Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! I hope wherever you are that you have someone you love, and who loves you back, to spend some of today with. I am incredibly lucky to have found the best Valentine ever; she loves me, helps take care of me, and oh yeah, helped me create a couple of humans who we love with all our heart (although not as much as when the 2-year-old screams out with nightmares and wakes us at 1:14 a.m. this morning).
I want to start Good News Friday with an amazing dog feat. Truly, the Guinness Book of World Records isn’t complete without the amazing accomplishment of this pooch in upstate New York.
Meet Finley Molloy, a 6-year-old Golden Retriever from Canandaigua, N.Y., who can incredibly fit six tennis balls in his mouth… at one time!
Look at this pic of Finley above, and realize you’re in the presence of greatness. What choppers on this little guy!
The joy he brings to us is one thing,” said his owner Cheri Molloy. “But he brings joy to people all over the world.”
It’s a stellar — and sometimes anxiety-inducing — thing to watch: Someone will toss him six balls, and once he knows he’s got six nearby, he’ll start to pick them up.
The first three or four are quick, and he picks those up with ease. But for the fifth and sixth balls, he’ll use his paws to keep them in place when he pops them in his mouth.
By the time he’s got all six in his mouth, his cheeks are stretched wide. Some of the balls he’s only got a single tooth on to keep them from falling out. His tail wags furiously when he knows he’s gotten them all.
I’m wildly impressed. What a time to be alive!
**Next up, it’s that time of year where wonderful things happen at high school basketball games across the country, as human interest stories emerge as the season draws closer to the end, and kids who never get to play suddenly do.
I want to bring you the story of Mason Doherty, a senior on the St. Peter’s (Minn.) high school basketball team. Mason was born with Down Syndrome, but last Saturday night, in a game between St. Peter’s and Minnehaha High School, Doherty got in the game and scored. And both teams went wild.
After the game, Minnehaha star Jalen Suggs posed for pictures with Mason.
“This is what sports is about!” wrote Suggs in a tweet. “We’ve had a lot of good plays this season and I’ve seen even more from other teams. But this here, nothing this season tops what my guy Mason did today!!”
**And finally today, more proof that taking the stigma away from something and treating everyone the same literally saves lives.
Check out this story from upworthy.com on a study that was taken in the years following the legalization, nationwide, of same-sex marriage in 2015.
Two years after the legalization of gay marriage, the suicide attempt rate among LGBT youth declined significantly according to the Associated Press.
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for U.S. teens. LGBT teens are five times more likely to make an attempt than their straight peers.
The study, from the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, was conducted with over 26,000 LGBT youth participants in the 32 states where gay marriage was legalized up through the 2015 Supreme Court decision. The study found that suicide attempt rates dropped 7% among all students and 14% among gay kids after same-sex marriage was legalized in each state.
Where gay marriage was already legal, there was no corresponding drop in suicide attempts, the study found.
Now, it’s not 100 percent correlative that suicide attempts dropped just because same-sex marriage was legalized. But it obviously was a powerful factor; suddenly, when the entire nation is legitimizing your right to have all the benefits of a married person, when it’s allowing you to be married just like heterosexual couples, it has to be an encouraging thing for teens who are angry, confused, or frustrated about their life.
This to me is hugely important in showing that treating everyone the same, and granting everyone the same human rights, can literally save lives.
One of the most important Supreme Court decisions of all time is making a big difference in the life of kids.