Little Girl Is Comforted by Sweet Dog During Her Dad’s Funeral

Passing Dog Comforts Girl During Dad's Funeral
(YouTube/CBS Evening News)

6-Year-old Raelynn Nast from Fort Smith, Arkansas was a daddy’s girl through and through. She loved spending time with her dad, and took great pride in introducing him to everyone she knew. Tragically, Raelynn’s dad Davey developed colon cancer and passed away at just 41 years old. The Nast family was devastated, but Raelynn was hit particularly hard by the loss of her hero and father.

Losing a parent is always heartbreaking, but at just six years old, the enormous loss is even more difficult to comprehend. Every aspect of life changes when a child loses a parent, and that level of grief is extremely challenging to process at any age.

On the day of Davey’s visitation, family and friends alike gathered to mourn. While many adults feel comforted by the support these visitations bring, kids often cope differently. When Raelynn spotted a jogger run by outside with her dog, in that moment, she wanted nothing more than to soak up the soft comfort that animals bring.

“She was like, ‘May I pet your puppy?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, of course, as long as your parents don’t mind,'” Emily Beineman recalled to CBS.

Beineman was unaware of the circumstances that brought the 6-year-old to the funeral home, but Raelynn soon explained that her own dad was laying inside. As Beineman’s dog Blue soaked up the little girl’s attention, Raelynn had a touching idea.

For her entire life, the 6-year-old proudly introduced every new friend to her dad. With the clarity and pureness only a child can possess, Raelynn decided that she wanted to enjoy that tradition one final time.

“I asked if she wanted to come in and see my dad,” Raelynn said.

Torn between her desire to support the young girl and the knowledge that she was about to walk into a funeral home with her dog and running gear, Beineman decided that Raelynn was more important than whatever a room full of strangers may think.

“Everyone was kind of looking around like, ‘Where did she come from?’” Raelynn’s mom Lacey recalled. “And she came in right next to Rae like they’d known each other for so long. There was that connection there.”

ASPCA’s ‘Kid of the Year’ Saved Over 2,000 Dogs Running Nonprofit With His Mom

ASPCA's Kid of the Year saves dogs from kill shelters through nonprofit
(YouTube/Project Freedom Ride)

Overpopulation in animal shelters is an enormous problem, with many resorting to euthanasia when faced with overcrowding. Most animals end up in shelters because of circumstances completely unrelated to their adaptability, which means that countless animals are put to sleep every year simply because there aren’t enough homes for them.

Roman McConn has always loved animals, even asking for donations to his favorite dog rescue in lieu of gifts since his fourth birthday. Roman’s mom Jennifer McConn shares her son’s passion for animals and encourages him at every turn, even adopting a rescue dog from a kill shelter so Roman could have his own furry companion.

When Roman’s dad received orders to serve overseas, the family relocated from Texas to Washington. Of course, one of the first courses of action after relocating was finding a new shelter to volunteer their time. Once the animal-loving duo began lending a hand at a local shelter, they realized the overcrowding problem in Washington was far less severe than it was in Texas.

“I would joke with Texas Rescues about an underground railroad for dogs up to Washington because the world for a dog, generally speaking, was so much better up here in Washington than down there in Texas,” Jennifer wrote on the Project Freedom Ride Website. “And so it was born … on December 6th, 2016 Project Freedom Ride had its first transport of 31 dogs from Texas to Washington.”

Since the founding of Project Freedom Ride just five years ago, the volunteer-based foundation has rescued over 2,000 dogs from euthanasia. 2,000 dogs got a second chance at life thanks to Roman and Jen, not to mention their trusty volunteers. In 2018, Roman was named the ASPCA’s (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) “Kid of the Year” thanks to his tireless efforts to save as many dogs as he possibly could.

Project Freedom Ride is extremely active to this day, posting adoptable dogs as well as dogs who need transportation on their Facebook page. Roman remains the face of the rescue, sharing personal videos with dogs looking for homes. Roman and his mom are true heroes, giving us a touching reminder that you’re never too young to make a difference.

