Unfortunately, I'm a pessimist. Ever since I was a kid, I've tended to focus on the negative -- not because it makes me feel good, but because it's just … how my brain works. It's actually pretty un-fun, if you want to know the truth; I worry (constantly, about everything). I fear (constantly, about the same 3 or 4 things that are largely out of my control). I doubt (mostly myself, but also others). I've hoped that things like therapy and meds and acupuncture and healthy eating and sobriety would help cure me of this deeply ingrained streak of melancholy ick, but alas, they have not.
Anyway, because I sometimes feel like all I do is write downer pieces about downer things happening to downer people in the downer world (see Melissa Gorga; "Blurred Lines"; NYT wedding announcements), I thought I'd try doing something a little different today -- I thought I'd present a few examples of happy-making things going on out there. You know, the universe ever-so-gently nudging things in a sweet direction instead of a sadface one.
This first tale is about how an enterprising little kid solved a dognapping and inadvertently set off a chain of pay-it-forward goodness. So this woman, Elizabeth Newman of Durham, N.C., lost Sophie, her Yorkshire terrier, when her house was robbed recently. (Side note: WHAT KIND OF ASSHOLE STEALS A PET? I know it happens, but it's just … too much mean for me to fathom.)
A 10-year-old kid named Ronald noticed Newman putting up $500 reward posters for her missing pup, and the super-sleuth-y child was like, "I've seen that dog." He led Newman to a nearby house, where she was happily reunited with her missing pooch; a family had just bought Sophie from some random stranger (thief?) the day before. Newman gave Ronald $500, as promised on her poster. But when she accidentally left her credit card in the envelope with the money, Ronald returned the card without a second thought.
Of course, the family that had bought Sophie was pretty bummed to lose its adorable new pet -- especially the 6-year-old daughter Maggie. But then an anonymous donor swept in to save the day, offering the family a new Yorkie-poo to mend their troubled hearts. Aw.
And in your next dose of goodness, here's another lost-item-being-reunited-with-an-adorably-thrilled-owner situation (see photo above). Last month, Deborah Hitchins found a (lost) stuffed bunny while out and about in Devon, England. So she did what any upstanding social-media-loving citizen would do: she posted a photo of it on Facebook with the message: "Please share this photo and help him get back to the little person who loves and cuddles him."
Just one day later, her message had been shared 30,000 times -- and been spotted by the parents of an 18-month-old girl named Maddie, who'd been missing her stuffed rabbit like whoa. Maddie got her bunny back, and now "she's got a big smile back on her face," says her dad. Cuuute. (Though I must be a terrible person, because I would never have thought to post a pic of a found stuffed bunny on Facebook, or anywhere else, really. I was pleasantly shocked when a good Samaritan found my missing keys recently -- I'd lost them while walking my dog -- and turned them in to one of the shops on my keyring's coupon-cards.)
And our final instance of goodness is about a 9-month-old pit bull named Onyx. Yay for positive animal stories; I can't get enough of those, ever. On Thursday morning, Onyx saved his owners, Trevor Myres and Sierra Plair, from a raging fire at their Tallahassee, Fla., home by barking loudly enough to wake them up; they escaped with their two kids. But when Myres found Onyx crying on the patio, he noticed the dog was on fire. Myres hosed Onyx off and put out the flames, but not before the poor thing had been burned on 30 percent of his body. The family feared they'd have to give up the dog because they couldn't afford the insane vet bills, but Northwood Animal Hospital and other awesome local agencies began to volunteer their services; a zillion Facebook fans chipped in to raise funds for the pup, too. Onyx should be heading home in the next day or so. "I'm just so happy that he's getting the treatment that he needs and that he deserves," Plair said. Aww. Me too!
Any fuzzy happy-making stories on your radar lately? Tell us, as I'm sure I'll be returning to the land of the negative soon enough (as in, right now).
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