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Susan Luong first discovered the magical healing power of dogs when she was in the hospital for an autoimmune disease.

She was only 7 years old and recovering from juvenile polymyositis, a muscular dystrophy disorder that affected her ability to walk. But when a group of therapy dogs paid her a visit, they had a miraculously therapeutic effect on her.

From that moment on, she was hooked.


Luong with Corey the corgi. All photos via Queen's Best Stumpy Dog Rescue, used with permission.

Susan felt profoundly connected to dogs, especially shelter dogs that ended up being returned for medical or behavioral issues.

"I know what it feels like to be different from everyone else," Susan says. "The medical issues, the pain that they go through. The rehabilitation. I’ve been through chemo, through learning to walk again."

So she threw herself into volunteering at shelters and never looked back. And the more she learned about shelter animals and the reasons they’re given up, the more she felt pulled to save the ones in the most dire straights.

But corgis tugged on her heartstrings the most  — even after she and her husband had a tricky experience with the first one they adopted.

Rotti, one of the Luong's adopted corgis, and a friend.

He was as cute as a corgi can be but came with a number of issues.

"[Oliver] put us through the ringer," Susan recalls. "Everything that could’ve gone wrong with a first-time corgi went wrong."

After adopting what they thought was a healthy 2-year-old corgi, they learned he was actually 7 or 8 and had everything from pneumonia to hip dysplasia. They ended up spending almost $2,000 to get him healthy again.

Then there were his behavioral issues. He was aggressive with strangers, other dogs, and even his owners. It got so bad that friends started telling them to give him up.

But of course they didn't do that. Instead they stepped up their game as pet owners and, slowly but surely, trained his bad behavior out of him.

Two years later, they adopted a second corgi named Eva that the shelter had labeled aggressive and implemented similar training methods on her.

Eva in the car.

Now both dogs are best friends and have earned their Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) from the American Kennel Club, which is the equivalent of getting a degree in doggie college. If dogs pass their behavior test, they're awarded a certificate declaring them a CGC.

A year after adopting Eva, Susan started Queen's Best Stumpy Dog Rescue (QBSDR) to help rehabilitate corgis like Oliver and Eva.

"I started the rescue because I was seeing more and more dogs being given up, corgis specifically, for reasons that were no fault of their own," Susan explains.

It became her mission to give them a leg up on getting re-homed.

Corgis that have been surrendered to QBSDR are given specific temperament assessments. Susan has them interact with her own, well-trained dogs to see what their behaviors are — if they’re confident, reactive, etc. Once they determine that, they design a targeted training program for the dog.

Susan with her corgi brigade.

"We work on relationship building and trust, then from there work on boundaries and control," Susan says.

The dogs that are surrendered for medical issues have a slightly more complicated path. While some may need a few surgeries and time to heal, others are beyond help. For the furry friends that are terminal, QBSDR volunteers help make their time left as comfortable and happy as possible. They actually fulfill a bucket list made up of adventures and experiences the volunteers think the pup will love.  

Rotti, a terminal corgi, on the Mount Hollywood trail.

Their ultimate goal, of course, is to get all their rescued pups adopted. So far they're doing a pretty bang-up job.

Miss Dixie and her dads!

Posted by Queen's Best Stumpy Dog Rescue on Thursday, November 9, 2017

While there is an extensive application process, the goal is to really get to know each prospective owner's lifestyle, household, and habits so they can be matched with the perfect corgi companion.

Like most dogs, each corgi has specific personality traits that may mesh better with one type of person than another. And the better the match, the more likely they'll remain family forever.

Adoptees Twinkie and Gizmo.

But it's also about making sure each prospective owner knows their dog's history and is prepared for what life with them could entail. As the Luoungs found out firsthand, there's a lot of shady business that goes on in the dog breeding world, and it infiltrates shelters and adoption organizations.

That's why Susan believes in full transparency so that new owners don't encounter any surprises that might make them rethink their decision.

QBSDR shares all this and more at Corgi Beach Day — a yearly event in Southern California where over 800 corgis storm Huntington Beach — aka the best day ever.

SoCal Corgi Beach Day!

QBSDR is partnered with Dan and Kelly Macklemore, the architects of SoCal Corgi Beach Day, who help them get the word about about their corgi rescue. Proceeds from the event also go to support their dogs' medical, training, and shelter needs.

And, of course, it's a match made in heaven for the corgis, who love to swim and frolic on the beach.

At the end of the day, however, it's just about helping people build a lasting relationship with their dogs.

That's why they offer training advice outside of their adoption services; they want to be a continual resource for the community.

"We’re here to help them bridge that communication gap, help them work on their relationship with their dog and turn things around the way me and my husband did," Susan says.

QBSDR recently moved to a new facility in Acton, California, so they could use some extra help during this transition. You can donate to their cause here, or if you happen to live nearby, they're always looking for volunteers and foster families.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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