Paws Whatever You’re Doing, The Golden Retriever Experience Is Open Fur Business

Soak up some puppy love at the Golden Retriever Experience
(Instagram/thegoldenretrieverexperience)

Adopting a dog is an enormous responsibility, one that unfortunately isn’t feasible for everyone. During the beginning of quarantine, people flocked to adopt animals before realizing their pre-COVID lifestyle wasn’t necessarily compatible with pets. As a result, shelters were flooded with animals once people returned to work – a sad situation to be sure, and one that the Golden Retriever Experience (GRE) is trying to mitigate.

Located in the English West Somerset district lies every dog lover’s dream – a haven filled with a pack of trained golden retrievers who eagerly await their many visitors. Nicolas Grant-St James and his daughter Lauren would do anything for their dogs, but after realizing not everyone had the opportunity to own dogs themselves, they set out on a journey to fill that void.

Nicolas is known as the UK’s dog whisperer, and his passion for understanding and training dogs was fundamental to the GRE’s early days. Initially, the duo formed a training program to help others understand dog psychology as well as train their canine companions. Their own pack of Golden Retrievers helped clients work through the training process, and understandably, the pups quickly stole the show.

With encouragement from friends and clients alike, the father-daughter duo opened their very own “Disneyland for Dogs” in 2017, a place where everyone is welcome to soak up all the puppy love they could possibly want.

“The GRE has been built on the life-long love and dedication we’ve felt, and continue to feel, for the countless Golden Retrievers that have graced our lives,” the GRE’s website explains. “It is this love that we want to share with the world, especially those who aren’t fortunate enough to own a dog themselves, by inviting people to join our incredible pack of goldies for some much-needed doggy cuddles.”

The fluffy getaway even welcomes dog-friendly pups to visit with their owners, making the whole experience a family affair. Accommodations for guests with disabilities are also available, ensuring the park is open to any and all dog lovers. If you find yourself desperately missing some canine companionship, there may be no better place than this slobbery safe haven.

Move Over Air Bud, Dog Jumps Into High School Track Meet and Wins

Dog Wins Track Meet
(YouTube/KSL News)

Air Bud flew so this track bud could run. A high school track meet got escalated to the next level when a dog ran onto the track and joined in a 4×200 meter relay. It happened during a high school track meet in Utah and in the final leg of the race, a dog comes out of nowhere to enter the fray.

And this dog doesn’t just run around aimlessly. This dog starts to BOOK. He soars down the track, catches the leader, and in a photo finish, beats out high schooler Gracie Laney to earn the major victory for canines everywhere. Just an incredible flex by this dog.

The dog even wins over the crowd, which begins to go crazy as she gains steam towards the end. Laney said she couldn’t believe she lost to a dog and started to run faster because she thought the dog was the runner behind her. Nope, instead, it was just Holly, the Goldendoodle who had gotten away from her owners so she could show the world what she was capable of.

“I honestly am just glad that we didn’t get hurt,” the human who *technically* won the race said. “It’s a fun experience.”

If this proves anything, it’s that high school sports are WAY more fun to watch when a dog is allowed to compete.

Parrot and Puppy Go Viral on Tik Tok Because Animal Friendships Rule

Parrot and Puppy Friends
(TikTok/TheParrotLady)

Sometimes you’re having the type of day where you just need to see animals doing stuff.  Whether it’s dogs delivering beers, or a special needs puppy finding a forever home,  or just the classic “Dad who didn’t want a pet falls in love with new pet” routine, pet content gets a lot of people through a lot of days.

And if Tik Tok is good for anything, it’s an extremely efficient delivery system for this feel-good content. To make things the internet will enjoy, a good starting formula is “anything, + a puppy.”  In this case, its’ a runaway hit, as the viral video of a parrot meeting a puppy and saying “I love you” has had nearly 40 million views on Tik Tok.

Idaho pet owner Wendy Albright made a Tik Tok for her parrot Sweet Pea and quickly found some traction. But it wasn’t until Sweet Pea met Albright’s black lab puppy (see?) that things really took off.

