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Dogs Embrace the Smiles of Humans, According to Recent Research

Many people have exclaimed how their pets, specifically dogs, lovingly look at them. Often it’s to a bout of laughter from friends and family members.

It would leave dog owners who feel that way questioning themselves and sometimes even their sanity. Fast-forward to 2021, and guess who the joke is on? According to recent university research was undertaken, dogs respond in kind to the love they get from their owners. Read more to learn about this incredible discovery.

Dogs are more impacted by happy smiles than by angry or frightening looks, according to a University of Helsinki study.

Your dog enjoys looking lovingly into your eyes as you smile about as much as you enjoy your pup’s adorable canine grin. It’s evident that the two of you admire each other, but it’s also science.

When you look into your dog’s eyes with affection, its levels of oxytocin, the hormone related to love, bonding, and trust, rise, as do yours. But scientists already knew that.

Researchers from the University of Helsinki’s Canine Mind study have discovered that dogs are so enamored with seeing people smile that they will disregard the possibility of danger in exchange for a glimpse of our pearly whites. The findings were published in the Frontiers in a Psychology journal in October.

Scientists showed forty-three canines photos of smiling or angry human faces during the study. Each of the dogs underwent the test twice. They were still under the effect of oxytocin the first time (which the canines received as part of the course), and they didn’t get any more oxytocin the second time.

The scientists monitored the size of the test pups’ pupils using an eye-tracking device each time. Eye-tracking provides insight into what happens inside a dog’s brain since emotional reaction and awareness drive a dog’s gaze and control pupil size.

Prof. Outi Vainio of Finland led the research. “We were among the world’s first researchers to use pupil measures to assess dogs’ emotional states… “The procedure was only utilized on humans and chimps previously,” Vainio explained.

In most social situations, dogs are more inclined to focus on menacing or harmful cues. The hormone oxytocin caused them to ignore or overcome their innate survival instinct, according to the study. Instead, smiling human features piqued their interest and elicited a response. As a result, when the dogs did not receive oxytocin, their pupils dilated more in response to angry faces.



Traveling Dog in Instanbul Gains Celebrity Status

Kelly Taylor



On the city’s buses, ferries, and subways, Boji the street dog has been something of a local celebrity. A few months ago, his exploits began to surface, and local officials started to keep track of his whereabouts. They were amazed by his ingenuity.

On a typical day, one can expect Boji to cover a distance of 30 kilometers (18.6 miles), traveling through lots of Subway stations and taking two ferry trips.

“He’s such a wanderer,” Chris McGrath, a Getty Images photojournalist who got to spend a day alongside Boji throughout the city, said. All he cares about is taking a ride on a moving vehicle. The moment he sees a bus or van, he can’t help but want to hop on. “It’s a little out of this world.”

Boji takes a nap on Istanbul’s subway system. Due to his neuter and vaccination tag in his ear, you may have seen him roaming the city as a stray.

McGrath first came across Boji on Twitter, where individuals show photos and selfies of the mixed-breed canine. With tens of thousands of supporters on Twitter and Instagram, the dog has become a social media sensation.

McGrath said, “Everyone recognizes Boji now. Business owners have taken to guarding him because of the affection he has gained in the community.”

As he makes his way to Beşiktaş via ferry, onlookers snap photos of themselves with Boji. He is also well-protected by city employees, who have been taking good care of him. They brought him in for personal maintenance and a healthcare inspection early last month.

Officials also conducted behavioral research on the dog recently to ensure he is doing well and to make sure the public stays safe as well.

The city has also set up a small kennel for him outside one of their Subway stations, where he can get fed whenever he chooses to return. Then again, Boji likes to go on the run.

Keeping up with Boji was a challenge, photographer Chris McGrath noted,because he understands precisely where to go and doesn’t always slow down.

Boji jogs alongside a subway train that is about to arrive.

Using a mobile app, city workers keep an eye on Boji’s whereabouts. When McGrath met them last week, it was to spend the day following Boji, who is adept at navigating the subway system.

Dogs have an intuitive sense of where they should go when they get on a ferry, and Boji is no exception. On the Beşiktaş ferry, McGrath noted that Boji had slipped underneath the turnstiles and continued on his journey, which he said he seemed to enjoy the most.

On the subway and the Ferry, McGrath discovered that Boji enjoys looking out over all of their wheels, from the engines to their gears. Boji got his nickname from this section of the subway car. The Turkish word for “bogie” is “boji,” and the railroad term for it is “bogie area.”

Cats are the only thing Boji dislikes. Then there are the numerous stray cats that he encounters on his journeys. Except for that one flaw, he’s a model canine. He’s not doing anything in particular. Everyone adores him. McGrath said, “He’s ecstatic.”

