+
upworthy
Joy

Man adopts Wally as his 'emotional support alligator' and they've become the best of friends

Real friendship has a long tail.

Man adopts Wally as his 'emotional support alligator' and they've become the best of friends

You've heard of emotional support dogs, cats and even an emotional support peacock. But an emotional support alligator? This has to be a first. Joie Henney and his emotional support alligator, Wally, are turning heads after Henney took the gator to Love Park in Philadelphia recently. In the viral video, the gator can be seen in a harness and leash while it enjoys the splash coming from the fountain. The leash is being held by a little girl, who is the child of Henney's friend. That's a lot of trust in an animal that people would generally sprint in the other direction to get away from.


That doesn't stop Henney from treating the animal just like he would if Wally was a golden retriever. According to an interview Henney did with CNN, he came by the alligator after a friend in Florida asked him to take the baby gator that was in his pond. Wally was just under two feet long at that point, but he came at the right time for Henney, who had recently experienced the death of three friends.

Henney told The Philadelphia Inquirer, “My doctor wanted to put me on depression medicine, and I hate taking medicine. I had Wally, and when I came home and was around him, it was all OK. My doctor knew about Wally and figured it works, so why not?”

While Wally is certainly sweet, alligators can be vicious when encountered in the wild, so this isn't something you'd want to try at home. Wally was different from the start. Henney explained to CNN, "Wally has been quite different than any alligator I've ever dealt with in the past 30 years. He doesn't show anger. He doesn't show aggression. He hasn't since the day he was caught. We never could understand why." He went on to say that the gator sleeps with him and is known to be a pillow hog.

I don't know about you, but something about sleeping with an alligator's head on my pillow doesn't seem like it would be ideal conditions for a good night's sleep. But for Henney, having his prehistoric friend snuggled next to him helps his depression and has been a support through his treatment for prostate cancer, according to CNN. I suppose once you get over the fear that the alligator might suddenly decide that your face looks like a delicious snack, you learn to relax a bit.

The same goes for people around town. Wally is somewhat of a local celebrity. When he splashed around at Love Park, people came up to hug him and take pictures. Sure, people know he's an alligator, but the love is abundant for this surprisingly docile animal. Henney has told multiple news outlets that the alligator is not interested in biting anyone.

I'll just have to take his word for it. In the meantime, we can catch up with Wally and his adventures on social media where non-locals go to see what the alligator is doing. Wishing Henney all the luck with his treatments. I'm sure Wally will continue to give the best alligator snuggles while his human recovers.

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Does your period pain feel ‘as bad as a heart attack’? You’re not imagining it

Some women experience debilitating period cramps, but the medical community isn't helping.

You’re not alone.

Here's an article to send to every jerk in your life who denied you the right to complain about your period cramps: A medical expert says that some women experience menstruation pains that are "almost as bad as having a heart attack." John Guillebaud, who is a professor of reproductive health at University College London, spoke to Quartz on the subject, and said that the medical community has long ignored what can be a debilitating affliction, because it's a problem that mostly inconveniences women.

"I think it happens with both genders of doctor," Guillebaud told Quartz. "On the one hand, men don't suffer the pain and underestimate how much it is or can be in some women. But I think some women doctors can be a bit unsympathetic because either they don't get it themselves or if they do get it they think, 'Well I can live with it, so can my patient.'"

Keep ReadingShow less

Losing a child is a scary experience.

Nothing strikes fear in a parent’s heart, like realizing their child is missing. It happened to Krista Piper Grundey, 36, on a recent trip to a play place with her 2 kids. The good news is she was able to locate her daughter quickly because she kept calm and remembered a viral TikTok hack from 3 years ago.

She was with her children in a play place that "runs the entire length of a giant science museum,” she said in her viral TikTok video.

“So I end up going the opposite direction of where she actually ended up. So I thought she didn't go past me, so she must have gone to a water table or something because she loves water. She wasn't down there, so at that point, I'm starting to panic,” Grundey revealed.

Keep ReadingShow less

A semicolon tattoo

Have you seen anyone with a semicolon tattoo like the one above?

If not, you may not be looking close enough. They're popping up...
Keep ReadingShow less
Family

A letter to the woman who told me to stay in my daughter's life after seeing my skin.

'I'm not a shiny unicorn. There are plenty of black men like me who love fatherhood.'

Doyin Richards

Dad and daughters take a walk through Disneyland.

True
Fathers Everywhere

To a stranger I met at a coffee shop a few years ago who introduced me to what my life as a parent would be like:

My "welcome to black fatherhood moment" happened five years ago, and I remember it like it happened yesterday.

I doubt you'll remember it, though — so let me refresh your memory.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

Single mom perfectly explains to Congress why the U.S. poverty line needs a total rehaul

"I'm not asking you to apologize for your privilege but I'm asking you to see past it."

Photo by Ev on Unsplash

Nearly 12 percent of the U.S. population lives in poverty. That's more than one in ten Americans—and the percent is even higher for children.

If you're not up on the current numbers, the federal poverty line is $12,760 for an individuals and $26,200 for a family of four. If those annual incomes sound abysmally low, it's because they are. And incredibly, the Trump administration has proposed lowering the poverty line further, which would make more poor Americans ineligible for needed assistance.

Keep ReadingShow less