@theparrotlady🥺 SP Meets Puppy #puppy #puppytiktok #fyp #lab #cute #cockatoo #parrot #baby #love♬ original sound – The Parrot Lady

Tens of millions of views later, she’s continued to churn out that sweet animal friendship content. There’s the parrot and puppy together after it gets a name (Copper).

@theparrotladyReply to @ne0nskyy This brought everything into a name for me! Thank you! 💕💕 ##puppy ##parrot ##baby ##love ##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage ##lab ##puppies♬ original sound – The Parrot Lady

 

We even get more of the original hit, with more “I love you”s.

@theparrotladySuch pure love ❤️❤️❤️ ##puppy ##parrot ##baby ##lab ##fyp ##dogsoftiktok ##puppytiktok ##cockatoo ##cute ##truelove ##foryoupage♬ original sound – The Parrot Lady

Let’s face it; before this is all over, Sweet Pea and Copper should probably have a buddy-sitcom on Disney+. And your kids are going to watch it. Every. Single. Day. But that’s OK, because cute animals never disappoint.

Albright told a local news station why she thinks the pet duo became a social media sensation. “In this time we live in, people saw that video and just loved the unadulterated love of two animals just caring about each other,” she said.

Firefighters Rescue Dog Stuck in Couch Without Harming the Couch

Firefighters rescue a dog from under a retractable couch
(people.com / KAMLOOPS FIRE RESCUE)

How many firefighters does it take to get a puppy out of a couch? That’s not the setup to a dad joke, it’s the real-life question one department in Canada got to ask itself after responding to a call for a dog trapped in a reclining couch.

Being a pet parent can be stressful and sometimes scary. Cats are crazy, and will randomly climb trees and get stuck up there for no good reason. Dogs, much chiller, will go so deep into a couch they literally can’t get out. As a Dad I’ve also been there, but I’ve never had to call emergency services because of it.

As the Kamloops Fire Department found out, it takes five firefighters, and a few hours of work to get a small dog out of the couch. The department shared the story on Facebook.

“We don’t rescue cats out of trees anymore…but we do occasionally rescue dogs out of reclining couches!”

“We are happy to report that Bean, her owners, and the couch are all doing just fine today.”

See, that’s why they are heroes, not only did they save the dog, but they also managed to save the couch in the process. Lesser men would’ve broken the couch to save the dog. True heroes realize you don’t need to choose.

The owner said they were really thankful for the firefighters in their community and that they were able to work so calmly to free their beloved pet. This could also be a good testament to why you shouldn’t let your dog on the couch, but let’s be honest, most pups are going wherever they want.

Hero Pit Bull Awarded For Saving Owner’s Life

Astro The Hero Dog
(El Paso Times)

The phrase “man’s best friend” isn’t one taken lightly by dogs. They prove it time and time again; whether it’s comforting their owners in their final moments or delivering beer, dogs go above and beyond all the time.

The latest dog to earn critical acclaim is a pit bull from Texas, Astro. Astro noticed his owner was suffering a medical emergency and ran to alert a good Samaritan, who followed the dog back to his owner and was able to call 911. Crews were able to transport the owner to the hospital and save his life.

Astro SAVED HIS LIFE.

In a special ceremony, the El Paso Fire Department gave Astro an official award, a special doggie cake, and  remarked about how he wanted to force his way into the ambulance to stay with his owner (they eventually removed him). They also incorrectly named him “Cosmo” in their celebratory tweet, but that’s okay because dogs can’t read.

His owners said they were shocked Astro was able to do such heroic feat because he was not trained for this sort of support. The family had adopted him only one year ago after seeing frequently seeing him wander around as a stray. They say he’s not going anywhere, as they plan to shower their good boy with love and treats for his heroic acts.

Dogs rule, and some of them, like Astro, even have the official paperwork to prove it. Let’s face it, if Astro was a cat, he probably would’ve waited for his owner to become incapacitated so he could raid the pantry and drag his wallet into the toilet. He wouldn’t have gotten help, he would’ve plunked the phone in the toilet.

