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Quilty the Escape-Artist Cat Sets His Fellow Shelter Cats Free

Kelly Taylor

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Meet Quilty: a devious 6-year-old rescue cat with a mission to help his friends roam free.

Shortly after Quilty’s arrival to the Friends for Life animal shelter in Houston, Texas, staff members noticed the door to the senior cat room (where Quilty was residing) was mysteriously open every morning. As a result, all of the senior kitties would be meandering freely through the entire shelter.

The breakouts became so frequent that the Friends for Life staff eventually checked their security footage to solve this mystery. Lo and behold, the culprit was caught: Quilty!

Quilty would open the door to the senior cat room not only at night, but several times throughout the day by jumping up and pulling down the door handle. In a Facebook post, the shelter explained that “Quilty-proofing” the senior cat room was a necessity.

Quilty was placed in “solitary confinement” in the lobby while the staff worked to make sure his escapades would be impossible to repeat. The shelter explained that although the senior cats would likely miss their adventures in the shelter, the “staff did not miss the morning cat wrangling, so we’ll just have to agree to disagree there.” 

Upon sharing this post, Quilty’s story went viral. His Instagram page, free_quilty, has gained over 50,000 followers and the shelter now sells Quilty merch branded with the #FreeQuilty hashtag. Eventually, Quilty’s story even made it to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

Not surprisingly, Quilty was unsatisfied by the shelter’s decision to confine him to the senior cat room. Upon realizing his daily escapes were no longer achievable, Quilty resorted to insessently meowing and digging at the room’s doors and windows to express his frustration. As a result, the #FreeQuilty hashtag with photos and videos of a grimacing Quilty blew up and made the vigilanty kitty even more reputable. In an Instagram video of him lying on the floor and pawing the door, Quilty illustrates his own frustration by writing, “I’m going INSANE here folx . . . and they literally just come stare at me. #WTFhumans”.

In regards to his adoption, the shelter joked, “If someone out there is looking for a clever cat that gets along with dogs but does not get along with closed doors, we have someone they really need to come and meet. Please. Come meet him. And take him home. Please…” Upon gaining so much recongition on the internet, Quilty actually began to receive a lot of inquiries from people all over the United States who wanted to adopt him. 

Eventually, Quilty began a trial period, which Friends for Life calls “sleepover”, with a potential forever-family. Although the family was confident enough that their door handles could handle Quilty’s mischief, he actually has made zero attempts to escape since he arrived. In addition to humans, the family consists of two dogs, a hamster, and a hedgehog. So far, it seems like Quilty is warming up to his new siblings perfectly well.

The family submitted an application to adopt him, and Quilty has officially found his forever-home! In an instagram post that pictures him and his four new humans, Quilty states, “I’m pretty freakin’ happy here, to tell you the truth. I haven’t even thought yet about potential escape routes so… I guess these guys aren’t knobs.”

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Amazing

Great Dane on Home Security Camera Seen Protecting Family from Intruder

Shannon Jackson

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Humans just don’t appreciate dogs as much as they should. Tracey McCoy and her son were at their home in Oklahoma City when her worst nightmare came true.

McCoy’s security cameras were going in broad daylight and a strange man was seen going through the side door and entering the home. At first, McCoy thought that it was her older son. She was in the home at the time with her son, Nathaniel, who is blind.

The intruder walked right into the home as if he belonged there and owned the place. The intruder didn’t know that he was about to be greeted by Dubai, the family’s Great Dane mix, who weighs 133 pounds.

Dubai isn’t normally a vicious dog. In fact, he’s very friendly and docile. Dubai at first didn’t even do anything to this unwanted visitor and allowed him to say hello and pet the dog. Just as Dubai and the intruder were becoming friendly, McCoy walked into the kitchen and screamed. Dubai jumped into action and realized this was not a wanted guest and his owner was absolutely terrified by this stranger in the home. Dubai attacked the intruder and escorted him out by the rear end with his teeth. McCoy was able to watch the suspect run away and then come back moments later while he was in the back of a patrol car. Luckily, the police were able to snatch him out quickly before he was able to break into another home that didn’t have a trusty dog waiting to defend his owners. The suspect, Robert Ward, was positively identified by McCoy and is now facing a first-degree burglary charge but he was not armed.

