Bloodhound Finds Lost 3-Year-Old Boy with Autism in Under 30 Minutes

Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Bloodhound
(Facebook/Santa Rosa County District One)

We don’t like to get too polarizing here but I’m going to go ahead and say it: Dogs are the best.

Thanks to the efforts of trusty police bloodhounds, a 3-year-old boy with autism in Florida is safe and back with his family.

According to the Miami Herald, little Aedric was staying with his grandmother over the weekend when he managed to unlock the deadbolt and wander outside and into the nearby forest “for a little adventure” while grandma was using the restroom.

“The most terrifying words a mother can get on the phone is ‘your child is missing, get home right now,’” Audra Hughes said at a news conference on Monday morning. “And then a couple hours later, the best news I’ve ever heard in my life. ‘We found your kid.’”

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office had been searching the woods near the Pensacola suburb for about 2 hours before deciding to ‘release the hounds.’

“Once the dog hit the ground, it was 28 minutes until we got the child,” Sheriff Bob Johnson said.

Aedric was found surrounded by briars and mud about 200 yards away, covered in bug bites and scratches but otherwise unharmed. Officers needed to use a machete to reach him but were eventually able to bring him back home safely.


“Great job Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office!” District One Commissioner Sam Parker wrote on Facebook. “Their bloodhounds found a missing 3-year-old autistic boy who was lost in the woods today. Thank you to everyone else that came out to help with this effort.”

I think I speak for everyone when I say a healthy round of head scratches and doggie treats are in order for this adorable hero.

Hero 6-Year-Old Saves Little Sister From Charging Dog

6-Year-Old Hero Saves Sister From Dog
(Instagram/nicolenoelwalker)

The word ‘hero’ gets thrown around a lot these days, sometimes carelessly. This is not one of those times. A six-year-old from Wyoming pulled some straight-up hero moves when he selflessly protected his little sister from a charging dog. His aunt shared the story in an Instagram post, and apparently six-year-old Bridger stepped in front of his sister and was bitten several times in the face and head. He then grabbed her hand and ran with her to safety.

 

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Hey, all. Please, share my nephew’s story so that it gets as much exposure as it can. We know that our little hero would love some words of encouragement from his favorite heroes. On July 9th, my six year old nephew Bridger saved his little sister’s life by standing between her and a charging dog. After getting bit several times on the face and head, he grabbed his sister’s hand and ran with her to keep her safe. He later said, “If someone had to die, I thought it should be me.” After receiving 90 stitches (give or take) from a skilled plastic surgeon, he’s finally resting at home. We love our brave boy and want all the other superheroes to know about this latest hero who joined their ranks. @tomholland2013 @chrishemsworth @robertdowneyjr @markruffalo @prattprattpratt @twhiddleston @chadwickboseman @vindiesel @chrisevans EDIT: I just finished visiting with Bridger at his home. His wounds are looking so much better! He’s in great spirits, and his awesome personality is intact. He can’t smile too widely yet, but he was grinning as I read some of your comments to him. I’d also like to mention here that the dog’s owners are really great people who have been nothing but kind to Bridger and his family. We feel no resentment toward them at all, and—if anything—there’s only been an increase of love between our families as a result of this incident. EDIT 2: Once again we’re blown away by the amazing comments and messages that Bridger’s receiving. I’ve had lots of inquiries about a GoFundMe. Bridger’s family has asked that any one wishing to help out financially can, instead, donate to @mission_22 or @wwp. Bridger is also a huge fan of Science, especially Geology. So I’m going to start a post where people can share with him pictures of cool rocks that they see. EDIT 3: Once again, everyone’s kindness has meant so much to us. I’m trying to get to all of the messages that I can, but it may take some time. For those who have inquired about sending Bridger some rocks, here’s the address to use: Bridger Walker P.O. Box 22141 Cheyenne, WY 82003 #BridgerStrong

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He later told his aunt “if someone had to die, I thought it should be me.” I mean, that’s some serious hero calculus that a child should never have to consider. But in a moment of crisis, the little man stepped up in a way even some grown men may not and helped save his sister’s life. And he didn’t escape unscathed in his sacrifice, either, as he required more than 90 stitches on his face and head for his wounds.