Boji doesn’t have a hard time finding food in Istanbul since there are so many strays. Residents and restaurant operators place water and food bowls for animals around restaurants or homes, McGrath said. In that case, Boji will be on the right path.

Individuals will soon be able to see informational advertisements regarding Boji on the public transportation system, according to McGrath. However, don’t expect your dog to follow your lead.

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A Speedy Baby Sloth Arrival

Renee Yates



Sloths are slow, amazingly, grindingly slow when it comes to moving. However, one particular baby sloth didn’t get the appropriate speed memo before being born. Instead, veterinarians and zoo staff and the London Zoo had the awkward experience of dealing with a particular newborn who wanted to see the new world at full speed.

A pregnant sloth is a pretty obvious affair to a trained zookeeper’s eye. And the zoo team had a pretty good idea the mother involved was going to be due at some point. However, while everyone thought the mother was sleeping and resting, little did they know the incoming baby sloth decided to make an appearance. Fortunately, zoo teams are required to do regular hourly checks on their wards to make sure everything is okay and no issues are developing, especially for a pregnant animal. As it turned out, the pregnant sloth in question was well underway in labor and producing a newborn with an amazing amount of speed for a creature famous for not being fast at anything.

The first inspection of the day provided no hint what was about to occur. According to the resident sloth keeper, there was no sign of any changes in the mother sloth’s condition signaling a birth. However, one hour later, a little arm was visible next to the mother’s sloth’s belly. Sure enough, a new baby sloth had been born while nobody was watching. Nature is sneaky that way, even in a zoo.

According to the zoo team, the big entrance was made as the mother sloth positioned herself in her cage tree, twisting enough for a full view, and there was a fully developed newborn sloth clinging and taking in a brand new world. For the mom, everything seemed normal, run of the mill, and just another day at the zoo aside from a new roommate in the sloth cage.

Two weeks later, the newborn sloth was growing healthy and had a new name, Terry. However, other details are still up in the air until the DNA analysis of specimens confirms the full details of Terry’s status and gender. The baby sloth was named after Terry March, a well-known figure at the London Zoo for all the work done by him on conservation of vulnerable animals as well as enlightening the public of the same. Today, Mr. March is a peppy age 65, but his relationship with the London Zoo started back in 1973 as a basic entry trainee. Sources 

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Reunited And It Feels So Good – Owner Finds Dogs After 3 Years

Renee Yates



Peaches & Herb may have been on to something when they released that hit single back in 1979, at least in terms of pets and owners looking for them. This is the emotional story of a Boston Terrier named Ziggy who was loved and cared for by a Miami woman. Three years ago, Ziggy and this woman were separated, as pets sometimes are from their owners. The nature of the separation is up for debate; was Ziggy stolen from the woman’s property? Or did Ziggy simply wander out of the yard? The details of the separation are not what’s important here. What IS important is that this woman has spent the last three years searching for her beloved Boston Terrier through phone calls, adverts, social media posts, signs on telephone poles, you name it, she’s probably done it.

Enter The Torneys

Brian and Danielle Torney foster dogs from time to time from their Port Charlotte home in Florida. They recently took on a new addition to the home, a Boston Terrier rescued by the Boston Terrier Rescue of Florida group. The Torneys were elated with the new pup and were nurturing the animal to eventually go to a good home. As always with each new addition, Brian scans the internet and social media posts to see if anyone was missing a dog. If nobody is located through this method, then the Torneys would continue to care for the dog until a new home can be found. Finding a previous owner in this fashion is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. But stranger things have happened in these searches and Brian was bowled over by what he found.

Previous Owner Located Through Modern Technology

Through Brian’s perusing of Reddit and other sites, he came across a post by a woman from Miami trying to locate her missing Boston Terrier. Brian saw the pictures of the dog, and he compared the pictures to his new Boston Terrier and realized that the two dogs were one and the same. Brian was puzzled, how could this dog be 200 miles from his home?!? Where did the Boston Terrier Rescue team find this dog? Brain knew that he had a phone call to make.

The Phone Call

Brian called the number that was listed with the woman’s post and was soon greeted by a woman’s voice on the other end. Brian calmly explained that he was quite sure that he had her missing Boston Terrier and that he was located in Port Charlotte. The woman was overcome with elation, joy, and tears. She explained through happy sobs that her dog named Ziggy vanished three years ago, and she had some moments where her hope was failing, but she never lost it completely. In her heart, she knew that she would find him, no matter how long it took.

