Dear Neighbors:

“All year long, I’ve been treated to news stories and videos that induced a great deal of smiling, “awwwww”ing and “that too cute not to share”-ing. Today, I present you with…

Doro’s Eight Reasons To Smile

1. Goldi-Seal

This adorable baby seal entered a house through a small cat door and decided to take a nap.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/12/baby-seal-enters-house-and-naps-on-couch/

Is your couch this comfortable?

2. Jonathan Hears His Mom For The First Time

This story is a few years old, but it was just passed on to me about a month ago. In this video, 8 month-old Jonathan’s new cochlear implants are turned on for the first time and his reaction is priceless!

3. Senior Flash Mob

This would have been #1 had it not been for the awful Gleeifying of the song. Never underestimate senior citizens, folks.

4. Shelter Dogs Turned Rescue Dogs

I wish I could take in the multitude of animals that are left at shelters every year, but like most of you, I just don’t have the space or the resources.

Wilma Melville is the founder of the National Disaster Search Foundation and her organization finds dogs in shelters who have the potential to become rescue dogs. You can read about it (and watch the video) here:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/09/01/cnnheroes.melville.search.dogs/index.html

In addition, the foundation needs your donations! For those of you who prefer to give to worthy causes without sneaky agendas, your money might save your life someday.

5. Anonymous Donors Pay off Layaway Accounts

The holiday season can be impossibly hard on those who are un – or -underemployed and still want to provide their families with gifts. This is where layaway comes in. When I was a kid, there were always jokes about the layaway program at Kmart, but this program is a must for families who need to pay off items a little at a time. I had no idea that many of these layaway accounts end up dormant when the families are unable to pay them off before the holidays. 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/anonymous-donors-pay-off-kmart-222535611.html

If you happen to be near a store that offers layaway in the next few days, check your wallet and decide if you can afford to contribute to someone else’s joy.

6. Backtalking Kitten

I can’t help this one. It’s just beyond cute.

7. Nasa Superfluous? Not Hardly.

Funds spent on NASA research are often considered to have been siphoned away. In other words, NASA’s scientific discoveries are considered worthless. The last refuge of the scientifically-disinclined is to nitpick at all the things we could be doing with the money spent on NASA. What we can’t buy, however, are our natural resources.

Artist rendition of the planet currently known as Kepler 20e.

In planning for the future, what are we going to do when this planet has been completely stripped of all its natural resources — including water? We’re going to turn to NASA. As it happens, they’ve discovered two Earthlike planets, though neither is habitable by humans. It begs the question, however — what else is out there?

For more information on the Kepler project, you can visit the NASA website at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/main/index.html

8. Stewie the Cat as Babysitter

This YouTube gem shows a crying baby who is soothed to sleep by a very patient cat named Stewie.

Now go smile and finish your holiday shopping!

Doro

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