“We love our brave boy and want all the other superheroes to know about the latest hero who joined their ranks,” said his aunt, tagging some of his favorite “superhero” actors.

In an update, his aunt said his wounds are looking better and he’s in great spirits. She also said he’s loving some of the comments people have left on her IG post, which has since gone viral. And she said the family has ‘no resentment’ to the family that owns the dog, and that they had been nothing but kind. She also mentioned that Bridger loves rocks, so she encouraged people who wanted to send good wishes to send in cool pictures of rocks they’ve found.

Thousands of comments have poured in with well wishes for the little hero, including several from celebrities. The Hulk himself, actor Mark Ruffalo, sent along his good wishes and praise, writing in his comment:

“People who put the well beings of others in front of themselves are the most heroic and thoughtful people I know. I truly respect and admire your courage and your heart. Real courage isn’t dominating people or fighting against people or walking around like a tough guy. Real courage is knowing what is right to do and doing it even when it might end up hurting you somehow. You are more of man than many, many I have seen or known.”

Get Ready for the College Football Season to Move to Spring

Empty College Stadium
(Getty/Maddie Meyer)

Less than a month ago, a return to live games seemed to be coming into place for most pro sports leagues. Even the NFL and college football, the clear cut ratings favorites for sports fans in the U.S., looked like they were going to be firing up their summer conditioning and training camps to be ready in the fall. Now, things look a lot shakier.

The first pro sports leagues planning to come back were the NBA and the NHL, and things aren’t looking great with their initial plans (the NHL has had a rash of positive cases and the NBA’s Bubble is in one of the world’s hotspots for COVID-19). Major League Baseball has seen a handful of major stars opt-out of the 60-game shortened season and the league’s testing has been a nightmare. And the newly shaky ground team sports find themselves on has officially put the fall football season into question.

More and more, college coaches and athletic directors seem to be talking about moving the college football season to spring 2021, when things are (hopefully) a lot smoother in regards to the risk of contracting the coronavirus. The Ivy League was the first to cancel its fall sports season, announcing they won’t have any games until 2021. The league was also the first to suspend their basketball conference tournament in March. The Ivy League’s move of all fall sports to the spring is the first expected domino in a shift that could affect the entire slate.

Some coaches are pushing back on that idea, such as Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, who said “COVID is part of our society. It wasn’t caused by football or caused by sports. There’s no expert view right now that I’m aware of that sports is going to make that worse.”

Despite that being an epically bad take, willfully ignorant of all basic science surrounding the spread of any virus, it’s even worse when you consider the current landscape of college sports. He’s a coach making $9 million a year, risking the lives (and possible futures) of athletes making nothing.

Still, it won’t be up to the coaches, no matter how uninformed their takes. It will be up to the athletic directors and conferences, which is where it gets dicey. There’s huge money on the table to play the games, thanks to the incredibly rich TV contracts.

However, it’s tough to force student-athletes to play football when the rest of the campus has gone remote for the safety of students. If dorms and classrooms are empty, you can’t convincingly say football players should be expected to report to practice every day.

This is why the spring option is the most likely, currently. Conferences can still keep the possibility of big TV paydays alive, without incurring all the risks of trying to make a team sport involving hundreds of athletes and coaches work in this risky climate.


Spring football still isn’t ideal and brings a million questions of its own. What happens to players projected to be taken in the NFL draft, which would happen early in the (new) season? They likely would sit out their final college season, throwing more chaos into the situation.

But, as cases rise, and with no sports programs or leagues exhibiting a testing strategy capable of replication, time is running out for a 2020 college football season.

And it could be as soon as later this month that the entire season gets punted to 2021.

The Meals Inside the NBA’s Orlando Bubble Are Fyre Festival-Esque

Orlando Bubble Meals
(Twitter/troydaniels)

A couple of years back, the internet watched in horror – or glee, depending on your personal stance – when the much-ballyhooed Fyre Festival turned out to provide visitors with a lot less than they’d originally bargained for. The island-based festival left attendees with abominable living conditions, a complete and utter lack of musical performances, and limited escape routes.

Among the most ridiculed aspects of the expensive production was the food, which was revealed to be little more than a take-out container with a prepackaged sandwich and not much more. The mess resulted in multiple documentaries, and you’d think the lesson had been learned.

