Yellow lab (Pixabay copyright-free image)

Ask and you shall receive – dog to the rescue!

A simple lunch break turned foul when Mason Ringer, 24, decided take a quick boat ride down South Carolina’s Okatie River with friends. All it took was one passenger shifting his seat. Caught by a swift wind, the boater proved the perfect means to capsize the craft.

Everyone made it to shore with one exception.

Despite having crossed nearly 75 percent of river, Ringer found himself swimming against the current, his muscles cramping, cold, and unable to propel him to safety despite shucking shoes and tearing his hoodie. He stopped swimming. Stopped and prayed.

“I rolled over on my back and I closed my eyes and said a prayer to God asking him to help me somehow,” Ringer said according to Yahoo News. “Then I heard the dog bark on the dock.”

The yellow lab jumped into the river. Ringer grabbed the dog’s collar, taking what aid was given, but he wasn’t a believer at first.

“When I saw the dog was coming in, I was skeptical thinking I am going to drown this dog while he was trying to save me,” Ringer said. “It was almost effortless for him to pull me in.”

Amazing how life works. Prayer, too. The unnamed hero belongs to the person who owns the property where Ringer had drifted. But the dog being there at just the right time was preordained. No doubt.

Check out the cool rescues effected by man’s best friend in the video clip below:

Did you catch the snow search rescue at the 3:53 mark? Impressive.

“I went home and kissed my babies,” Ringer concluded. “I was definitely overwhelmed with joy.”

A cat named Toby

A cat named Toby

Kitty finds a home

Giving back goes both ways. Lost and finally found. Poor kitty finds a home.

After walking 12 miles to reunite with his adoptive family, Toby, a North Carolina kitty, is finally in a new home that, with attention and care, will be permanent.

Originally adopted as a stray, Toby didn’t get along with the other feline members of his new family, so the owners gave the kitty away to someone who lived 12 miles away. But Toby wasn’t about to give up on his family. The seven-year-old cat meandered back home, not an easy venture, only to be taken to the nearest animal shelter.

Their request? Euthanize him!

“Luckily for the fluffy orange cat named Toby, the shelter refused to do so,” according to Yahoo News. “Instead, they transferred him to another shelter – the SPCA of Wake County, where he was put up for adoption. The SPCA announced this week that Toby had found a new, loving family.”

Check out the heartwarming transformation of adoptees in this short video clip:

SPCA of Wake County communications manager Tara Lynn said, “Toby, who is ‘very friendly,’ is settling into his new life well. When he first got to the shelter, staff thought he might need to live in a home without other cats, due to clashes with other felines. However, after being neutered, Toby has mellowed out considerably and has had ‘no issues’ with the two other cats he now lives with.”

Sounds like this fluffy friend is bringing plenty of joy to its new family!

Reconstructing lives and the simple connections that make living worthwhile

Reconstructing lives and the simple connections that make living worthwhile

A wagging tail – good for what ails you

Unconditional love: humans seek it from cradle to grave. We crave acceptance and those simple pleasure that top all manner of manufactured entertainments. But where do we get this fundamental and often elusive boon?

Furry friends, of course. Big or small doesn’t matter.

In the case of Gabe Gonzales, “An Air Force pilot before his injury, (who) uses a wheelchair and only recently started saying a few words,” according to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, it’s the furry therapist that makes him smile most. Easygoing and with a ready appreciation of his patients, Hercules, a black lab, is an easily relatable reminder of happier times.

But not just a reminder – a connection.

Gonzales has his own lab back at home, but being confined to the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital Polytrauma Clinic, interacting with his beloved pet is something he cannot do. Visiting with Hercules, however, is an increasingly frequent occurrence as, “Veterans experience officer Robert Lynch (and his furry friend) have been visiting patients in both the outpatient and inpatient clinics for nearly a month now, but Gonzalez’s room has become a daily stop on their rounds of the hospital.”

And it’s not only the patients who benefit, but the supporting families who take understandable joy in seeing their wounded son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister delight in the simple blessing of God’s creatures.

“She smiled and was just glowing when she saw Hercules. She invited us in and we started building a relationship,” Lynch said when speaking of Gonzales’s mother Miriam. “Right off the bat when we came into the room, I saw Gabe’s expression on his face and he just started smiling and he was giggling a little bit. I could see his eyes light up and his mom’s eyes light up as well.”

“He was really amazed and smiling, and then he said, ‘Good boy,’ because he remembered his dog,” Miriam said of Gabe’s first encounter with Hercules. “He (Hercules) makes us laugh.”

And you know what they say about laughter? The best medicine!

But dogs aren’t the only fast friends being cultivated to aid wounded mankind. Check out the transformation at a clogged San Francisco International Airport:

Seems pretty simple. But often the natural option – despite scientific breakthroughs – does the most good.

“Lynch, a Marine Corps Veteran and VA patient himself, said his goal is to have up to 10 certified handlers for Hercules and have a weekly visit schedule coordinated for areas throughout the hospital. For now, though, Gabe will stay on the daily schedule.”

Let’s hear it for the wagging tail and those who understand its great benefit!

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