After 3 years apart, this sergeant gave his service dog a new home with his family.
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Megan Leavey

Less than a month after the birth of his first daughter, U.S. Air Force Sgt. Adam Wylie was shipped back overseas.

It was 2012, and Wylie was sent on a two-year tour of duty to Osan Air Base in South Korea while his wife stayed in the States to raise their newborn, Chloe.

Most service members are aware they could be separated from their family for a time. But that doesn't make it easier when it actually happens — especially not when the assignment comes at such a crucial time.


Fortunately, Wylie made a friend in South Korea who helped to ease the transition: a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois named Emra.

Wiley and Emra in South Korea. Image via WCPO-9/YouTube.

"Emra was one of the first individuals I came into contact with," Wylie told Cincinnati.com.

She was assigned to help Wylie on patrol duty around the base. But he relied on her for more than just tactical support during the arduous 12-hour shifts they shared together. "I see Emra as a person," he said. "(We have) a deep emotional bond that can’t be touched."

"She was also the one I looked to for emotional support with my family being so far away."

Wylie and Emra grew closer and closer as they staked out listening posts to fend off enemy incursions from the North. They were also responsible for conducting security sweeps for important U.S. officials.

Image via WCPO-9/YouTube.

One of Wylie's fondest memories of their time together was during a visit from Vice President Joe Biden.

After sniffing around the motorcade, Emra leaped into the front seat of Biden's vehicle and couldn't stop hitting the car horn. "Some of the agents were a little upset," he recalled with a laugh. "But at the same time they knew, it's still an animal; they're going to do whatever they want."

Then after two years, Wylie was transferred back to the U.S.

The bright side was that he was reunited with his family. But it also unfortunately meant leaving Emra behind in South Korea.

This was standard protocol and something Wiley had expected; as a service dog, Emra's duty was to the base and not to one person. But that didn't make the separation any easier. "She was one of the longest working relationships I had," Wiley said.

His family had the chance to meet his canine companion during a visit to South Korea, and they were able to see firsthand how strong the bond was between Wylie and Emra. They were able to watch the pair train together, and they even got to play with her and feed her when she wasn't working.

Sgt. Wylie in 2017. Image via WCPO-9/YouTube.

Three years passed, and both Emra and Wylie were ready to retire from the service.

After 12 years with the Air Force, Wylie was looking forward to leaving active duty behind to pursue a new career as a K-9 handler and security specialist for the U.S. State Department.

As for Emra, she was getting up there in dog years. While she continued working hard to keep the Osan Air Base secure, she was also struggling with early signs of arthritis. Soon enough, it was time for her to retire from the service.

Image via WCPO-9/YouTube.

But thanks to American Humane, Emra and Wylie will live out their twilight years together.

As part of their partnership with Crown Media Family Networks, American Humane helps to cover the costs and efforts required to bring retired service dogs back to the U.S. and place them in new homes. And that's exactly what they did for Emra and Sgt. Wylie.

The two shared a heartfelt reunion in April 2017 near the Wylie family's home outside of Cincinnati. At first, Wylie was concerned that Emra wouldn't recognize him — after all, they'd been separated for three years at that point, which was longer than the two they'd been together.

His fears subsided as soon as they saw each other. "She looked right at me, nuzzled into my neck, and licked my face. She had not forgotten the long shifts together posted out in the middle of nowhere or the endless hours training together."

Image via WCPO-9/YouTube.

"Our reunification was more than just two battle buddies catching up on 'old times,'" Wylie said, choking back tears. "A part of my family was brought back to me."

After nearly a decade of service, Emra will spend the rest of her life frolicking in the woods of the Wylie family farm; she certainly deserves it. She already has a new playmate in the form of Wylie's father's Jack Russell terrier, and she only has to answer to 4-year-old Chloe.

The first command that Chloe gave to welcome Emra home? "I'm going to play with her."

We've all heard the saying that dogs are man's best friend. But they can be more than that: They can be family, too.

Wylie is hardly the only service member to experience this kind of primal connection with a military dog. There's something about the high stakes of duty that make the bond even more powerful. You can see it in the story of Cpl. Megan Leavey, who was inspired to enlist after the death of her human best friend and found a new companion in a dog named Sgt. Rex. Over the years, Megan and Rex saved each others' lives in many different ways.

That sense of loyalty and obligation transcends language. That's why Emra still recognized Wylie after three years apart. It wasn't just his face or scent she remembered — it's a shared understanding that's thicker than blood, the kind that only family can provide.

lop;For another moving story about a member of the military and their K-9 partner, watch Megan Leavey, in theaters everywhere June 9. View the trailer here.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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When Donato Di Camillo was a kid, his family couldn't afford film for their Polaroid camera.

So instead, he ran around the house with a film-less camera pretending to be a hotshot photographer on an African safari, mimicking the heroes behind iconic photos he saw in the discarded National Geographic magazines his dad grabbed for him out of the garbage.

Years later, when Di Camillo found himself in prison after collecting a lengthy rap sheet of thefts, he discovered a library full of those same magazines.

While other inmates were working out or getting into trouble, he pored over old issues of National Geographic, Life, and Time.

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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