Unfortunately, for the NBA teams heading to the Orlando bubble as the season prepares to resume amid the pandemic, they seem to be stuck in a sequel to the Fyre Fest. At least based on the images of the food that players like the Denver Nuggets’ Troy Daniels are sharing on social media.

It’s not quite Fyre Fest levels of disappointment, but it’s close!

You’d sort of expect something a bit more elaborate, not only because this is the NBA, one of the biggest sports organizations in the world, but also because these are world-class athletes who need sustenance! They burn more calories on an off-day than most of us do in a week. A package of pita chips probably ain’t getting the job done!

Fans are having fun with the images, joking that teams in bigger markets – like the lucrative Los Angeles Lakers – have far better spreads.

And the NBA isn’t alone. But at least MLS players get a banana?

The good news is that even the Nuggets’ meager spread is better than what was served up at the Fyre Fest. The better news is that the NBA players eating this food didn’t have to pay thousands of dollars for it.

Superdad Who Adopted Teen Abandoned at Hospital Takes in Another Foster Child

Superdad Who Adopted Teen Abandoned at Hospital Takes in Another Foster Child
(Instagram/fosterdadflipper)

Peter Mutabazi won our hearts in November of 2019 when he adopted 13-year-old Tony, who had been abandoned by his adoptive parents when he was just 11 years old. Before meeting Tony, Mutabazi had been a foster parent for three years. That alone would have been enough to earn him hero-dad status, but Mutabazi was far from done making the world a better place for kids in need. Upon meeting Tony and taking him in as a foster child (Tony was really only supposed to stay with him for two days), Mutabazi decided that this bright, kind, young boy had been through enough. Since the day Tony came into Mutabazi’s life, the two haven’t separated. When Tony was 13, Mutabazi legally became his father.

 

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Of all the joys that parenting has brought to my life a hug from my son is at the top of the list. Never take the blessing of love and affection from your children for granted. To our kids it take a while to get that hang and when it comes, we never want to let it go. Son thank you for taking the step of faith and trust 🤗 love you so much! #blackdad #blackdads #fostermoms #transracialadoption #diversity #dadgoals #fosterparents #fostermomlife #teendad #lookingtoadopt #adoptivemom #adoptionpodcast #handsandfeet #waitingkids #hopingtoadopt #fostercare #singledads #solodad #dadtribe #dadlife #dadofinstagram #instakids #parentsofinstagram #father #adoptionislove #nontraditionalfamily

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Mutabazi was born in Uganda, and at age 10 he left his abusive home. He was fortunate, to a degree – 10-year-old Mutabazi, scared and alone, met a man who became somewhat of a father figure to him. This allowed him to complete school and, although he grew up extremely poor, he was eventually able to move to America to build a life for himself. Because of his own challenging childhood, Mutabazi is enormously passionate about helping children in need. He knows firsthand just how scary and daunting the world can be when you are completely and utterly alone.

This big-hearted superdad saved the day once again when he received a call from a social worker in the middle of a pandemic. Mutabazi was asked if he could take in a 7-year-old who urgently needed to be placed in a foster home, which is even more difficult than ever due to so many families being in quarantine.

Mutabazi shared his thoughts in an Instagram post, stating that while Tony’s safety was his priority, he couldn’t let this child slip through the cracks. The Instagram post continued, “We had been in quarantine for 3 weeks at the time the request came in. I was truly torn between keeping my son and I safe and taking in a child that I had no idea the environment he was coming from. At the same time, I could not imagine where this little one would go if we did not step in to help. I trusted my heart and agreed to the placement.”

 

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I choose to risk it all for my family to provide a safe and loving home for a foster kid that had no place to go in the midst of coronavirus and quarantine. Not too long ago, I got a phone call from a social worker asking me if we could take in a placement for a 7 year old. At first, I was taken aback wondering how this child needs a home so urgently in the most critical periods for everyone. We had been in quarantine for 3 weeks at the time the request came in. I was truly torn between keeping my son and I safe and taking in a child that I had no idea the environment he was coming from. At the same time, I could not imagine where this little one would go if we did not step in to help. I trusted my heart and agreed to the placement. We knew we would have little to no emergency help from our friends since everyone had been quarantined, but we also knew all he needed was a safe home and family to love on him. My son is 13 and barely has any toys and games. Taking in a 7 year old has made us all be more creative in ways that we can find fun things to do. It has been a joy to have this little boy with us despite my fears of the unknown. Please join me in welcoming him to our family 🎉🙏🏼❤️ . . #loveisloveislove #covid19 #fosteringsaveslives #fostercareawareness #togetherwerise #lovemakesafamily #dadgoals #singlemom #singledad #fosterparents #singlefostermom #blackdads #gobekind #kindness