Fortunately, Astro is not a cat (or a hamster or a fish or any other unhelpful animal). He is a dog, and according to the Fire Department, the ‘goodest boy of all.’

Anonymous Donor Pays Florida Animal Shelter’s Adoption Fees With Dogecoin Profit

Donor uses dogecoin earnings to pay animal shelter adoption fees
(halifaxhumanesociety.org, Facebook/Halifax Humane Society)

The popularity of cryptocurrency has skyrocketed in recent years, rewarding early investors with impressive payouts. For those of you late to the game and still unsure about what cryptocurrency even is, I’m with you, but I’ll do my best to explain the basics (sorry in advance). Cryptocurrency is essentially a virtual currency where each transaction is recorded. The value of the currency changes, somewhat like the value of stocks. As a result, people who invested in the more popular cryptocurrencies when prices were low are cashing out in a big way.

One of the more recently popular cryptocurrencies is Dogecoin, a currency whose mascot is Doge the dog from memes dating back to 2013 (which is also when Dogecoin emerged). Around the time of the GameStop insanity, Dogecoin saw an unprecedented rise in value. As a result, holders of the cryptocurrency are thanking Doge for their good fortune.

And honestly, what better way to thank Doge than to give back to the animals? One anonymous donor dubbed Doge Community did exactly that last week after seeing a hefty payout from her Dogecoin investments.

“A generous donor, Doge Community has paid the adoption fees of all dogs in the adoption kennel at the time that were still available,” the Halifax Humane Society wrote on Facebook. “Dogs brought over to adoption since will still have an adoption fee. All adopters will still need to qualify for their adoption. Special thanks to Doge Community for their kindness and generosity.”

Thanks to the anonymous donor, 21 adoption fees were paid in full for dogs awaiting homes at the shelter. In a touching chain of paying it forward, many of the dogs’ adopters chose to pay the adoption fee as an additional donation.

This influx of generosity allowed the Florida shelter to take in more dogs who desperately needed rescuing, including 42 pulled from a suspected dog-fighting ring. Doge Community’s selflessness reminds us that sometimes, all it takes is one act of kindness to remind us how good it feels to pay it forward.

Stray Dog Can’t Resist Unicorn Doll, So Animal Control Buys It For Him

Dog with Unicorn Toy
(Facebook/Duplincountyanimalcontrol)

Many of us have special possessions we can’t live without. Comfort items that have special meaning to us, that help us cope and survive, that, if we lost them, would leave us bereft and heartbroken. My son has a lovey, my old college roommate had a blankie, I have my iPhone, and this good boy here has a unicorn plushy.

(Facebook.com/duplincountyanimalservices)

Sisu was a stray dog in North Carolina who had an attachment to a purple unicorn doll. So much so that he would keep heading to the Dollar General in Kenansville, NC just to get his adorable little paws on the purple doll. He tried to snatch the doll from the store five times before the owners called animal control.

When the Duplin County Animal Control officer arrived at the store, Sisu was taken into custody – along with the unicorn doll.

(Facebook.com/duplincountyanimalservices)

“This is what happens when you break into the dollar general consistently to steal the purple unicorn that you laid claim to but then get animal control called to lock you up for your B & E and larceny but the officer purchases your item for you and brings it in with you,” they posted on their Facebook page, along with photos of Sisu and his prized possession, and adoption information, in case anyone was interested.

Dog with toy
(Facebook.com/duplincountyanimalservices)

Which, of course, they were. How could you not want to adopt this sweetheart and his unicorn? It helps that the Facebook post got a lot of attention for Sisu, with 22,000 people sharing the heartwarming story.

“I’m so glad he got his toy he so desperately wanted!,” one reader commented. “Props to the responding officer for making that fur baby happy and making animal lovers every where smile when reading of her kind act! I hope he finds a loving family!”

The good news is that Sisu has since found his forever home. And so has his stuffed unicorn – right by his side.