The Upcoming Reunion

The woman will be driving up from Miami to finally be reunited with her beloved Ziggy and the Torneys couldn’t be happier about the news! Ziggy seems happier as well, wagging his little tail with a little more pizzazz than usual. This is a win for lost pets and pet owners, but it’s a larger win for social media and the overall online community effort to get the news out about those owners who lose their loved pets.

Technology has helped out so many people over the years with advancements in medicine, quality of life, and staying in touch with loved ones. Much like old friends and high school classmates get back in touch through a site like Facebook, lost pets and their loving owners can eventually find each other over time, Ziggy and the Torneys are proof of that!

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A Marriage Proposal on the Race Track

Kevin Wells



Making a marriage proposal can be a risky step. Doing it in front of thousands of people is really taking a big chance that could go sideways. As it turned out, that’s exactly what a runner’s guide did at the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics, giving his partner the biggest award of her life.

Keula Nidreia has been a top notch runner most of her life. She’s also visually impaired. Competing in the 200-meter women’s event has been a top goal of hers, especially in reaching the ParaOlympics representing her country, Cape Verde. Ideally, what she wanted to win by preparing for, practicing and developing her strategy for the big race, was to win the gold metal. She was not expecting to win something else instead.

Being visually impaired, Keula has long needed a guide to help her during the training, development, sporting events and similar. The guide’s role is to help make up for the contestant’s limitations during the unfamiliar portions of an event, helping the athlete find and learn exactly where things are to be able to compete effectively as well as run on the track. Manuel Antonio Vaz da Vega has been Keula’s guide for years, and he has been with her during most of the runner’s primary athletic development. However, while everyone’s focus on the race has been Keula’s ability to compete, no one was expecting what Manuel had up his sleeve.

When Keula finished her race, however, a Paralympics gold medal was not in the cards. She finished in the hardest spot possible, fourth. However, as the deflation of the moment battled with Keula catching her breath and realizing the results, Manuel walked up to her with a close crowd nearby and the entire audience watching. Then, he knelt down on one knee, and he asked Keula to marry him, holding her hand with a ring box. Within a fraction of a second, Keula’s disappointment in the race disappeared as she realized she had won something much, much bigger in life. Crying sudden tears, Keula embraced Manuel and said yes. They hugged and the entire stadium applauded along with the other athletes present.

Life imitated life. During the race and training all those years, Keula had been tied by tether to Manuel to know how to race and where to be on the track. Now she would be tied in marriage to him. They switched from the track of the Paralympics to the track of life as many in the audience noted. The Paralympics soon tweeted similar in the official coverage of the race and related events. All the other racers immediately reacted as their guides explained what had just occurred with Keula. No surprise, she became the biggest winner of the 200-meter event.

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A Lost Scrapbook Recovered





Small businesses take a great amount of effort to get started as well as keep them going and begin to make a sustained profit. So, when Javier Folgar reached the first year of his company, he wanted to celebrate all that hard work and everything that went into with an amazing blog post showing all those details to folks, clients and partners. The idea needed content, and Javier believed he knew exactly where to find it, from a scrapbook his mother had put together for him and gifted as a Christmas present.

At the time, Javier’s company had just gotten off the ground. Only a few months old as a business, Javier’s mother, Carmen, had quietly put together a whole bunch of clipping, photographs, bits and bobs and similar in a scrapbook and surprised him with it. The scrapbook was so emotional Javier wanted to add to it and keep it going for the rest of the first year of business. Carmen took on the role of being the memory-keeper, and it was to be returned to Javier in September at the one-year anniversary mark.

So, expecting to see the details of what year of business success held, Javier got on the road and headed out to his mother’s home in New Jersey to pick up the book. It was precious, and Javier wanted to make sure nothing damaged it on the trip. So when he began packing the car again for the return home, he placed the scrapbook on the roof of the car to keep it out of the way until the car was fully loaded. Unfortunately, those good intentions ended up being the cause of a big mistake.

As so often happens when a person is tired, Javier forgot the location of the scrapbook, jumped in his car and took off. While it stayed on the car roof for a while, eventually the wind caught the scrapbook and pulled it off the car. Javier had no idea. Eventually, he had to pull over for gas and, while at the station filling up, he checked his emails. Lo and behold, he got a message from a sender he didn’t recognize. But the name isn’t what caused his alarm. Instead, the message talked about finding his scrapbook tossed all over one of his prior directions, Valley Road. She had sent the email hoping he was the right owner and to let Javier know of the contents she had recovered. At moments like these, the world suddenly has an amazing amount of clarity, and Javier realized what had happened with the scrapbook.

As Javier reflects, he owes everything of memories for his business to Alyssa and her mother. Additionally, his parents never gave up, immediately going to the site to find whatever else they could to save the scrapbook. It was meant to be, and Javier knows how much that means in the grand scheme of things.

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