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The Mutabazi household is fuller than ever, and so is Mutabazi’s heart. “I LOVE being called ‘Dad’ more than I can even put into words,” he shared in another Instagram post, “but hearing it yelled from 2 kids every 10 seconds is a lot to handle.” Mutabazi isn’t complaining though – he’s thrilled that Tony has another kid to play with, and he’s even grateful that he was able to take in his new foster child during a time that they can be together 24/7. This has helped ease the 7-year-old’s transition enormously, and it has allowed the family to bond more quickly.

 

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I LOVE being called “Dad” more than I can even put into words but hearing it yelled from 2 kids every 10 seconds is a lot to handle🙇🏾‍♂️. I’m often being summoned 📣 when I’m in the bathroom 🚽, taking a shower 🚿, on a phone call 📞, or at 6am when I’m catching my last dream of the night 🛌…🤯… ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I don’t know about you, but in my home, it’s rare to find a moment to finish something without interruptions, or even to breathe. So, when these moments happen, it’s 10-20 minutes of sheer tranquility that I’m sure is contributing to my sanity 🙏🏾. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’m thinking of starting a kid-free club for parents only 🧞‍♂️ and if the words “Mom” or “Dad” are so much as whispered, your membership is automatically revoked🙅🏾‍♂️! . . . . . #adoption #adoptionislove #adoptionrocks #beautifultogether #bebrave #bettertogether #dogsofinstagram #family #lovemakesafamily #mamalife #momlife #thisisus #singledads #singlemoms #singlefostermama #blackdads #togetherwerise

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Follow Peter Mutabazi on Instagram to stay up-to-date on their heartwarming story.

BEHOLD! LEGO NES Building Kits Revealed

Lego NES Set
(LEGO)

Yesterday we got a tantalizing glimpse at LEGO’s exciting new Nintendo set, which is set to work in conjunction with the interactive Super Mario LEGO set we told you about a few months ago.

Well, now we have the official announcement of the LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System Building kit, complete with a collection of photos showing us exactly what we’re in for on August 1, when it hits the market.

The kit includes a game controller and a retro TV set and it looks amazing.

“Super Mario has been a cherished figure in the gaming world for over thirty years now,” said Maarten Simons, Creative Lead on LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System, the LEGO Group, as part of today’s announcement. “Many adults still fondly remember that first time they saw Mario leap across the small screen, even if the graphics were a lot simpler than they are today. With the LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System, we’re letting them truly indulge in that nostalgia, recreating one of the most-loved consoles of all time so they can see the Super Mario from their childhoods once again – and even to share the experience of gaming in the 1980s with their own children.”

Check out the video trailer and all the awesome images:

Images:

(LEGO)
(LEGO)
(LEGO)
(LEGO)
(LEGO)

Mythbusters Co-Host Grant Imahara Dies Tragically at Age 49

Grant Imahara
(Getty Images/Albert L. Ortega)

He was an electric engineer and a roboticist, but the thing Grant Imahara will be remembered most for is as a co-host of the beloved science show “Mythbusters.” Imahara’s life was tragically cut short Monday by a brain aneurism at the age of 49.

Imahara also hosted a “Mythbusters” spin-off show for Netflix called “White Rabbit Project” that ran for 10 episodes. There’s no question he packed a lot into his time, as prior to his TV career he worked for Lucasfilm in the THX and Industrial Light and Magic divisions.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Imahara’s career involved working on some of the ‘most iconic characters in screen history’, ranging from R2D2 (he worked on all three Star Wars prequels) and the Energizer Bunny. On Mythbusters, he did everything from skydiving to driving stunt cars.

Everyone that worked with him was flooding social media with tributes.

Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage said on Twitter working with Grant was so much fun.

“I’m at a loss…Grant was truly a brilliant engineer, artist, and performer, but also just such a generous, easygoing, and gentle PERSON.”

