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Dog Goes to College in Michigan, to Study!

Mackenzie Freeman

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Golden Retrievers have long been one of the most friendly, affectionate dog breeds available, and one particular Retriever in Michigan lived up to her breed’s reputation. They are fun dogs, easy to train, constantly social with their human masters and others, and extremely loyal. No surprise, Golden Retrievers are often owned in pairs and referred to as one of the best companion dogs to have. They are also regularly chosen for guide dog roles for the same reasons as well. In the case of JJ McGrath, his dog Tahoe was more than just a home companion.

Going to college at Grand Valley State University, JJ wanted to stay connected with his furry friend as much as possible. So, the fellow decided to ask his sociology professor if Tahoe could join JJ in class. Sent by email, the request was titled simply “Dog” in the header, and at first there was no response. JJ wasn’t one to take silence as an answer, so she kept asking until there was a clear response one way or the other.

Now most teachers, whether in college or high school or some other training institution, probably would not allow a dog in a classroom for a variety of reasons unless the dog was there for a bona fide disability support, such as guide dog. Part of the reason is clearly liability and the fear an uncontrolled or nervous dog might harm someone. Dog bites are one of the most common forms of serious injury across the country every year, and they typically come with legal ramifications as well. No surprise, most schools don’t allow animals in classrooms at all unless under controlled lab conditions or as a certified personal aid. The other reason was the possibility of distraction. Small dogs are noisy enough but a large dog that starts making a rack can be heard around an entire neighborhood block. That clearly wouldn’t be conducive in a classroom setting either.

However, nature of dogs in social settings has changed quite a bit. Dogs are now regularly used in health and community setting such as schools and malls to provide companionship and stress-reduction. Even workplaces are allowing pets to be present. Of course, the dogs have to be trained and extremely calm in busy environments to be eligible, but the world has loosened up quite regarding dog presence versus just 10 years ago.

So JJ kept up the campaign and kept sending additional email messages, most including photographs of him and the dog and stressing how friendly the Golden Retriever would be, including not being a threat to anyone and probably making the classroom more interesting to be in. Finally, JJ was successful. His professor relented and agreed to allow it, probably on a trial basis the first day. Tahoe was so excited, she kept looking out the car window on the way school, dog bandana around her neck and all. But JJ and Tahoe weren’t the only ones wanting to know how things turned out the first day. 4,000 followers on social media were tracking the story, the email posts and the final response allowing the dog to attend class with her owner. The story was so interesting, it started to international.

As it turned out, Tahoe did just fine, and even got to participate in class presentations at the front of the class. There were no disruptions, lots of learning and one very happy, social Golden Retriever who probably became one of the few dogs in history to go to college.

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Life

35 Life Hacks That Will Revolutionize Your Life

Lea Lomas

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Life is all about learning and as we age, boy, do we learn a lot! In order to make the most out of the wisdom we gain from age, we’ve decided to collect 35 of the most clever life hacks on the internet. You can use these simple life hacks for everything from work and travel to getting chores done faster around the house. 

Once you learn these life hacks, you will never want to go back!

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Life

35 Life Hacks That Will Revolutionize Your Life

Sherry Rucherman

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Life is all about learning and as we age, boy, do we learn a lot! In order to make the most out of the wisdom we gain from age, we’ve decided to collect 35 of the most clever life hacks on the internet. You can use these simple life hacks for everything from work and travel to getting chores done faster around the house. 

Once you learn these life hacks, you will never want to go back!

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Animals

A Koala Mother Babysits Three Joeys

Mackenzie Freeman

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The parents who have several young children at home often talk about the challenges that they face. Caring for even one very young child is certainly difficult. Having three kids like this just multiplies all of the associated obstacles. Strangely enough, many animal parents don’t quite seem to have the exact same issues. Then again, it’s possible that koala parents might have some of the same problems. 

Very young children tend to squirm and kick whenever they’re held. Parents who have twins sometimes have a difficult time holding both of the kids at once for that reason. They might get used to it, but it still might pose a lot of challenges physically. These situations are even tougher on the parents who actually have triplets. There are koala mothers who have to care for three joeys at once. A koala mother at the Billabong Zoo was in that situation recently. 

Human parents have certain inherently advantages. The fact that humans are comparatively tall certainly helps. Human infants and toddlers are very small compared to their parents. Many animal parents are not as fortunate, including the koala mother at Australia’s Billabong Zoo.

While these koala joeys are actually capable of climbing trees on their own, they seem to prefer resting on her back. While they’re still smaller than she is, the size difference is actually relatively modest. The mother koala seems to be only around three times the size of each individual joey. Since there are three of them, she seems to be at least somewhat overwhelmed. 

The koala joeys can’t seem to sit still, and all four of them seem as if they’re struggling to get comfortable and stay that way. They aren’t resting peacefully on the mother’s back. Instead, they’re constantly shifting and stepping on her. As this is happening, she’s still trying to hold onto the tree. They almost look as if they’re scratching her at times, which is enough to make anyone feel sorry for the mother koala.

It’s an entertainingly adorable image, but the mother koala still seems to be struggling to keep up with all of these joeys. She’s being remarkably patient, especially when people consider the situation overall. These koala joeys were not actually hers. She was just looking after them.

This sort of thing might surprise a lot of people, since koalas are not especially social animals. In fact, plenty of relatively unsocial animals will care for babies that aren’t theirs. They’ll still have the caregiver instinct, which can be helpful in a zoo environment. 

Koala joeys are actually very strongly connected to their parents emotionally. They spend months in pouches, and aren’t even remotely independent for a full year. It takes them even more time to become truly independent, and they’re still very attached to their parents from that point onward. This koala is not actually their mother, but they have the same sort of bonding instinct that her actual children would have. She’s acting as their mother, and that appears to be good enough for the joeys. 

Even though they could spend time on the tree alone, many of them are not going to want to do so. Koalas are generally very inactive animals. The mother koala in particular just seems to want to rest, and the joeys are not making that easy. Still, as energetic as they are, the joeys still settle down some of the time. 

It almost looks as if all four of them are going to fall any second. Still, all koalas are adapted to this sort of situation, and they’re astonishingly good at staying on trees. 

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