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So you've been thinking about expanding your family for a while. It's finally time ... to get a dog.

If you're like a lot of people, you might start your search with puppies. I mean, who can resist those adorable puppy-dog eyes? I'm a bunny person, and even I can't resist some pup pics (shhhhhh, don't tell my pet rabbit).


Sorry, Simba.

But one woman wants us to think twice before going the puppy route. And she's got some dang convincing (and heart-meltingly sweet) reasons.

Meet Laura T. Coffey. She's firmly on #TeamOldDog, and she wants you to be, too.

Today.com writer, editor, and producer Laura T. Coffey with her senior dogs, Manny (left) and Frida. Image by Lori Fusaro/"My Old Dog," used with permission.

As a longtime member of the Today.com team, she's seen hundreds of stories cross her desk. But one story she wrote in 2013 — about overlooked pets in animal shelters — changed her life forever.

Sure, puppies might be cute, but so are these older (and wiser) senior dogs. They're also usually the calmest and easiest to handle. Think about it: They're already house trained! And since they have already been around the block, they know how to settle in and become a part of the family. And when you bring them home, they'll be so thankful and be instantly, fiercely loyal to you until the very end.

So Coffey teamed up with photographer Lori Fusaro, and they traveled the country collecting the amazing stories of owners who adopted old dogs in hopes of inspiring more folks to join #TeamOldDog. The end result is the beautiful book, "My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts." SO many great stories in there, folks!

Here are five outright heart-melting stories that'll make you want to go adopt a senior dog. Like, right now:

1. Chaney, a retired military dog, helps his veteran cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Image by Lori Fusaro/"My Old Dog," used with permission.

2. Duval the pit bull is a certified therapy dog for elementary-school children.

Image by Lori Fusaro/"My Old Dog," used with permission.

3. This brilliant cocker spaniel named Einstein immediately stole George Clooney's heart.

Image by Lori Fusaro/"My Old Dog," used with permission.

4. Fiona entered a shelter unable to walk ... until she found an owner who showered her with love and was able to walk again.

Image by Lori Fusaro/"My Old Dog," used with permission.

5. Maddie the adorable shih tzu helped her owner overcome depression and anxiety after her husband's death.

Image by Lori Fusaro/"My Old Dog," used with permission.

So much cute! So much wise!

And these senior dogs need us more than ever. Right now, they're one of the highest risk population in shelters due to the complications that come from age.

These sweet dogs are often left behind because people can't afford their end-of-life care; owners move into nursing facilities that don't allow pets, or they go through major life-changing events like military deployment or home foreclosure.

Going from a comfy home life to a kennel can be particularly stressful for a senior pet. And that's why Coffey and Fusaro made this book.

They're spreading the good news about senior dogs because these dogs have so much love to give.

Some folks might be hesitant to adopt a senior dog. It does come with its special set of challenges (but that's the case no matter what the age of a new family member!). It might be scary to open your heart to someone in their last years, but people they talked to who took the chance say it's worth it.

In short: Old dogs are ridiculously underrated. Time to join #TeamOldDog!

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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Small actions lead to big movements.

Acts of kindness—we know they’re important not only for others, but for ourselves. They can contribute to a more positive community and help us feel more connected, happier even. But in our incessantly busy and hectic lives, performing good deeds can feel like an unattainable goal. Or perhaps we equate generosity with monetary contribution, which can feel like an impossible task depending on a person’s financial situation.

Perhaps surprisingly, the main reason people don’t offer more acts of kindness is the fear of being misunderstood. That is, at least, according to The Kindness Test—an online questionnaire about being nice to others that more than 60,000 people from 144 countries completed. It does make sense—having your good intentions be viewed as an awkward source of discomfort is not exactly fun for either party.

However, the results of The Kindness Test also indicated those fears were perhaps unfounded. The most common words people used were "happy," "grateful," "loved," "relieved" and "pleased" to describe their feelings after receiving kindness. Less than 1% of people said they felt embarrassed, according to the BBC.


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She's enjoying the big benefits of some simple life hacks.

James Clear’s landmark book “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” has sold more than 9 million copies worldwide. The book is incredibly popular because it has a simple message that can help everyone. We can develop habits that increase our productivity and success by making small changes to our daily routines.

"It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis,” James Clear writes. “It is only when looking back 2 or 5 or 10 years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent.”

His work proves that we don’t need to move mountains to improve ourselves, just get 1% better every day.

Most of us are reluctant to change because breaking old habits and starting new ones can be hard. However, there are a lot of incredibly easy habits we can develop that can add up to monumental changes.

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