His other co-hosts also posted tributes, and other celebrities echoed the gravity of the loss.

A spokesperson for Discovery said they were heartbroken about the news.

“He was an important part of our Discovery family and a really wonderful man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Hasbro Releasing ‘Top Gun’ Transformer Complete With Volleyball

Top Gun Transformer
(Hasbro)

There was a time when toys were just for kids. When studios collaborated with toy companies to promote blockbuster movies with new toys, they revolve around kid’s movies like Disney and Pixar and superheroes.

Nowadays, neither toys nor superheroes are for kids, and adults are better off than ever. A few months ago, Hasbro teamed up with the people behind Back to the Future for a Delorean Transformer named Gigawatt. Now they’ve turned to an upcoming movie. Top Gun: Maverick was supposed to hit theaters this summer, but COVID derailed that. We have yet to see Tom Cruise reprise his role as the daredevil pilot. But we can play with a Transformer based on it!

According to Nerdist, the Transformer turns onto a fighter jet, and comes with a “screen-inspired miniature motorcycle accessory” The toy also features fold-up wings and a helmet designed to look like Maverick’s gear in the new movie. Most importantly though, it’s ready to be your wingman should you find yourself in need of a beach volleyball partner with “two alternate hands that can hold the included volleyball accessory.”

 

Volleyball Top Gun Transformer
(Hasbro)

The box is even on-theme, built to look like an aircraft character.

The Transformer will run you $50 if you can get to it. Hasbro says it’s available for a limited time only!

Better get to it before the pattern is full!

Father Figures: Proved Everyone Wrong

“In 2011, my husband he suffered a traumatic brain injury from a fall from a bicycle.

At first I was told he might not survive, then I was told he might be a vegetable the rest of his life, then we were told that he probably wouldn’t return to the career he loves. He was in a coma for 11 days, a rehab hospital for 14 days, and went through months and months of outpatient therapy.

And then he defied all of those predictions.

Through hard work he returned to his career and he found a love of running. This man who proved everyone wrong now competes in Spartan obstacle course races with our oldest daughter.

I am so proud that he found the strength to return to us.”

– Sharon Cullen

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Charleston School’s ‘Gentlemen’s Club’ Teaches Boys Important Lessons

Charleston School’s ‘Gentleman’s Club’ Teaches Boys Important Lessons
(Youtube/truly)

It’s no secret that kids are information sponges. They spend every waking moment exploring, experimenting and learning about the world around them, as well as their role in it. Kids learn an enormous amount from their parents and role models at home – they learn how to behave, how to interact with other people, how to cope with stress and so many other aspects of everyday life. For some kids, however, tough home lives mean that they may not have the guidance they need to effectively navigate this complex world. Raymond Nelson, the student support specialist at Memminger Elementary in Downtown Charleston, South Carolina realized that several of his students didn’t have male role models at home. So, he decided, he could be the one to help guide them towards being the best versions of themselves.

Nelson works with many at-risk children, and keeping them on the right path is both an important part of his job and important to him personally. Nelson started a Gentlemen’s Club at his school to instill young boys with a sense of confidence, and, well – to help them act like little gentlemen. Every Wednesday, 60 of Nelson’s 5th graders show up at their elementary school dressed to the nines. Dozens of little tuxedos and suits can be spotted throughout the school, worn by these self-assured young men.

“I was thinking maybe if I have the boys dress for success,” Nelson told WCSC-TV. “When was the last time you saw someone fighting in a tuxedo?”

The Gentlemen’s Club’s motto, “Look good, feel good, do good,” helps instill in young boys just how valuable they are, and just how much their actions matter. The boys learn lessons like how to treat female peers (who, according to some of Nelson’s students, still have cooties), which helps them be more productive members of their school community.

When Nelson was a young boy, his mom encouraged him to join a similar type of club. To this day, Nelson sees the lasting impact those early lessons had on him. Nelson’s program has had such a deep impact on the behavior and self-confidence of his students, he and another man named Kenneth Joyner (a 5th-grade teacher at Nelson’s school) even started a nonprofit organization called “Boys With a Purpose”. The organization helps empower other young boys in the Charleston area to “Look good, feel good, do good” – which, to be honest, is a lifestyle we could all stand to embrace.