This isn’t the first time a Great Dane has been able to spring into action and help its owners. There are countless stories of Great Danes protecting their owners and even helping an owner carry some groceries. While Great Danes aren’t usually thought of as service dogs, they are actually a perfect candidate for a service dog due to their size. The Service Dog Project has been training these large dogs to help war veterans and assist children with having a better quality of life. The Great Dane has stamina that was once needed to chase down bears and wild boars and they also have the strength and courage to stand up to predators, which was useful in the McCoy family case.

The Great Dane can be the perfect breed for a service dog because of its gentle personality and giant size. Dogs that are being used as balance support for the owner need to be large and about 65% of the person’s weight and 45% of the height. It takes a tall and strong dog to give confidence to someone who needs help to walk and support to regain balance if they start to fall. Great Danes serve this unique purpose. Great Danes may be large but don’t really require that much experience. Just a few walks a day are needed so it’s even better to pair this breed up with someone who has limited mobility. Great Danes can be trained to do specific tasks, such as hold open doors, turn on light switches, pull wheelchairs, and pick up dropped objects. Of course, they don’t need to be trained to protect their owners from intruders and will be happy to step in when needed.

While Dubai may not be trained to be a service dog anytime soon, he fulfilled his duty to the McCoy family and is getting lots of attention and treats for saving lives and property.

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Amazing

These Hermit Crabs Will Blow Your Mind With Stunning Natural Ritual.

Renee Yates

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If you are like most people then you are likely fascinated with the ocean and all the creatures inside it. While we can talk forever about massive whales, scuttling squids, and scary sharks, we’d rather highlight a cute little crustacean known as the hermit crab. Now, you’ve likely heard of the hermit crab and, perhaps, you even know what it looks like. As a member of the superfamily known as the Paguroidea, hermit crabs manage to stand out all on their own. In fact, after learning about this natural ritual that hermit crabs complete, you might even want one of your own!

In a post shared on Facebook by a user named Melody Flowers, it was revealed that hermit crabs are always looking for bigger shells to live in. While you probably knew this already, what you didn’t realize about this ritual is far more fascinating. According to the post, which has since been backed up by other scientific journals, hermit crabs like to line up next to shells that happen to be too big for them. Hermit crabs can wait for up to eight hours for another crab to come along and try the shell out. Why do these crabs wait next to shells that are too large for them? As it turns out, the first hermit crab is simply waiting for the second crab in line to discard its shell. 

So we outlined a natural ritual that hermit crabs undertake when finding a new home. Why is this so fascinating? While you may have summoned up an image of two hermit crabs swapping shells, that isn’t entirely accurate. As the second crab lines up behind the shell, more will come to follow. Before long, observers would be able to watch as dozens of hermit crabs all trade shells with one another to ensure that everyone has a comfortable home to live in. The smallest shell of the bunch gets left behind while the shell that started the queue will go to the largest hermit crab of the lot. That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? The coordination and cooperation that these hermit crabs have to deploy is nothing short of impressive. If only humans could get along so well when it comes to making to sure everyone is comfortable and safe within their home.

Even though hermit crabs will work together in order to find homes, they are still a competitive species. Gastropod shells can become a limited resource due to a variety of natural and unnatural factors, such as climate change and pollution. When hermit crabs are of a similar size, they are more competitive and violent with one another. When hermit crabs vary dramatically in size, there are more resources available for every member of the group.  Hermit crabs are a fascinating sort of creature because they can come in varying sizes with a lifespan ranging between 12 and 70 years.  The next time that you see a hermit crab, make sure it has the perfect shell to call home. Maybe it will remember you a couple of decades later!

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Culture

Stunning Snow Art Created By 60-Year-Old During Nature Walks.

