Dogs have been known to help people and fellow animals alike. From planting trees to assisting baby cheetahs, we can rest assured that they care about the world. After Hurricane Harvey, there is a particularly fascinating story involving our furry friends that caught my attention. Some surfing dogs are looking out for their own, raising funds for orphan pets.
The 12th annual surf competition for dogs raised $80,000 to help orphan pets at the Rancho Santa Fe-based Helen Woodward Animal Center, including more than 60 rescued dogs and cats from Hurricane Harvey.
The Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon lasted 6 hours and attracted over 5,000 guests. Dogs, separated into weight classes, surfed in 10-minute heats. To be honest, I’m not sure what I am more impressed with — the funds raised, the cause that the funds are supporting, or the fact that these dogs are practically amazing athletes.
The canine surf fest also included a costume contest for pooches to show off beach wear and freestyle surf competition, where points were awarded for creativity.
I am bummed to have missed such a lighthearted event. But more than that, I am also proud that our two-legged friends have been participating in relief efforts — and doing fantastic jobs at it! Truly, anything is paw-sible.
On occasion, people suffering from crippling medical conditions experience unexpected miracles. Surgeons in Rochester saved both teacher Dan Fabbio and his music function from a high-risk tumor. Gene therapy is finally giving butterfly children a chance to recover. However, things don’t always turn out as planned. Queensland paramedics did everything they could for palliative patient Graeme Cooper, but to no avail. They chose to fulfill her dying wish, and took her to the beach one last time.
“Above and beyond, the crew took a small diversion to the awesome beach at Hervey Bay to give the patient this opportunity – tears were shed and the patient felt very happy.” [said officer-in-charge Helen Donaldson.]
Shared on social media, the photo immediately went viral, shared more than 10,000 times. The paramedics team had taken Cooper to see the ocean two weeks prior, when she was en route home to be with her husband. Tragically, her last visit to the bay was a pit stop back to the hospital. Still, she was optimistic.
“I said to the patient: ‘What are you thinking?’” [paramedic Danielle Kellan] recalled. “And she said: ‘I’m at peace, everything is right’.”
I always commend paramedics for their skill — but this was all simply compassion.
Showing off an arsenal of life-saving capabilities, drones have been tending to rural patients at a shocking rate. Treatment lies in the form of deliveries, mostly medical tools and blood packets. In any event, the machinery itself hasn’t yet made any direct rescues — until making its way to New South Wales. On account of his search drone, lifeguard Jai Sheridan managed to save two drowning boys.
“I was able to launch it, fly it to the location, and drop the pod all in about one to two minutes,” Sheridan said.
The drone, meant to scout for sharks, ejects a detachable floatation device. The boys, about half a mile into the water, safely paddled to shore on the floater. Sheridan’s “miracle” drone isn’t like any other in that you won’t be able to score it at your local Apple store.
It was a sophisticated UAV called “Little Ripper” described by its corporate sponsor, Westpac, as having a carbon fibre air frame and aircraft grade aluminum components.
Drones are tricky things — but their new and improved counterparts are surely making up for past slip-ups.
In a world suffering from hate crimes, I often doubt society and its ability to be kind. However, some people continue to give me hope–including this group of beachgoers. In an attempt to save 9 people from a riptide, 80 people formed a human chain, showing up law enforcement officers who did nothing.
Five volunteers began linking arms — reaching only a short way into the water. Then 10 more joined in. Soon, around 80 people were linked together — stretching toward the quickly tiring group.
Law enforcement had already been called, but decided it would be best to wait for a rescue boat.
Now that’s heroic! Each of the 9 saved were family members, one of whom had experienced a heart attack in the water. All were rescued within an hour.
“To see people from different races and genders come into action to help TOTAL strangers is absolutely amazing to see!!” [volunteer] Simmons wrote in a Facebook post. “People who didn’t even know each other went HAND IN HAND IN A LINE, into the water to try and reach them. Pause and just IMAGINE that.”
With videos of the rescue going viral on social media, I didn’t have to do much imagining. I guess this goes to show that in a pretty small world there are still big hearts.