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10 things that made us smile this week​

Hey, everyone!

It's that time of the week again, where we round up some snippets of delight to lift people's spirits and bring a smile to their faces. Think of it as a hit of endorphins giving you that natural high we all crave, and a reminder that no matter how bleak things may feel at times, simple things can bring us great joy.

I dare you to go through this whole list and not smile once. (Nah, just kidding. Revel in this joy, friends. Laugh out loud if you feel compelled. Share it with friends. We all need more of this in our timelines.)

Enjoy:


You know an animal feels 100% safe with you when she brings you her babies to snuggle.

Say it with me: "Awwwww!" Too sweet.

Hello, brand new, unbelievably adorable human getting a bath! 

Stop it right now. This is too much dopamine to handle.

The mesmerizing joy of a bunch of dachshunds chasing around a big blue ball.

"Chasing" the ball isn't exactly right. It's more like they're pushing it, or maybe carrying it? Or it's carrying them? I'm not even sure, but doggone it, this is what living your best dachshund life looks like. And shout out to the random dalmatian there too.

Doggo gets caught messing around in the sink, then tries to play it cool.

"Are you doing dishes? I hope so." Hilarious. It looks like this dog forgot it was a dog for a minute.

Mom recorded his son's daycare pickups for five years and OMG the cuteness.

The instant grin. The squeal of delight. The throwing his hands in the air. This is a boy who adores his mama. Read the full story here.

This 17-year-old created a free app that makes Disney+ movies more accessible for deaf children.

Mariella Satow spent much of her pandemic downtime creating an app that lets young kids who aren't able to read subtitles or closed captions enjoy children's films. SignUp is a free Chrome extension that provides a pop-up window with a sign language interpreter on Disney+ films, filling a gap in the deaf community. Not too shabby for a 17-year-old. Read the full story here.

Dogs coordinate to save their owner when he collapsed on a mountain trail. 

A 71-year-old man was walking with his dogs on a mountain summit in England when he collapsed from an apparent seizure and fell unconscious. One of his dogs, a black lab, ran after a walker who had passed them a few minutes before and barked to get her attention. She followed, found the man with his golden retriever lying by his side and called emergency services. Amazing. Read the full story here.

Simple human connection and kindness always wins the day.

An Uber driver stopping by his house to procure some comfort food for someone who was missing home? More of these stories all day long, please. (Be sure to swipe and see the second slide. Beautiful.)

Native Americans created a way to have powwows safely during the pandemic

If you've never been to a native powwow, you're missing out. The beauty and energy of these festive celebrations of Native American culture are wonderful to experience firsthand, but the pandemic has put a damper on such large, in-person gatherings. A Facebook group called @SocialDistancePowwow has brought together thousands of people through song, dance and art—definitely something to check out during Native American Heritage Month.

This is the coolest trick-or-treater ever. 

Casually driving up, taking just a little candy (with no one watching—way to go, parents), putting it in the trunk, singing a little song to himself, backing up into a three-point turn and driving away? It does not get any smoother than this.

Come on, now. That worked, right? Totally brought a smile (or several) to your face? The daycare pickup kid alone is good for at least five smiles.

Join us next week for another happy things roundup, and enjoy your weekend!

via FIRST

FIRST students learn real-world career skills through robotics competitions.

True

In today’s rapidly changing world, most parents are concerned about what the future looks like for their children. Whether concerning technology, culture, or values, young people today are expected to navigate—and attempt to thrive in—a society that’s far more complicated than that of their parents. It’s one of the reasons why parents are keen to involve their kids in activities that will help them become more resilient, well-rounded and better prepared for life when they enter adulthood.

One such activity is FIRST®, a volunteer-based global robotics community that helps young people discover a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through exciting, multifaceted challenges. FIRST helps kids ages 4 to 18 to build confidence, resilience, cooperation and empathy as they compete and collaborate with one another.

You may have seen the transformative power of FIRST programs featured in the new 2022 Disney+ documentary “More Than Robots.”

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via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

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A leaping border collie.

Pet hotels have come a long way from the gloomy dog kennels that were once the norm. But apparently there's still no substitute for the comfort of home. In a delightful and downright impressive story from Inside Edition, Jeremy and Sarah Henson had their five-day Las Vegas vacation disrupted last February when they got an alert that their Ring doorbell had been pressed. Who was at their door? It was none other than their dog Dexter who they had recently boarded at a local pet hotel.

The Lenexa, Kansas couple must have been completely shocked that the dog escaped the pet hotel, made his way home and knew how to ring the doorbell. “We were both like, ‘Oh my God, that’s Dexter!’” Jeremy told Inside Edition. “Obviously, he didn’t understand the fact that we were gone, he just thought that we were home. And he takes his job protecting us very seriously."

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John Cena showed up for a family who fled Mariupol, Ukraine, after their house was destroyed in the Russian invasion.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly four months ago, more than 13 million Ukrainians have fled their homeland. Some cities, such as Mariupol, have been completely destroyed—"reduced to a wasteland littered with bodies," according to an explainer in Reuters—and may be uninhabitable for the foreseeable future.

Many families fled early in the war, when the danger became clear. But not everyone understood why they were leaving.

Children are befuddled by war, as they should be. It is nonsensical, illogical and unbelievable to think that you must leave your home and move to a country far away because a grown-up who is supposed to be a leader is trying to blow up your house. People with intellectual disabilities may also not understand a sudden uprooting, especially when the reason is something even fully abled adults struggle to make sense of.

When Liana Rohozhyn's home in Mariupol was destroyed earlier in the war, she and her family were forced to flee. Her son Misha, a nonverbal 19-year-old with Down syndrome, was understandably distressed about having to leave Ukraine. To comfort him through the long journey across Europe to safety, Liana told Misha they were going on a trip to find the champion wrestler, John Cena.

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