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Oldest Two-Headed Tortoise in The World Celebrates a Birthday

When I was much younger, probably around the age of 10 or so, I remember visiting a Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum. Being such an impressionable kid at that age, I remember I was much more open to the idea that what I was seeing was true than my parents were. Now as an adult I realize how silly the idea of a mermaid skeleton and other oddities were. There was something I saw that day that I will always remember though and that I remember being thrilled about when I realized that they really were real. That was the existence of two-headed animals. While I have only seen one such animal personally in my entire life, I have seen the photos and documentaries about these amazing natural oddities.

When an animal is born with two heads, that condition is commonly known as polycephaly. According to the San Antonio Express-News, “it’s possible for polycephaly to occur in any species but it’s most often seen in snakes and turtles. When two twin embryos fail to separate as they develop, there’s a good chance that they’ll result in a two-headed creature.” But even among animals prone to this condition, actually seeing a two-headed animal is still quite a rare thing

This actually has less to do with how rare they are and more with the sad fact that these animals usually do not live long at all if they even survive birth. In many cases, the fetus is malformed in other ways that can lead to stillbirth or early death once the animal is born. They also do not survive more than a few years in most cases, especially in the wild. This is because their condition makes many basic things, like eating, hiding, and living difficult or nearly impossible.

There is one report of a freshwater river turtle named Thelma and Louise who was born at the San Antonio zoo in 2013.  Sadly, the turtle died within the first year, despite the best care of the zoo staff and veterinarians who oversaw its care. Animals like this often have trouble digesting food, have deformities of the heart and lungs, and can even have major muscle and skeletal abnormalities that make it difficult for them to survive.

This reality is unfortunate but it is what makes this two-headed tortoise we are discussing here all the more special. The tortoise’s name is Janus, and she is a Greek tortoise that was born at the Museum of Natural History in Geneva, Switzerland. She is a health and otherwise normal-looking tortoise aside from the fact that she has two heads.  She is about to celebrate her 23rd birthday which makes her the supposed oldest two-headed tortoise known in the entire world. It is not known how much longer Janus will survive but she has been thriving so far and here is wishing her a long and healthy life ahead of her still to come!

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Young Boy Keeps Toy He Was Measured Against As A Premature Baby

Kevin Wells

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Doctors sent home a woman and her husband to prepare for a miscarriage, but the defiant parents stayed put and now have the tale of a lifetime to tell.

So does their four-year-old son Logan Ray, born less than six months of pregnancy, has a Superman action-figure as proof of how small he was at birth. He was only 12 inches in length and weighed a pound and a half. He and the action figure his parents Rob and Val placed beside him shortly after his birth, are now inseparable.

How did this fascinating and heartwarming story come about?

Nearly five years ago, when Val was pregnant with their son, doctors wiped the smiles off their faces by announcing that the baby would not make it to full term. The Physician claims the baby would not survive at all, and they should brace themselves for any eventuality.

The reason for the bad news was that Val had been diagnosed with a cervix problem. The doctors said examinations showed her Cervix was incompetent. That situation usually transpires when unstable cervical tissue induces or contributes to premature delivery or the loss of pregnancy even though the gestation is, on the other hand, healthy.

Val and Rob blocked out the bad news they received, and we’re adamant that they would remain in the hospital to see the pregnancy through. The baby was a fighter too and stayed put for all of twenty-three weeks. Val helped out by keeping her feet elevated and staying in bed for three weeks without getting up to do anything that could further jeopardize the pregnancy.

She gave birth to a child now known as the ”Superman Baby” for dual reasons. He was mighty strong and put up a fight to survive, and he was the size of a Superman toy. The toy idea came about when the nurses suggested to the mom that she should use something like a keepsake to measure the baby alongside. When she ran the idea by her husband, he was very supportive and they agreed on the Superman novelty.

