Love dogs? This woman's amazing corgi rescue group will fill you with joy.
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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.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

Gem is living her best life.

If you've ever dreamed of spontaneously walking out the door and treating yourself a day of pampering at a spa without even telling anyone, you'll love this doggo who is living your best life.

According to CTV News, a 5-year-old shepherd-cross named Gem escaped from her fenced backyard in Winnipeg early Saturday morning and ended up at the door of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Spa, five blocks away. An employee at the spa saw Gem at the gate around 6:30 a.m. and was surprised when they noticed her owners were nowhere to be seen.

"They were looking in the parking lot and saying, 'Where's your parents?'" said Shawn Bennett, one of the co-owners of the business.

The employee opened the door and Gem hopped right on in, ready and raring to go for her day of fun and relaxation.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."