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A dog explains why Phoenix's pet store law is such a big win for shelter animals.

In the name of representation, I thought it'd be best if we let an actual dog tackle this topic, transcribed (and loosely translated into human-speak) by me, Evan Porter. Enjoy!

Hey! I'm a rescue pup.

I was born a stray, but now I live in a shelter, which means I'm moving up in the world!

Don't feel too bad for me, though. I have lots of things to be excited about. I got a funny celebrity name when I got to the shelter (Esmeralda Gosling!) and — ohmygod does someone have food?


HEY! Where's my byline? Also, do you have food? Photo by Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue.

But there is some even more awesome news this week that has me and my puppy friends spinning in nonstop circles.

Two years ago, Phoenix told pet stores they were only allowed to sell rescue animals like me.

I was just a puppy back then, not the handsome hound you see today. Pet stores in Phoenix that sell dogs from puppy mills just got a whack on the nose from one of those people who wear black robes and bang those funny wooden hammers that look like something a dog ought to be allowed to chew on.

At the time, some people weren't happy about the new rule and tried to get it thrown out, but this week, that fancy robe-wearing judge-person upheld the decision, which is great news for dogs like me (he also upheld the decision not to let dogs chew on his hammer thingy, which is not great news because it looks sooo chewable).


Whew, I need to lay down for a sec — this is all so exciting! Photo by Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue.

The judge's decision is important because there are these really bad places called puppy mills, and laws like this one are working to shut them down.

It turns out that most puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills; at least, that's what my human friends at the ASPCA say. I might only be a dog, but even I understand basic economics: Without the demand for their product (puppies!), these puppy mills are more likely to go away for good.

Yay!

It's good news for me and my pals, but not everyone is excited.

We don't see a lot of "purebred" puppies here at my shelter, but apparently, they're a big deal to some humans. This new law says pet stores can't sell dogs from breeders, and that's made some people pretty grumpy.

The owners of the Puppies 'N Love pet store in Phoenix got really mad about this back in 2013, and they "sued" the city — whatever that means. The owners said since the law said they couldn't sell dogs from breeders anymore, they would probably go out of business.

The American Kennel Club isn't a fan of this law either because they think it's more important for humans to be able to pick a specific breed of dog than it is to make sure puppy mills are shut down.

"AKC supports freedom of choice for pet purchasers," they said, and, "Those seeking a puppy of a particular breed … may be out of luck."

Well boo-freaking-hoo! It's mutts like me who end up living on the streets while breeders and puppy mills supply purebred puppies straight to pet stores. Why would a pet store want a brand new pup when there are already so many who need good homes?

And besides, I challenge you to find a purebred cuter than me.

I'll wait — I'm really good at "stay"!

Anything that gets us animals off the streets and into loving homes gets four paws up from me.

Let's celebrate — ice cold beer for the humans, ice cold water for dogs! Photo by Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue.

Maricopa County, where Phoenix sits (good boy, Phoenix!), is second in the nation in pet overpopulation. To give you a taste, my buddies at the Arizona Humane Society say there are about 250,000 free-roaming cats there, and from my time on the streets, I can confirm that I've sniffed at least that many butts.

If saving more animals in need (even cats, yuck) and shutting down cruel puppy mills means professional breeders have to take a hit, that seems like a pretty OK deal to me.

I don't know what a city councillor is, but this one from Phoenix City named Thelda Williams said something I really liked: "[This law] means more protection for puppy lovers and the puppies themselves. We have so many dogs in Arizona that need homes; we don't need to import them."

I'll shake on that.


Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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