The doll was sanitized and placed beside Logan. For fifteen weeks, he remained in an incubator at the Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon fighting a myriad of complications that many feared would hinder the survival of Logan, but he pulled through like a champ. It was after those four months that he was finally able to leave with his parents.

From the hospital days to now, four years later, Val has been taking a multitude of photos with Logan carrying around his action figure. The doll is an indicator of Logan’s successful development after a traumatic experience in the first few months of his life.

According to the happy and grateful parents, they communicate with the doctor who wants a regular update on Logan, who he refers to as ” tough.”

Many people consider not just Logan’s survival but the fact that he has no further complications a miracle. Just like his action figure, Logan is healthy and strong as any regular child his age. His parents say they will never get rid of the Superman tog as memorabilia is not just for them, but for Logan when he becomes an adult.

He will have a tear-jerking story to tell years from now if or when he becomes a parent as well.

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Adorable Tiny Chihuahua Lands Hero Dog of the Year Award In Today’s Most Wholesome News

Renee Yates

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The American Humane Hero Dog Award ceremony may not be the most prestigious event of the year, but that is because everyone else is wrong. This year, the honorific was bestowed upon a tiny Chihuahua known for her huge heart, Little MacKenzie. As Chihuahua’s go, Little MacKenzie is just as small and adorable as you’d imagine only there is something slightly unique about her at a second glance!

When you look at the past award winners of the American Humane Hero Dog Awards, you’ll see canines of every size, shape, and personality. From the adorable Dolly Pawton, a cardiac alert dog from Maine, to our own Little MacKenzie, there is something different to cherish about each of them. For her part, the Chihuahua named Little MacKenzie was born with a cleft palate, a birth condition that alters the opening of the mouth. Despite her birth defect and some of the physical handicaps that came with it, including an inability to bark, Little MacKenzie has definitely been living her best life at the shelter that rescued her.

Even though she is small of size, MacKenzie brings a lot of heart to every room that she walks into. She has been serving as a service support dog for baby rescue animals that were born with birth defects of their own. That isn’t to say that Little MacKenzie had it easy growing up herself. MacKenzie would contract aspiration pneumonia as a puppy and that respiratory condition would nearly end her life. Surviving pneumonia in order to overcome her health defect would be a long journey that the pup would have to take. Nowadays you couldn’t tell that she struggled in the past, though.

MacKenzie is as playful and comforting with the other baby rescue animals as she is with the nursing staff and children who visit the rescue. Some of MacKenzie’s tasks in the nursery include playing with the puppies, socializing with the rescue animals, and teaching the other rescue animals to be comfortable. MacKenzie was nominated among six other finalists from around the nation, ultimately coming up on top to also become the Hero Shelter Dog of the Year Award to go along with her American Hero Dog title.

The American Humane Hero Dog Awards was presided over by Robin Ganzert, the CEO and President of American Humane. Speaking on the 2020 festivities, Ganzert claimed that the Hero Dog Awards was created to honor some of the most heroic creatures in the world. Ganzert would go on to describe the various nominated canines as having gone beyond ‘the call of duty’ while honoring the ‘age-old bond’ between both people and animals. Other great winners included Olive for 2020 Therapy Dog of the Year and Aura for the 2020 Guide & Hearing Dog of the Year.

For a full list of the finalists, head to The American Humane website for more information on the 400+ nominations!

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Mysterious Story Of How A Dad Is Raising Money For Charity Through Amateurish Pet Portraits

Renee Yates

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Mysterious things do occur every day. It’s happened to Phil Heckels who has amassed thousands of pounds for charity by making drawings of people’s pets.

Phil Heckels spoke to CNN about how it happened. It started six weeks ago when he tried to help his 6-year-old son create a thank you card for family.

He came up with an idea to sketch the family dog, a black Labrador with the name Narla just to motivate his son. He will later post the picture of the drawing on Facebook with the playful caption about selling it for $390.

