It’s a tough job for a homeless dog to find a permanent home; most canines up for adoption and adults end up being euthanized, especially pit bulls. Those slim odds are what one canine faced after recovering from a rescue being a bait in a dog-fighting operation.
Dubbed Van Gogh due to a missing ear horribly torn off training other dogs to fight, the 7-year-old was just desperate for some loving care. As it turned out, Van Gogh got the attention of Jaclyn Gartner when she saw him online in photos posted of the rescue by a South Carolina dog shelter operation. Van Gogh had been collected and nursed back to health.
Gartner was no stranger to a pit bull. She had had a previous pit bull mix named Tyler who had passed years earlier. Before she saw the dog, Gartner had been running a foster home for dogs as well, Happily Furever After Rescue, a Bethel dog shelter that tries to relocate harmed or unwanted dogs to new homes. Van Gogh and the bait dog’s condition resonated with her personally, and Gartner made a point of bringing the dog to Connecticut to solve his adoption dilemma.
When Van Gogh was brought in for the rescue operation, he was in very bad shape. No surprise, Van Gogh wasn’t very popular either, even after his significant recovery. Nobody was interested in adopting the dog missing an ear. So, Gartner started asking about how to get the dog from North Carolina to Connecticut, where Gartner lived. The operation worked with volunteer pilots who agreed to help out, and soon enough, in the summer, Van Gogh was bundled in a small plane and headed north.
The dog loved the trip. Even better, when he got off the plane, his tail was wagging a mile a minute. Unlike the conditions he suffered in, Van Gogh was extremely friendly with everyone, wanting to smell and be petted by every human involved. It was as if the dog figured out things were looking up and this was his big chance for a better life.
As far as folks can figure, Van Gogh must have grown up as a stray dog, was captured by dog-fighting types who used him for training and then discarded the injured dog when he was no good anymore. Rescuers found Van Gogh injured, suffering from infections, and just about on his last leg health-wise. Amazingly, despite the horrible treatment, Van Gogh was still friendly and trusting of people trying to help him. That in itself was clearly a sign to do everything to help the dog as much as possible.
However, both due to age and his breed, adoption wasn’t happening. Nobody wanted Van Gogh. Gartner was struggling to find a home for the dog, but a creative idea hit her. Why not use the dog’s name as a play to attract attention? Using a trick with peanut butter, she figured out a way for Van Gogh to literally craft paintings. The paintings were then displayed online and locally as a fundraiser for Gartner’s operation as well as a way to highlight the dog himself. It worked. After a number of exhibits that people loved, Van Gogh was eventually adopted permanently by Jessica Starowitz, a volunteer for the foster operation Gartner ran. The two have been glued together since.
Buzz Aldrin Finally Marries Long-Term Love
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, recently married his longtime love, Lois Driggs Cannon. The couple, who have been together for more than a decade, married in a private ceremony in Los Angeles, California.
Aldrin, who is now 93 years old, first met Cannon at a gala event in Los Angeles in the late 1990s. They quickly became friends and began dating. They’ve been together ever since, and their love has only grown stronger over time.
Aldrin is best known for his involvement in the Apollo 11 mission, which saw him and astronaut Neil Armstrong become the first humans to walk on the moon in 1969. Since then, he has devoted his life to promoting space exploration and education. He is also a published author, having written several books about his astronaut experiences, including “Return to Earth” and “Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon.”
Cannon, a retired businesswoman, has been an unwavering supporter of Aldrin throughout his career. She has accompanied him on many of his public appearances and speaking engagements. She has also been a strong supporter of space exploration and education, and the two have frequently collaborated to advance these causes.
The couple’s wedding was a small and intimate affair attended by only close family and friends. The wedding took place at a private residence in Los Angeles, and the couple exchanged vows in a stunning outdoor setting. The ceremony was followed by a reception with food, drinks, and music for the guests.
The wedding of Aldrin and Cannon is a testament to the power of love and the value of companionship in life. Despite the difficulties and challenges they have faced, their love for one another has remained strong. The couple’s marriage serves as an example to others and a reminder that love knows no age limit.
Aldrin is an American hero not only for his role in the Apollo 11 mission but also for his adventurous spirit and unyielding passion for space exploration. The news of his marriage serves as a reminder that love and companionship are important aspects of human life, even after achieving great heights and facing challenges. Marriage is a celebration of love, commitment, and a lifetime of shared adventures and experiences for the couple.
A Nun, a Monk, and a Simple Meal
Nuns, priests and monks generally have one thing in common; they tend to take vows of chastity to focus their entire attention on their religious dedication. Many describe it as being “married” to God and the Church versus being married to another person. However, for one nun and monk who connected in Lancashire, the two decided to break the traditional rules for something better.
Sister Mary Elizabeth was a dedicated nun at the time she met friar Robert. The context was simply being charitable; her prioress wanted to make sure the friar, visiting from Oxford, had enough to eat and be comfortable on his visit to the area. Normally, the young nun would have been paired with her older superior at all times. However, her prioress had to deal with a phone call, and that left Sister Mary alone with friar Robert. That’s how sparks happen.
The incident was simple enough. Sister Mary kept friar Robert company as he ate. Her supervising nun didn’t come back right away, so Sister Mary ended up walking Robert out as the friar exited after the meal. During that brief moment of closer contact, as Sister Mary remembers, there was an electric charge. The two had a moment of chemistry heightened by their choice of life and its austerity; Sister Mary let friar Robert out but the whole time afterwards she wondered if the friar had reacted to that moment the way she apparently was going through. Her suspicions were confirmed a week later when Sister Mary received a note. It was friar Robert and he had written the most peculiar question: would she leave her convent to marry him?