Rescuer Adopts ‘Miracle Dog’ Who Spent Four Days Trapped on the Detroit River

Miracle dog adopted by rescuer
(Facebook/Friends of the River Rouge Animal Shelter)

The peaceful quiet of a world covered in freshly-fallen snow, the lack of mosquitos – yep, that’s about all there is on the list of reasons winter isn’t terrible. People seemingly forget how to drive, ice-scraping becomes a second job, and frozen bodies of water become enormously dangerous for people and animals alike. While most adults know to stay away from iced-over ponds, animals often don’t – and for one Michigan dog, a frozen river almost claimed his life.

A dog initially called Alfonso found himself in a terrifying situation in February, in the midst of a freezing midwest winter. Locals spotted the terrified dog stranded on a small patch of land surrounded by ice in the middle of the Detroit River but were unsure of how to safely rescue him. Over the next four days, Alfonso dodged hungry predators, survived bone-chilling temperatures, and even climbed back onto the ice after falling in the water.

Surviving days on a frozen river is no easy feat, but the heavily-matted dog clearly had one heck of a will to live. Locals tried repeatedly to rescue the exhausted pup but came up empty-handed. On day four, Jude Mead decided enough was enough. Mead, director of operations at an Ontario construction company, risked his own life to give Alfonso one last shot.

By some stroke of luck, both man and dog made it back to shore safely. The unlikely rescue earned Jude full-on hero status, and four days surviving the elements earned Alfonso a new name: Miracle. Miracle was rushed to Woodhaven Animal Hospital by Patricia Trevino, director of the River Rouge Animal Shelter, where he made a full recovery.

Adoption applications poured in for Miracle, but in a touching update shared by Friends of the River Rouge Animal Shelter, one application stood out above the rest.

“Today the story came full circle,” the shelter wrote on Facebook. “Today the little Miracle dog was placed into the hands of the hero who saved his life. That’s right….this dog who defied ALL THE ODDS will now live happily ever after w the man who saved his life. Miracle could not ASK for a better or more ideal family to love him!”

10-Yr-Old Has Tearful Reunion With Dog Who Was Missing For Two Months

Boy reunites with missing dog
(Facebook/Highlands County Sheriff's Office)

Realizing your beloved pet is missing is both heartbreaking and terrifying. Pets who have grown up in safe and loving homes often don’t understand the dangers that lurk outside, so the faster you jump into action the better. Animals move quickly, especially when they’re afraid – sadly, as more time passes, it becomes less and less likely that our furry family members will safely make it back home.

When 10-year-old Tyler’s dog Bruiser disappeared after running off in pursuit of a rabbit, his family was devastated. Bruiser and Tyler had a special bond, one that left Tyler heartbroken and desperate to find his four-legged best friend. The worried family posted on social media, hung flyers, even scattered worn clothes and used towels outside in the hopes that Bruiser would catch a whiff and follow the scent of his loving family. After two months with no leads, it seemed unlikely that Tyler and Bruiser would ever see each other again.

In a heartwarming twist of fate, Tyler’s family received the call they barely dared to dream about. Bruiser had been found – and more importantly, he was safe.

“Turns out their dog had been picked up by somebody on their way to Highlands County and, after a couple of months, it wound up in the hands of our Animal Services folks,” Highlands County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. “Teri Dosil at Animal Services thought the dog looked familiar and started digging through Facebook posts. Sure enough, it was the same dog. His name is Bruiser.”

If the incredible news wasn’t enough, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office shared the touching reunion on Facebook. An unsuspecting Tyler walks into his house as Bruiser runs to greet him, and it only takes a split second for the realization to dawn on the overjoyed 10-year-old. Tyler drops to the floor, wrapping his arms around his beloved pup as Bruiser wags his entire body.

Tyler begins to cry, overwhelmed and in complete disbelief that his furry friend finally made it home. Bruiser briefly runs to greet another family member before returning to his rightful place in Tyler’s lap (to the best of his ability, given that they’re roughly the same size), giving the camera a look that says “I swear, it will NEVER happen again.”

Watch the tearful reunion below, and give your own pets some extra scratches today.

