set. On the big day, everyone invited who could make it showed up with gifts, food and drink were to be hand, and when the big moment arrived, the surprise was on the guests. Instead of the baby shower being for the teen herself, the guest of honor was in fact her canine love. Complete with maternity photos, cards, and well-wishing, her grown up puppy was feted in styled with a big canine baby shower. The dog, of course, could care less until the food was made available, in which case it was a proper party for a canine too.

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Boy With Cleft Lip Finds A Companion In Young Pup With The Same Birth Defect

Renee Yates

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The story you’re about to read is almost poetic, and fate couldn’t have scripted it any better. 

Birth defects are never planned, and the victims are never at fault. This is the story of Bentley Boyers, a 2-year-old with a cleft lip- a birth defect that describes the malformation of a baby’s lip or mouth. 

The Jackson County Animal Shelter was bubbling with joy on Friday as the young boy came to pick up his new pet dog- also with a cleft lip. 

According to reports, Bentley’s dad, Brandon Boyers had come around the shelter to check out some chickens when he spotted a puppy (about 2 months old) with a cleft lip. He instantly knew he had to bring the pup home to show Bentley he wasn’t alone in the world. 

“To see him have something in common with a puppy means a lot because he can grow up and understand that he and his puppy both have something that they can share in common,” said Bentley’s mother, Ashley Boyers.

In their announcement on Instagram, the Jackson County Animal Shelter described how joyful and ecstatic the management was about the adoption. According to them, the attraction between Bentley and his pup was instant and undeniable, and the pictures in the post showed the affection between the two of them. 

A truly touching and magical story. 

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N.C. Zoo Announces The Rare Birth of A Sand Cat Kitten

Renee Yates

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Small, fierce, and daring- words that describe the feline species known as Sand cats. 

In the wild, they are mostly found in the desert where they live off insects, small rodents and even venomous snakes. They are extremely rare due to their quiet and reserved nature, which is why there is a lot of celebration over the birth of a Sand Cat on Monday, Aug. 10. The kitten is the first of the mother Najma and father, Cosmo aged 3 and 5 respectively. 

The mother and kitten are currently in a secluded area of the N.C. Zoo and have minimal human contact. They live in the Desert habitat, which is currently closed to the public in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions.

The birth of a sand cat under human care is a rare occurrence. There are only 13 facilities affiliated with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in possession of sand cats, and only about six of them have breeding pairs. In 2019, there were only 33 sand cats in all AZA zoos. 

They are petite in size- just like domestic cats, but there is nothing domestic about these desert cats. They are ferocious wild animals that should never be kept as pets, especially in the presence of kids so don’t let their small sizes fool you. Their big ears and relatively large eyes distinguish them from domestic cats, but they can be a lot smaller in size. For Sand Cats under human care, life expectancy is about 10-12 years. 

Sand Cats are native to the deserts of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. They are nocturnal creatures that can adapt to the hot and cold extremes of their desert environments, primarily because of their thick fur. Their large ears help them pick up low sound frequencies, and this comes in handy when searching for prey or looking for mates. They are solitary creatures by nature, and are only found in pairs for mating purposes. The large span of the desert, however, makes it difficult for two separate Sand Cats to meet, so it takes a long time for that to ever happen. 

Sand Cats keep a low profile by being active at night, staying close to the ground, and leave zero footprints in the sand, making it difficult for humans to see or track them in the wild. All these factors make it a Herculean task to study them and get an accurate number of sand cats living in the wild. 

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After a year of sleeping in a grocery store’s parking lot, homeless woman gets hired by the same grocery store.

Renee Yates

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A Nashville Kroger grocery store hired a homeless woman who had been sleeping in its parking lot for about a year. 

In her interview with USA Today, LaShenda Williams admitted that she had been battling drug addiction and had been spending the nights in her car at the Nashville Kroger grocery store after a day of driving around different locations. 

“I would lean my seat all the way back so no one would see me because, you know, I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there,” Williams told Today.

Towards the end of the year, Williams was noticed by Jackie Vandal, a manager at Krogers, and with some words of inspiration, she was able to encourage her to attend an upcoming job fair.

The day of the job fair came, and Williams was one of the first applicants. Vandal asked Williams to fill an online application, which she did after a couple of hours on her old laptop. After seeing the message indicating that Williams was done with the application, she hired her almost immediately.  

Months have passed since Williams was hired, and she now has an apartment to call her own. She has been working tirelessly with community leaders and other store staff, so she really deserved this big win. 

Everyone working with her had only good things to say about her. 

“She’s a fantastic worker, I wish I had 120 of her,” said Vandal.

“We are so lucky to have Lashenda as part of our Kroger family. Her uplifting spirit is contagious. She has made such a positive impact on her fellow team members, and so many customers as well,” said Melissa Eads, a corporate affairs manager for Kroger Nashville Division.

Williams is super happy for her job and the people that came with it. After everything that she has faced, there was no way she could’ve lost enthusiasm and passion, and that has kept her going.  

“I was sleeping in a parking lot and looking for something to eat. Now, all my babies here love on me. No one abuses me, and no one calls me dumb and stupid. For the first time in my life, I finally got peace,” Williams told USA Today.

