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The creator of the labradoodle says he made a mistake
Photo by Seth Weisfeld on Unsplash

Since the labradoodle boom in the early aughts, the popularity of the adorable curly-haired dog has spread. Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Lance Bass, Tiger Woods, and Henry Winkler count themselves among the multitude of labradoodle owners. But the creator of the breed admits he is not a fan. "I opened a Pandora box and released a Frankenstein monster," Wally Conron recently said on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's podcast, "Sum of All Parts."

Conron created the dog breed in 1989 while he was working at the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia. Conron had a good reason for creating the dog, as it was originally intended to be a hypoallergenic guide dog for a woman in Hawaii with a special request. "I bred the labradoodle for a blind lady whose husband was allergic to dog hair," Conron said. "Why people are breeding them today, I haven't got a clue."


Since poodles don't shed, Condon knew the breed would be a good choice. However, he ran into difficulty. "Over the period of three years, I tried 33 standard poodles, but not one was successful," he told the podcast. He then decided to mate a male poodle named Harley with a female Labrador named Brandy. The result was "a dog with the working ability of the Labrador and the coat of the poodle," he said.

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Condon regrets the mash up. "I realized what I had done within a matter of days," he said. "I went to our big boss at the time and I said to him, 'Look, I've created a monster. We need to do something about it to control it.'" Instead, the breed was given a cutesy name in order to help it sell. The labradoodle is cited as inspiration for the crossbreeding trend that has resulted in dogs such as shih poos and puggles.

It turns out, crossbreeding can increase a dog's risk of congenital disease. "I find that the biggest majority are either crazy or have a hereditary problem," he said. Many poodle crossbreeds have epilepsy and Addison's disease, in addition to problems with their eyes, hips, and elbows. However, the Australian Labradoodle Association of America, says they are "generally considered healthy dogs" despite having some problems.

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Labradoodles are also a staple in puppy mills, where commercial dog breeders care about producing designer dogs with little concern for the dogs' health. "I released the reason for these unethical, ruthless people to breed these dogs and sell them for big bucks – that's my big regret," Conron said. An estimated 2.11 million puppies are sold through puppy mills each and every year. In comparison, three million dogs are killed in shelters because they can't find homes. There are around 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S., most of which aren't regulated.

The dogs are crazy-cute and hard not to love, but Conron's confession is a reminder that sometimes we don't think about the health or source of our pets as much as we should. It's important to think of the health and well-being of your animal just as much as you think about the softness of their curls.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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5 easy ways to practice self care

Because taking care of yourself should never feel like a chore

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life we forget the important things: like taking care of ourselves. While binge watching your favorite show and ordering take out can be just the treat-yourself-thing you need, your body might not always feel the same. So we’re bringing you 5 easy ways to practice self-care that both you and your body will thank us for.

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One of these things is not like the other.

Sometimes, life can unexpectedly snatch you away from safety and thrust you into imminent danger. Other times, life can just as quickly turn a dire circumstance into a heartwarming miracle.

Such was the case for a baby hawk who went from being dinner to being adopted by a family of bald eagles near the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia, Canada. The amazing moment was captured by a 24-hour livestream webcam run by GROWLS, a nonprofit organization that helps rescue and rehabilitate injured wildlife.

The video shows the seemingly doomed baby hawk being tossed into an eaglet’s nest. Pam McCartney, a GROWLS volunteer who had been watching the livestream at the time, braced herself.

"Usually when I watch, like, David Attenborough and his shows, I can close my eyes or fast forward or whatever, but this was live at the time, and I was just like, oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh," she told CBC.

Much to her surprise, nature seemed to have something else in mind.

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