Sister Mary Elizabeth wasn’t just a recent convert to the church. She was a nun in the Carmelite Roman Catholic order, which was very strict and hardly an exposing way of life. In fact, the nuns typically wear veils in addition to their very obscuring habits and cloaks. It would be practically impossible to see a nun’s hair, much less what much of her face looks like unless directly facing the person. Yet beyond all that, Sister Mary was perplexed; friar Robert didn’t know a darn thing about her.
Sister Mary was always religious, going back to her early years after an experience with an aunt and a pilgrimage. As she grew older and then became a young teenager, she was convinced service in the church was her vocation, and a weekend at a monastery was the final push.
Robert was also a Carmelite monk, originally from Poland and then based in Oxford. When he met Sister Mary, his world changed. He felt compelled to reach out to the nun. However, she didn’t respond immediately. That said, she started paying attention to the friar’s sermons on visits to Oxford, and her interest in Robert grew.
Fast forward years later, Sister Mary is now Lisa again, her previous name before the convent, and Robert is no longer a friar either. However, in practice, they live like they are still in a monastery, with prayer study and solitude. And it works. The former nun and monk are true to each other in marriage, but they have found a balance that still keeps them close to their faith. It broke all the rules, but the jump into the unknown also brought Lisa and Robert together. Maybe that was God’s will all along.
Even Kiwi Birds Have to Exercise
For the New Zealand Kiwi, getting stuck in bad situations tends to be a common occurrence. At least that’s what happened to Ruata. The bird is one of a species known as the North Island Brown Kiwi, and it is unique to the location it is named after. In Ruata’s case, his leg had been stuck in a trap, causing a dislocation as the bird had tried to free himself. With care from a vet, Ruata was healed, but he still had to recuperate before being released again.
The typical approach for a human recovering from serious surgery or medical procedure tends to be rehabilitation. The same actually applies to birds, like Ruata. The Wildbase Center at Massey University is the key facility for avian patients, specifically the wildlife variety. In many cases, staff there have to construct specific environments for the patients, similar to the natural conditions, that trigger exercise and recuperation on the natural with normal activities the birds are used to. Ruata was placed in a similar containment that originally helped another Kiwi recover back in 2010.
The effort is important; some 25,000 Northern Island Brown Kiwis are left, with the number decreasing over the last few years. So, helping strong adults recover from injuries helps keep numbers stabilized instead of losing more that can breed and add replacements in the wild with new young. Traps, however, are not a big risk for these Kiwi birds. Unlike Ruata, the biggest risk for the birds today tends to be other animals, particularly domesticated cats and dogs.
Prior to people arriving, Kiwis in general have lived on New Zealand for probably 70 million or more years. When humans arrived and settled the area, they eventually began to introduce domestic pets like cats and dogs and even rats and ferrets, especially with the arrival of Europeans to the area. All of these creatures are practically a death sentence for the Kiwi, which lives on the ground primarily. Kiwis simply aren’t fast enough to get away, and their nests are easy to find and smash for a quick snack by a hungry dog or ferret.
Of the Kiwi chicks born every year, more than 9 out of 10 are killed before adulthood, mainly due to domestic animals killing half of them. Leg-traps are common to keep prowling animals out of areas with Kiwis, but in Ruata’s case, the bird might have ended up becoming an unintended victim. Fortunately, the Wildbase Center is available to help, with an 80 percent success rate in cases it takes on. At the same time, the Center also gets a chance to add to Kiwi research, being able to observe their behavior as they recuperate. So, the benefit is two-fold.
Oh Brother Deliverer, Where Art Thou? – Boy Helps Deliver Baby Sister
Wyoming sees a lot of odd things given the fact that it’s big country and there are serious distances between towns. As a result, the locals have learned early on to be fairly self-reliant when they need to be. And that skill turns out to be something learned at a young age for many in the bit cattle state. At least that was the case for one young fellow in Natrone County.
Courtney was a pregnant mother in September 2022. Due fairly soon, the baby decided it didn’t want to wait any longer, and Courtney realized she was going into labor. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the means to get to a hospital, and Courtney was only at home with her 13-year-old son. Contacting dispatchers about her predicament, the Wyoming Sheriff’s Office responded, but he was still a ways out before the baby was going to arrive.
The due date for the newborn was supposed to be a week later. However, as babies often do, Courtney’s new child didn’t want to follow the planned schedule. Instead, the new baby was trying to be born and, worse, it was in breech. Between the dispatchers on the line, Courtney, and her son, the three managed to guide the teenager to turn the baby so his new sister could be born correctly. It was definitely not the sort of thing a boy just turned teenager expects to be dealing with in the middle of September.
By the time Deputy Beall as well as the EMS team arrived on the scene, the whole event was over. The baby was born, mom and new baby were stabilized, and the teenager was running around trying to take care of everything until the specialists showed up. Probably running on a serious amount of adrenaline, Courtney’s son was just focused on “doing” until the deputy and team gently got him to step aside and settle down.
For his quick thinking and clearly managing a crazy issue, Courtney’s son, Luke, was honored with a challenge coin and a Sheriff’s Office patch to memorialize his efforts to save his sister and mom. As Deputy Beall noted, the boy just did what he needed to in the moment without fussing about it, keeping everything clean, safe and effective for an emergency birth. With his new sister healthy and growing, named Michaela, Luke will probably have a special connection a bit different than other siblings when it comes to his little sister.
Further, the situation just shows how important it is for folks out in the rural areas to have a basic understanding of how to deal with different medical emergency situations that can come up, regardless of age.
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.
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