Her story is a success story, and it should serve as motivation to never give up even in testing circumstances. 

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Kind couple reunite homeless man with his family after 20 years apart

Kevin Wells

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“Everyone just stares at me. I’m an educated man, but all they see is a person who doesn’t have a home and doesn’t have anyone to call.”

These were the sad, heartbreaking words Randi Emmans heard as she stepped outside her apartment in Los Angeles to take her dog on a walk. 54-year-old Petro Reid was the man Emmans had just heard talking to himself, and he was in a bad place mentally. 

She called up her boyfriend, John Suazo to jointly hold a conversation with Reid. He was quite surprised at first, because according to him, no one had ever taken interest in him, and he poured out his mind to them. 

For a homeless man, the person they had just held a conversation with was very fluent in expressing himself. 

“He was so impressive,” said Suazo. 

“The whole conversation really touched us.”

From the conversation, they found out that Reid had left his family home in Charleston, S.C., and moved to L.A. in 1999 to live with an aunt. Barely a year later, he found himself going off the rails and homeless due to drug and alcohol addiction. 

He became a popular figure in jail, from where he’d occasionally call home and send letters to his grandmother’s house in Charleston. 

“It was always for petty crimes, usually shoplifting to support my habits, food and things of that nature,” he said. “That cycle continued for years, and whenever I got released, I was right back on the streets.”

For more than two decades, Reid wandered the streets of L.A. in search of his family or some beacon of hope, and for those two decades he didn’t find anything- until Emmans heard him. 

He had lost all hope of living a decent life. He always thought of his family, but the chances of setting eyes on them once again were pretty dim, so he gave up. 

He found Emmans and her boyfriend non-judgmental. They genuinely cared about his situation and that was why he opened up to them. 

“John and Randi saw me as more than what everyone else saw me as — just a homeless person living on the streets,” he said. “They believed in me, despite the situation they found me in.”

After giving him food, water, and other basic human needs, the couple felt they hadn’t done enough to truly take him out of misery and ridicule. Emmans made a post on Facebook, a public plea asking for donations to help cover the costs of a night or two at a hotel, so Reid could get rest up, recuperate, and have decent hot meals. 

Her post received a lot of engagements, and in only 3 days, they were able to raise about $6,500 for Reid. The funds were used to lodge him in a hotel, get him a new mobile phone, and buy him some new clothes. 

Although grateful for all Emmans and Suazo had done, Reid still wanted to find his family. He asked the couple for help and they decided to help him. 

Reid took on the name Franklin Mitchell after an encounter with the police in L.A. He didn’t have his identity card, so the name stood- that was why his family members could never reach him. 

In the search for his family, Reid gave Emmans and Suazo some names he could remember, as well as his grandmother’s address, without knowing if she was still living there or alive at all. 

“Randi and I started plugging away on the Internet, and we were able to find his grandmother’s name associated with the address,” Suazo said. “We called wrong numbers until, finally, we got someone who was his uncle’s ex-wife.” 

This was when all the dominoes started falling in place. 

Reid’s uncle, Pierre Grant was informed by his ex-wife of a certain contact about his nephew and he immediately called the couple to set up a meeting. 

Grant said “For over 20 years, we had been praying and believing that one day we would find him, and the day finally came. This is a miracle.”

He took a flight paid for by Emmans and Suazo to L.A. to link up with his nephew. The amazing couple were also able to pay for a covid-19 test for Reid, Grant, and themselves- all which came back negative. 

The long awaited family reunion came on Friday, August 7. Mia Green, Reid’s cousin was also present for the reunion. It was a touching and soulful moment for Reid as he tightly embraced his cousin and uncle after 20 years of wandering the streets of L.A. 

Now that Reid has finally reunited with his family, he plans to get his life together and back on track. 

“I believe I can help a lot of people that are still in the position that I was in,” said Reid.

He plans to start the next chapter of his education and find himself a stable, paying job.  

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Rhode Island local boy finds enormous 2.5-pound mollusk

Kevin Wells

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11-year-old Cooper Monaco discovered a huge quahog while clamming with his grandfather- and his discovery is arguably one of the largest ever mollusks recorded in the state. 

The young lad dug up the colossal mollusk weighing about 2-1/2 pounds, and 5.75 inches across on Monday in the Weekapaug region of Westerly, and has since given it to the University of Rhode Island’s Marine Science Research Facility in Narragansett. The discovery is a special one, because according to the university, typical quahogs grow to only about 4 inches across. 

Cooper’s discovery, just like majority of all discoveries, was purely accidental. In his statement, he said, “I was down on my hands and knees in the water looking for clams, and I touched this huge rock thing.” According to his statement, he knew he had touched a clam just by feeling its edge, and his words “holy moly, this is a clam!” describe his excitement at the discovery. 

Cooper knew just enough about clams to know that his discovery was phenomenal, so he asked his mom not to cook it as she would have for ordinary clams. 

Manager of the URI Marine Research Facility, Ed Baker, is making plans to put the unusually gigantic mollusk on display for public viewing. 

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