Golden Retriever Is Thoroughly Terrified After Darth Vader’s Iconic Entrance

Dog is terrified of Darth Vader
(TikTok/rustymetalcreation)

Darth Vader is one of the most memorable villains of all time. The iconic costume, his unsettlingly non-human voice – heck, even his breathing is utterly unforgettable. What sets Vader apart, even more, is his backstory, the fact that he hasn’t always been evil. Darth Vader is a chilling example of a seemingly average person being pulled in by the dark side, forcing us to think about our own capacity for evil. Or maybe, you know, he’s just really freaking terrifying.

A golden retriever named Ellie reminds us all that even without any prior knowledge, Darth Vader is one scary dude. Poor Ellie had no idea what was coming when she first encountered Vader himself, and her adorable yet heartbreaking reaction brings us back to the first time we laid eyes on the fearsome villain.

In a TikTok shared by rustymetalcreation, we see a highly attentive Ellie staring wide-eyed at a familiar scene. We’ve been here before, and we know what’s coming – but Ellie’s real-time reaction to Darth Vader’s iconic entrance in Episode IV makes it feel almost like we’re watching it again for the first time.

@rustymetalcreation##Star Wars, ##GoldenRetriever, ##DarthVader ##Jedi ##theforcebewithyou ##doggy 

♬ original sound – Ellie

The remaining Stormtroopers step aside after an epic battle, and the music turns ominous as the shadowy figure of Darth Vader approaches. The smoke clears enough for us to see Darth Vader in all of his evil glory, which is Ellie’s cue to get the hell out of Dodge.

Alarmed, Ellie stands up with her eyes fixed on the screen. In a bizarrely human moment, it seems as if she’s giving the entire situation one big “NOPE” before turning away from Darth Vader – she even gives one last over-the-shoulder glance before doubling down on her decision to bow out.

Like a kid that insisted they were brave enough to watch Men in Black before laying eyes upon Edgar the Bug, Ellie didn’t want to call it quits entirely. To preserve what was left of her pride (and of course, find out what happens next), Ellie finds a safer watching spot than directly in front of the TV. At the end of the clip, Ellie adorably peeks her head out from behind the couch – still fully invested in the movie, but from the safety of her very own makeshift bunker.

Adoption Ad for Chihuahua Described as a ‘Chucky Doll in a Dog’s Body’ Goes Viral

Adopt Dog that is chuckie
(Twitter/HLMongoose)

My kids are desperate for a dog.

Like anyone with a heart, they’ve always loved man’s best friend, but over the course of the pandemic, their desire for a furry friend has reached a fever pitch. I am reluctant, not because I dont want a dog – I’d love a dog! – but because I know the dog will become my sole responsibility.

And because we could end up with a dog like Prancer, a chihuahua that his owner is desperately attempting to get someone to adopt. After a fruitless search for a new owner, the dude decided to get brutally honest about Prancer, and the resulting post has gone viral, for good reason.

Prancer is “literally the Chihuahua meme that describes them as being 50% hate and 50% tremble.” Apparently, he was “raised” wrong by his original owner and is now a neurotic mess who has his family in the grips of a “demonic Chihuahua hellscape.”

The owner goes on to describe Pancer in the best/worst way:

“I was excited to see him come out of his shell and become a real dog. I am now convinced at this point he is not a real dog, but more like a vessel for a traumatized Victorian child that now haunts our home.”

It seems Prancer prefers women to an extreme extent: “He hates men more than women do, which is saying something.” She even uses The Office to describe the dog’s feelings towards him, “But you know that episode of The Office where Michael silently whispers ‘I’ll kill you’ to Toby? That’s Prancer having to begrudgingly coexist with everyone when I’m around.”

Oh, and don’t even ask about children. “Prancer wants to be your only child.”

The last portion of the post lists some of Prancer’s traits, but admits that “finding someone who wants a chucky doll in a dog’s body is hard, but I have to try.”

I might read this post to my kids just to scare them off getting a dog.

Check out the full posting on Twitter, and swing by New Jersey’s Second Chance Pet Adoption League if you want to take a chance on Prancer!