Four guys asked their new neighbor if they can walk her dog, and the dog wrote back
via Stevieticks / Instagram

If you've lived your whole life with a dog, a home has to feel pretty empty without one. Your heart has to feel like there's something missing as well.

When Jack McCrossan, originally from Scotland, moved to Bristol, England with his three friends, they were bummed out to learn that their landlord didn't allow dogs.

So when they saw a beautiful black Sheprador (a German Sheppard Lab mix) in their neighbor's window, they knew that had to become buddies with her.


They wrote the dog's owner, Sarah Tolman, a letter asking to arrange a play date with the dog.

"If you ever need someone to walk him/her, we will gladly do so," they wrote.

"If you ever get bored (we know you never will, but we can dream) we are more than happy to look after him/her. If you want to come over and bring him/her to brighten our day, you are more than welcome. If you want to walk past our balcony windows so we can see him/her, please do," the letter continued.

"We hope this doesn't come too strong, but our landlord won't allow pets, and we've all grown up with animals. The adult life is a struggle without one," they wrote.

"Yours sincerely, The boys form number 23," the letter concluded.

via Jack_McCrossan / Twitter

Soon after, the boys in 23 received a response from the dog herself, Stevie Ticks, accepting the offer. Although it may have been written by her human, Sarah.

RELATED: Speech pathologist teaches her dog to use a soundboard and now it communicates in sentences

In the letter, Stevie shares a bit about herself, saying she's two years and four months old, was adopted in Cyprus, and that she's "very friendly and full of beans."

(The boys shouldn't worry about a gassy hound, in England, "full of beans" means lively.)

"I love meeting new people and it would be great if we can be friends. I must warn you that the price of my friendship is 5 x ball throws a day and belly scratches whenever I demand them," the letter continued.

via Jack_McCrossan / Twitter

A few days later, the boys got to meet Stevie

"Meeting Stevie was great!" McCrossan told Buzzfeed. "She was definitely as energetic as described. We got to take her for a walk and she wouldn't stop running!"


Tolman thought the boys' letter was a fantastic gesture in an era when sometimes neighbors are strangers.

RELATED: A blind man in a Facebook group asked people to describe their dogs and it's the sweetest post ever

"In a day and age where people don't really know or speak to their neighbors it was really nice for them to break down that barrier," she said.

She hopes to have the boys over for beers in the near future so they can hang with Stevie at her place.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less