How a shelter dog is helping a military vet adjust to life back home.
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Petfinder

This is Tiger. And every day is his lucky day.

GIF via USA Today/YouTube.


The happy, social pup was adopted from a shelter in Georgia. Plucked from the bunch for his high energy and social skills, Tiger was granted a new "leash" on life as a service dog because Angela knew he'd be perfect.

This is Tiger's human, Angela Simpson. Since meeting Tiger, every day's been her lucky day too.

Image via USA Today/YouTube.

While in the Army, Simpson served in the Iraq War. As a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the mother of three suffered from crippling anxiety attacks when in public or around too many people. It was a lonely, difficult life.

But now that she's paired with Tiger, the trained dog can tell when she's stressed or panicked and can lead her away or calm her down during triggering situations.

Tiger's skills, companionship, and high-energy disposition were a winning combo to Angela and have opened up a world of opportunity for her and her family.

GIF via USA Today/YouTube.

Simpson and Tiger were brought together through One Warrior Won, a nonprofit that provides service members with support for PTSD.

Approximately 18 to 22 military veterans commit suicide each day, though the number can be higher or lower for specific population of veterans. But no matter how you look at it, it's the very definition of a crisis.

Image by iStock.

And with more than 3,000 dogs euthanized in the U.S. each day, the volunteers at One Warrior Won saw an opportunity to save dogs, train them for service, and in turn, save veterans.

One Warrior Won has rescued, trained, and placed over a dozen service dogs with military vets around the country.

These dogs can be a big help to people living with PTSD.

Dogs like Tiger can be trained to monitor breathing and heart rate and recognize panic attacks or night terrors before they start. The dogs also provide unconditional support and companionship, something many people with PTSD long for.

James Tessneer embraces his service dog, Decimo, who was rescued by One Warrior Won just 24 hours before she was scheduled to be put down. Image via USA Today/YouTube.

"So many veterans are isolated and withdrawn when they return," said Army Capt. Luis Carlos Montalvan in an interview with Time. "A dog is a way to reconnect, without fear of judgment or misunderstanding."

For vets in crisis, these animals are living, breathing medicine.

Image via USA Today/YouTube.

Not only is the treatment compassionate, it's effective.

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, another group that trains dogs for military vets, reports that their recipients have a zero rate of suicide attempt or divorce after being paired with a service dog.

Photo by iStock.

But while Veterans Affairs provides service dogs to veterans with specific physical disabilities, they do not provide them to vets with mental health disorders, citing a lack of scientific evidence regarding their effectiveness.

Without Veterans Health Administration funds, vets are left to secure service dogs on their own. Luckily organizations like One Warrior Won, Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, and K9s for Warriors pair veterans with these rescued service dogs free of charge.

Simpson and Tiger's lives are changed for the better.

But they're just one of the many success stories, all made possible by dozens of helpful people who were willing to give a dog, and a service vet, a second chance at a rewarding life.

Searching for a pet to adopt can mean finding your perfect match. High-energy, quick thinking dogs like Tiger have been invaluable to these vets needing support. A quick search on Petfinder might just help you find a companion who's right for you!

Simpson practices commands with Tiger. Image by USA Today/YouTube.

See their story and Tiger's journey in this heartwarming video from USA Today.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.