“It was pretty crap,” said Heckels, from Worthing, south England, who was startled to see offers for his work.

As the day drew to a close, he had gotten seven requests from pals who also desired drawings of their pets. The next few days would see many orders come in as his popularity grew daily.

Heckels who has a full time job in commercial real estate decided to create a special page for his artwork services. He named the page “Hercule Van Wolfwinkle”, an alias he’s made use of on Facebook for over ten years.

“Extremely realistic pictures which will grace any household,” reads the tagline on the page but looking at it closely, this is not the case.

Big eyes, fat arms and abnormal features are characteristics of his works but Heckles claims he’s working within what he knows how to do.

“I genuinely try quite hard to try and draw them,” he said, mentioning the fact that he had little knowledge of art at school since he didn’t study the subject at GCSE, the English standard of a high school degree.

To him, he’s enjoying the whole thing.

“I’m just having a laugh with it,” Heckels told CNN. “People seem to be enjoying it and I’m certainly enjoying it.”

A particular client demanded to pay Heckles for his services, but Heckels surprisingly turned down the payment.

“I can’t take any money for it so give some money to charity,” Heckels said he told the client.

Heckels would later establish a JustGiving fundraiser for Turning Tides, a charity for the homeless and destitute. He claims his family has been an ardent supporter for years.

At the time of writing, the fundraiser has realized over £11,500 (about $15,000). Heckels says he’s keen on ending homelessness.

“It’s an absolute basic human need to have a roof over your head,” he said further saying he’ll keep producing more works as long as people are contributing to the cause.

In all, he’s produced over 220 portraits, out of over 1,000 requests.

Though Heckels doesn’t think he’ll attend to all the requests, he’s keen on raising more money as well as public attention in a bid of being a source of happiness during these difficult times.

“It is like a little bit of fun and a little bit of light when there isn’t much to be cheery about at the minute,” he said. “I would die a happy man if I could spend the rest of my life doing this.

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So Touching! Actor In Street Performance Gets Heartwarming Reaction From A Stray Dog

Kevin Wells

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A surprising act happened in the Turkish city of Izmit this past week.

A drama group was filming one of its scenes by the roadside when a homeless dog who was watching interrupted albeit for a good cause. It happened that one of the actors, Numan Ertugrul Uzunsoy was demonstrating to be injured and pretended to be dead on the ground.

The dog seeing this, thought the actor was truthfully dying and needed help urgently. He sprinted forward to the scene, interrupting the filming process.

Uzonsoy was startled when the dog drooled over him, mistakening the touch for one of the crew members.

“I felt warmth on my face. First, I thought my costar was approaching me,” Uzunsoy told the Dodo. “I was very happy when I felt the dog’s kisses… I was very touched. He was like an angel who wanted to help me. It was a very emotional moment for me. I was not expecting it.”

Passersby and the crew felt emotional about the dog’s interference and didn’t stop the heartwarming moment. Thereafter, the dog was led off from the scene. Uzunsoy was able to resume and the drama continued.

For Uzunsoy, he was a little bit pained he couldn’t see the dog after they ended the filming. Yet locals confirmed the dog often visited the area.

A dog lover, Uzinsoy has resolved to look for the hound as he wants to keep the dog as a friend. When he does find him, Uzunsoy would ensure his pet becomes his friend forever.

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30 Essential Life Hacks That EVERY Dog Owner Must Learn

Kelly Taylor

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Did you know that there are more than 90 million pet dogs in the United States alone? It’s true! When they say that dog is a man’s best friend, they really mean it! Ever since man first tried to domesticate the ancient gray wolves of yesteryear, dogs have become one of the most beloved animals on the planet. Despite our affinity for these furry creatures, sometimes we could use a little help to take care of them properly. Whether you are a new doggo owner or a seasoned one, we have a few tips and tricks for you!

Today, we are going to help you help your dog through 30 essential life hacks that every pet owner must learn.

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