Renee Yates

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Looking at the world from an aerial view can unveil some amazing scenery. Nowadays, thanks to the internet, it is possible to get a birds-eye view of just about everything in life. So when 60-year-old Simon Beck began performing as a snowshoe artist, the world began to take notice. Now, we know what you are probably thinking. What in the heck is a snowshoe artist? Who is Simon Beck? How can any of this actually be any cooler? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers to all of your questions.

Simon Beck hadn’t dreamed of becoming a snowshoe artist when he was a child, it was just something that happened. Beck is actually a former cartographer, a profession dedicated to drawing and producing maps. Beck had earned his degree in the field while attending Oxford for engineering. Working as a cartographer would give Beck the training and attention to detail that he would need to shock the world as a snowshoe artist. 

For the better part of the past decade, Beck has been using his elaborate technical skills to create mind-blowing snowshoe art.  These images can be seen from the air, as well as all over the internet, and Beck’s results are simply staggering. To accomplish some of the more intricate patterns that he develops, Beck can spend up to 12 hours carefully walking through the snow. Beck will end up taking nearly 40,000 steps to create the perfect piece of snowshoe artwork.  The job is as intense as it sounds, and we have to imagine that Beck is physically exhausted by the time that he is done working on his art. While the output speaks for itself, we have to imagine that there is something bittersweet about watching the wind blow it away.

There are many challenges that Beck has to overcome while attending to his snowshoe art. For starters, the elements are always a factor for the duration of the project. As snow and sand can blow away at the slightest breeze, Beck spends much of his time re-working older segments of his art. Other obstacles include the grueling physical work, the massive time sink, and even destruction caused by visitors who don’t realize that Beck is working on something.

Even though Beck has been making a name for himself for years, his work is finally getting even more exposure. Beck as interviewed for a column on Artsy, and he was able to unveil some of his thoughts regarding the art form. Beck admitted during the interview that his work was fleeting, but he countered the idea by pointing to the longevity of a photograph. Beck made the insightful point that the vast majority of people will never see the Mona Lisa in person, but almost everyone has seen a photograph. Beck says, “Most people will only ever see (…) artwork as photographs.” For Beck, the fame is clearly not what he is after. Instead, it seems like Beck just wants to share his passion with the world.

Simon Beck has created more than 300 drawings across Europe. He has used his special shoes to craft artwork in the sand, in the snow, and in countries throughout the world. Each piece of artwork presents a unique challenge to Beck, thus always keeping his craft fresh.

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Cute

Delivery Drivers and Their Canine Friends

Renee Yates

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Since the start of Amazon, the number of packages being delivered by United States Postal Service, United Parcel Service, FedEx and other couriers, has skyrocketed. As delivery drivers approach a home (AKA dog’s territory) with a package for delivery they must be very cautious. It’s estimated that there are 52,000,000 dogs in the United States. Annually, there are roughly 800,000 medically treated dog bites reported by the Centers for Disease Control.

As a mail carrier for the USPS I’ve been trained to read a property for signs of a dog’s presence and to practice a variety of safety measures. Carriers are required to carry “dog spray” with which we can use to spray a ferocious dog in the event of an attack. Personally, I believe carrying pepper spray is ineffective, largely because many of the packages I carry to a door are large and cumbersome. I must also carry a scanner so I can scan parcels as “delivered” at the front door. Many carriers must also carry a cross-body satchel.

I’ve never had to use pepper spray to stop a dog attack, but I can’t imagine having great precision or success in dropping the package and scanner, reaching the dog spray, finding the correct position for spraying, and making contact in the dog’s eyes as a snarling, drooling, ferocious beast prepares to rip me apart on his lawn.

I like to refer to my route as “the Golden Retriever Capitol”. My route is peppered with friendly, tail wagging dogs who sometimes jump in my truck to say “hello”. I don’t have many dogs on my route that I have to exercise great caution with. Every dog, however, can have a bad day and just because I haven’t met a bad dog doesn’t mean they’re not around. 

