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Dogs can feel post-holiday letdown

Published: Friday, December 22, 2017 @ 7:41 PM

Teddy got a case of the holiday blues last year. (Photo: Jordan Blake/daytondailynews.com)
Teddy got a case of the holiday blues last year. (Photo: Jordan Blake/daytondailynews.com)

The day after Christmas last year was underwhelming for our family, especially for Teddy, our Lab.

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There was no laughter or jubilation around the living room Christmas tree and the shredded paper and empty boxes had been carried off to the trash bins.

There weren’t even any good breakfast smells in the kitchen as the humans replaced the previous day’s red-and-green pancakes with the usual fare of cereal, yogurt and muffins.

And with no new toys to be pulled out of stockings, what was a dog to do?

The pooch laid on the living room carpet. His head rested on his left front paw. His ears drooped. His gazed seemed aimless.

Teddy had a case of the post-holiday blues.

It’s not unusual for dogs to feel down, particularly in times of change, writes veterinarian Bonnie Beaver at webmd.com. John Ciribassi, past president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, also at webmd.com says the “blues” can include less activity and socializing with humans or animals, and eating and sleeping habits can change.

Teddy looked like a black blob lying in our living room. A baby carrot was offered, and he turned his head.

Teddy’s human family was also feeling “blah.” No one seemed to have the energy to do anything.

Our house had gone from full-fledged holiday bedlam with all the bells and whistles to complete and utter calmness.

Both human psychologists and veterinarians agree that a simple case of the “blues” isn’t serious depression, but many people and dogs do experience it. It’s a basic psychological problem called contrast effect, JR Thorpe writes at bustle.com. Everyday life can’t compete with the excitement of the holidays.

Dogs sense their owners’ moods, according to Jill Sackman, at dodo.com. They can even become depressed because their human families are depressed.

So what do we do Dec. 26 to prevent the holiday blues from seeping into our home and sapping the good moods and energy from the day before?

Ed, my husband, Jordan, my daughter, and I can do what we did last year, which is nothing, or we can get moving and prevent the holiday blues from killing our “holly jolly” moods as well as Teddy’s.

Ed will take a long walk with the pooch. If it’s cold, they can bundle up in their warm winter coats. Both will reap the health benefits.

Jordan will play with Teddy more than usual. Rounds of keep-away with his new Kong toy will get them both moving. Jordan will laugh as she runs around the house. Teddy will prance after her with ears flapping and tail wagging.

Normal tummy rubs and games of fetch-shake-tug-chew will be played throughout the day. These activities will keep all four of us engaged and not moping around the house.

Dec. 27 and the days into the new year are just as important. To stay healthy and happy, my family, human and furball alike, needs to be active and socially engaged. I envision more walks, games and tummy rubs for Teddy in 2018.

Karin Spicer, a magazine writer, has been entertaining families for more than 20 years. She lives in Bellbrook with her family and two furry animals all who provide inspiration for her work. She can be reached at spicerkarin@gmail.com.

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Watch: Good Samaritans lift car off trapped victims after crash

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 7:49 AM

Good Samaritans Rescue Car Crash Victims, Lift Vehicle

An amazing feat of strength was caught on camera.

Four people were hurt when they were hit by a car that crashed on a sidewalk in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. Police said a pickup hit a sedan when it took a turn too wide, WJLA reported. The sedan jumped the curb and ran into pedestrians. 

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But it was the actions of bystanders that is what people are focusing on. They rushed to the car to try to pull the pedestrians from under the wreckage. The group of people actually lifted and moved the car off two people and the entire thing was caught on video, WJLA reported.

WRC reported more than a dozen people rushed to help.

In all four people were hit by the car and were injured in the crash, but police said they were all conscious and breathing, taken to area hospitals, WJLA reported.

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Boston city officials vote to change Yawkey Way back to Jersey Street

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 11:46 AM

FILE PHOTO: Fans walk down Yawkey Way before the opening day game between the Boston Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Fenway Park on April 3, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO: Fans walk down Yawkey Way before the opening day game between the Boston Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Fenway Park on April 3, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The City of Boston has voted to change the name of Yawkey Way.

After multiple delays, the commission voted unanimously Thursday to change the name of Yawkey Way back to its original Jersey Street.

The Red Sox organization initially petitioned the city to change the name of the street outside the ballpark from Yawkey Way back to the previous name of Jersey Street weeks ago. 

The late Tom Yawkey, former team owner, has been called racist by some, in part over the long delayed racial integration of the ball club.

Defenders of the Yawkey name believe the name change would harm the reputation of the philanthropic Yawkey Foundation.

Yawkey Foundation issued a statement shortly after the vote.

The City of Boston Public Improvement Commission has the final say over street names.

About a month ago, the commission took about two hours of heated opinions from both sides, tabling the issue for two weeks.

Two weeks ago, the Red Sox organization sent a letter standing by its petition, but asking for a delay in the vote so the public would have more time to weigh in.

Just last week, team president Sam Kennedy told sports radio station WEEI the Sox still want the street name changed. 

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GQ magazine calls Bible 'foolish,' lists it among books 'you don't have to read'

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 1:46 AM

GQ Magazine Lists Bible As Book 'You Don't Have To Read'

The Bible’s been around for centuries, but GQ magazine is like, eh? What’s so great about it? 

>> Rev. Billy Graham chose John 14:6 to be placed on his grave marker

The Good Book makes the mag’s list of “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.” While allowing “there are some good parts,” the post calls the Bible “repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish and even at times ill-intentioned.”

Instead, GQ suggests, how about “The Notebook" by Agota Kristof? It’s billed as “a marvelous tale of two brothers who have to get along when things get rough.”

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The Bible finds itself in the company of works by J.D. Salinger, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway on the list of books that GQ is just not that into. “Catcher in the Rye” is dinged as being “without any literary merit whatsoever.” “Huckleberry Finn” is tedious, meandering and hamfisted, GQ says. Hemingway’s sentences? Too short. Even Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” makes the roster of books to skip.

Here’s the entire list, which includes contributions by various writers.

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Strangers helping strangers: NYC subway turns into math classroom

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 11:17 AM

Man Helps Father Relearn Elementary Math on Subway to Help Son

In a world that feels like it is delving into chaos, the kindness of strangers is exactly what we need.

Denise Wilson was on the subway to Brooklyn last week when she noticed a conversation between two complete strangers that just had to be documented.

“He was just telling this guy, ‘I’m in my 40s and all of this is new to me, so I’ve got to re-learn this to teach my son because he failed a math test,” Wilson told WCBS.

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The type of math at the center of the problems? Fractions. 

The man sitting next to Corey Simmons said he used to be a math teacher and started going over the worksheets in the middle of the train.

“Everything he got wrong or was confused about, he broke it down and corrected him,” Wilson wrote in her Facebook post.

So today omw from work the guy in the red sat down opend up his folder and started reading a few stops later the guy...

Posted by Denise Wilson on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

After the impromptu tutoring session, Simmons and the math tutor -- Wilson didn’t get his name -- got off the train at different stops.

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Simmons said that he’s about half way to understanding fractions, but there was something more important than math that came out of the chance meeting.

“You need help sometimes, and you shouldn’t want to bite your tongue, to not ask for the help. So don’t feel shy to ask someone for help. It’s OK,” Simmons told WCBS.

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