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Jogger and her dog bring unexpected comfort to grieving 6-year-old at her father's funeral
via Emily Bierman / Facebook

Dogs can be a tremendous help to people experiencing grief. They provide unconditional love, always listen, and are so attuned to feelings they're known to comfort people when they're feeling sad.

Six-year-old Raelynn Nast must have known this when she reached out to a stranger and her dog during one of the hardest moments of her young life.

Emily Beineman of Arkansas was jogging with her dog, Blue, recently when she heard a young voice call to her from the steps of a funeral home. "May I pet your puppy?" Raelynn asked. Emily said she could as long as she asked her parents first.


However, Raelynn said that her parents weren't able to give her permission at that moment. "Oh my parents aren't out here," Emily recounted in a Facebook post, "my mom's inside and my daddy died... we are at his funeral."

Raelynn's father, Davey, had recently died of colon cancer at the age of 41. Before Emily could say a word, Blue walked up to Raelynn and the young girl wrapped her arms around the dog and wouldn't let go.

The young girl asked Emily if she would like to "come in and meet my dad."

Emily said that she would as long as it was ok that she was in her jogging attire. "Keep in mind I had just got done running 3 miles," she wrote.

"Everyone was kind of looking around like, 'Where did she come from?' And she came in right next to Rae like they'd known each other for so long. There was that connection there," Raelynn's mother, Lacey, told CBS.

Raelynn's mother wasn't shocked that Raelynn invited a stranger to the visitation because she's a "daddy's girl" who "always wanted to introduce her dad to everybody."

Raelynn introduced Emily to her friends and family at the funeral home and then asked if she could stay a few more minutes so she could pet Blue. Raelynn's aunt took the opportunity to walk up to Emily and whisper in her ear.

"I think God led you and Blue over here today for a reason," she said. "Blue's love and gentleness that she has showed her has touched our hearts."

Jogger with dog offers comfort to grieving child during father's funeralwww.youtube.com

Emily believes Blue knew the young girl was experiencing tremendous grief. "I've always referred to Blue as my 'gentle giant' because I've always felt that she could sense when someone is sad/upset/etc. and has this overwhelming calmness about her that is indescribable," she wrote.

"This little girl will probably never realize how special today was for me but it was exactly what I needed," Emily added. "I'm a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. And I truly believe we were meant to meet this little girl."

When Raelynn was asked how she bonded with Emily so quickly she responded, "She helped me feel better."

Raelynn may have lost a father, but she now has a new friend. She and Emily met up again in late April and have promised to "stay friends forever."

Marlon Brando and Sacheen Littlefeather.

Nearly 50 years after Sacheen Littlefeather endured boos and abusive jokes at the Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is issuing a formal apology. In 1973, Littlefeather refused Marlon Brando's Best Actor Oscar on his behalf for his iconic role in “The Godfather” at the ceremony to protest the film industry’s treatment of Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

Littlefeather is a Native American civil rights activist who was born to a Native American (Apache and Yaqui) father and a European American mother.

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via Pixabay

A father cradling his infant son.

It's almost impossible to be handed a baby and not immediately break into baby talk. In fact, it seems incredibly strange to even consider talking to a baby like one would an adult. Studies have shown that babies prefer baby talk, too.

Researchers from Stanford found that babies prefer to be spoken to in baby talk or “parentese” as scientists refer to the sing-songy cooing we do when talking to infants.

“Often parents are discouraged from using baby talk by well-meaning friends or even health professionals,” Michael Frank, a Stanford psychologist, told Stanford News. “But the evidence suggests that it’s actually a great way to engage with your baby because babies just like it–it tells them, ‘This speech is meant for you!’”

The big question that has eluded scientists is whether parentese is a universal language or varies by culture.

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Bobby McFerrin demonstrated the power of the pentatonic scale without saying a word.

Bobby McFerrin is best known for his hit song “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” which showcased his one-man vocal and body percussion skills (and got stuck in our heads for years). But his musicality extends far beyond the catchy pop tune that made him a household name. The things he can do with his voice are unmatched and his range of musical styles and genres is impressive.

The Kennedy Center describes him: “With a four-octave range and a vast array of vocal techniques, Bobby McFerrin is no mere singer; he is music's last true Renaissance man, a vocal explorer who has combined jazz, folk and a multitude of world music influences - choral, a cappella, and classical music - with his own ingredients.”

McFerrin is also a music educator, and one of his most memorable lessons is a simple, three-minute interactive demonstration in which he doesn’t say a single word.

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