The United States Postal Service prohibits letter carriers from offering treats to dogs. It can be dangerous for the animal, as it becomes conditioned to approaching the truck. Bellow, a light brown poodle mix, has been conditioned over the years to approach delivery trucks to wait for a treat. Bellow was hit by a bus as a result of running into the road to greet the driver. Bo, short for “Beauregard” is an older golden retriever who’s now hard of hearing. Somehow, he hears my truck coming from three boxes away. He greets me at the mailbox waiting for a treat. I no longer give him one, as he has, on several occasions, sauntered down the center of the road to follow me. My concern is that he may be hit by a car while chasing me for a treat.

Despite being forbidden to feed dogs on the route, I always carry dog cookies. I find it a good way to gauge a dog’s temperament. If I approach a house and a dog I don’t know is there, on alert, not wagging his tail, I whistle cheerfully, speak nicely, and make kissy noises before I approach the house. If that doesn’t have an optimal result, I offer the dog a treat. Usually, when a dog sees there’s a cookie, he lets his guard down and gets happy. The cookie can make me the dog’s best friend, at least until I drop the package at the door and make my way back to the mail truck.

If, when I offer the cookie, the dog is still not happy with me, I know that dog isn’t going to let me deliver the package without a fight. I write up one of those peach slips that we give to customers to let them know they need to go to the post office to pick up their package. 

Lucy and Luna are two wonderful dogs who get happy when they see my truck. I put a daily dog cookie in the mail box with the mail. My favorite dog, Piper, is a black lab mix. She loves me because I love her. I don’t give Piper dog cookies. I do get out of my truck when she’s in her yard, even if I don’t have a package at her house. I’m slowly training her to play fetch. When she sees me, she runs to go get her stick. I take a few minutes to thrown the stick three times, then pet her and say nice things to her. I think I look forward to the play time more than she does!  

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Culture

Photos are Used to Capture the Struggles and Rewards of Being a Caregiver

Kelly Taylor

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It is important for everyone to spend time with the members of their family because they may not know just how much time they have. A caregiver who, about ten years ago, realized that time with her ather was coming to an end, learned how to value every moment she has with her family. First, she noticed that something was strange about her father. She says that her face wasn’t as reactive as it used to be. Her father came from Egypt and moved from the United States in search of a better life. He got a job as a successful professor of mechanical engineering. This allowed him to provide for his family. His daughter realized that it was time for her to give something back to her dad who had given her such a great life in America.

At the same time, this young woman also appreciated his smile and laughter as well. She noticed that this was changing. His personality had changed. His vibrant laugh was gone. She was worried that her father had suffered a stroke. She took him to see a doctor and then, about two years after the first event, she finally got the answer. He had Parkinson’s Disease. Initially, the symptoms were relatively manageable. He was stiff from time to time. His emotions were flat. At the same time, he was still himself on the inside. Unfortunately, this was not meant to last. Things started to get worse about two years later.

She learned that she was going to have to take care of her father full-time. The roles of parent and child had been flipped. She would have to bathe him, calm him, and make sure that all of his daily needs were taken care of. This took a toll on her because she saw the person that she had known her entire life was starting to evaporate before her very eyes. At the same time, she still had to take care of herself as well. That is why she developed a few rules that can help her, and others, serve as caregivers for members of their family.

First, caregivers need to take breaks. This is a necessity. Just because she is the primary caregiver for her father doesn’t mean that she isn’t allowed to take breaks. Parents take breaks when raising their children and caregivers can take breaks as well. Research has shown that caregivers can get stressed. When this happens, they also tend to make bad decisions. Therefore, take breaks and time for self-care. This will make someone into a better caregiver because they are going to feel more rested.

Next, remember that there is an age difference. Try to bridge this difference using love. Take pictures. Bring up old memories. Try to find a way to help a parent who is aging. By reminiscing about the good times, those who are being taken care of are more likely to have positive moments and interactions that will make everything else worth it. Try to focus on the positives.

Finally, remember that the disease and the person are not the same thing. The two are different things. By remembering that the person and the disease are different, caregivers are going to avoid placing blame on the person or resenting them. In order to remember that the person and the disease are different, remember the good times that were shared. This is going to help the caregiver fight through the bad times by remembering that their loved one is still in there somewhere.

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