Friday, May 1, 2015


I hope you all had a good week. If so, maybe this will add a little gravy on the cake. If not, perchance these positive items will lift you up a bit.

Exhibit A:  Doug Dawson brings his teacup poodle, Nala, to work with him every day at a nursing home in St. Paul, Minnesota. That's the last he sees of her until the end of the day, as she spends her time visiting the patients, even riding the elevator by herself. According to Dawson, Nala has an uncanny ability to pick the sickest of the residents, often spending time with patients just before they die, and choosing to sit with Alzheimer's patients over those who are in better condition. From the faces in the video, you know she's raising spirits throughout that whole joint.

Exhibit B:  Don't know about you, but I'm ready to move to The Netherlands, they seem to really care about their fellow man, especially the elderly. A few weeks ago I shared a link about a nursing home that provided room and board to students in exchange for them spending time with the residents. This time, a whole village has been designed specifically as a pioneering care facility for elderly people with dementia. The village has doctors, nurses and specialists working around the clock to provide 152 residents 24-hour care. Reports are that the residents of the village of Hogeweyk are more active and require less medication. Pretty nice stuff (it also looks like they have a well-stocked bar - huzzah!)

Exhibit C:  Eight-year-old Els came across a book in a catalog for her Scholastic Book Fair entitled Amazing Things for Boys to Make and Do – the “Cap’n of pirate fun books. Pure gold.” This rightfully torqued Els's shorts a bit and she wrote a petition to the publisher, arguing that no books should be "for" boys or "for" girls. The petition asked, “What if a girl wanted a pirate book and it said ‘For boys,’ she might say ‘What’s wrong with me, I like boy stuff?’” Els collected more than 80 signatures from friends, teachers and family members. To their credit, Scholastic responded even before receiving the petition, removing gendered questions from their book wizard tool. You go, Els.

Exhibit D:  I love sharks, so this video made my day (if you don't like sharks, just shut your eyes for a bit). During an interactive shark dive in the Bahamas, divers noticed a shark with a rope wrapped around its body, cutting into its gill. The shark approached the divers and allowed them to hold it while they cut it free of the rope. Pretty amazing act of trust. Kudos to the two gals who came to the shark's aid, staff divers with Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas. They deserve a plug after that.

Exhibit E:  In the totally awesome department, three-year-old Sapphyre Johnson was born without feet (that's not the awesome part, I'm not a complete ogre). One of the workers at the hospital where Sapphyre goes for surgeries and treatment was recently contacted by a dog breeder who had a puppy born missing one paw. She wanted to know if anyone at the hospital wanted to care for the puppy (don't get me started on that woman, but at least there's a happy ending). The Johnson family agreed that Lt. Dan (natch) was a perfect fit for Sapphyre and their family and he and Sapphyre are now best friends. Says Sapphyre, "He's got a foot like mine - he's like me."

Exhibit F:  I'm a sucker for kids doing cool things for the elderly. Joy Webb is a pretty nifty kid in my book. Her grandfather had never been to a prom as he had to drop out of school in the eighth grade. Joy wanted him to have that experience, so she invited the 80-year-old Korean war vet to accompany her to prom as her date. Thankfully, the school made an exception to the age limit of 21 and the pair was the first out on the dance floor. How adorable are they?

Exhibit G: What's a Friday without a goat vine? This newborn is just learning how to walk:

Exhibit G:  For a dog who didn't speak English, Bird is learning incredibly quickly. The one thing she is slow to take to is, sadly, comfort items. She has rejected every dog bed, preferring (I suppose) to lie on the floor. She has finally gotten the hang of  sleeping on a king-sized bed at night. What she can't deal with is the couch. With a few exceptions, my dogs haven't been furniture dogs. I make an exception for B since (1) she's been through a lot in life, and (2) she's a master snuggler. But as much as she loves jumping up on things (every bench or raised walkway we pass), she does not want to get on the couch. The problem is, once up, she is a huge pain in the ass. Of course, a pain in the ass I can't bear to move in order to move my own self. But we're making progress. These are Bird's "selfies" from the couch this week:



Shannon @ River City Reading said...

You could have just posted that last picture and I would have had enough to get through the week! So snuggly, so cute. The goat is an awesome added bonus.

Marisa @The Daily Dosage said...

Videos with animals and seniors and goats...made my weekend! Thanks!

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

I've never had a dog who is a hugger before, it's nutty (in a wonderful way). And one can never go wrong with goats.

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

It's so funny you say that because when I was putting the post together I thought, "JHC, all I ever put in these posts is kids, animals and old people." But those are the stories that warm the cockles of my cold, black, heart, so that's what everyone gets. :)

Julianne - Outlandish Lit said...

Oh jesus, I really needed these. You have restored my faith in humanity, thank you haha. All of the young people helping old people. Sapphyre. UGH SO GOOD.

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

To be honest, J, that's why I started doing this post, I needed *my* faith restored that we are not doomed. It's funny, when I was a kid I wanted to start a newspaper of all positive news stories. I guess 40-something years later I'm just bringing that dream to fruition. Thanks for stopping in, glad it lifted you up a bit. (The young helping the old, is there anything much better?)

Rory O'Connor said...

I love this! April was awful, I'm glad it's done. This was a lovely way to begin May. Thank you!

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

So sorry to hear April was not good to you, Rory. Here's hoping May brings better things. Thank you so much for stopping by, glad it could lift you up just a little.

About Malcolm Avenue Review

I was lucky enough to be born and raised in a nifty, oak-shaded ranch house on Malcolm Avenue, a wide-laned residential street with little through traffic, located amid the foothills of Northern California. It was on that street and in that house I learned most of my adolescent life lessons, and many grown-up ones to boot. Malcolm Avenue was "home" for more than thirty years.

It was on Malcolm Avenue, through and with my family and the other families that made up our neighborhood of characters, that I first learned about and gained an appreciation for the things I continue to love the most to this day: music, animals, photography, sports, television/movies and, of course, books.

I owe a debt of gratitude to that life on Malcolm Avenue. It gave me a sense of community and friendship, support and adventure. For better and worse, life on that street likely had the biggest impact on the person I've become. So this blog, and the things I write here, are all, at their base level, a little bit of a love letter to Malcolm Avenue.


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