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News Stories That Make Me Smile

Did you know that there are therapy dogs for people with diabetes? I met a woman on the street who stopped to ask directions. I was with two friends on our Saturday morning dog walk and talk in Fort Tryon Park. The woman with diabetes bent down to pet the dogs and said she had a therapy dog and loved dogs. Then she told us about her diabetes and how her dog nudges her when her sugar elevates. If she ignores the warning, he barks.The news about the therapy dog made everyone smile which is why I am reporting it here. It’s my personal news story of the day.

In general, the news has been so worrying of late, that I have been highlighting stories that make me smile and writing about them in my journal. For example, a story about donkeys. Pictures of a Donkey Park in upstate New York appeared in a column called “Pet City,” by Andy Newman in The New York Times on September 4th. The first sentence was: “A miniature donkey can change your life.” Unlike Isis fighters or presidential candidates, the donkeys are “contemplative” and “gentle.” We definitely need more of this, and of them. Every day.

On the same day, there was a story in the business section by Claire Martin about MaineWorks, a company started by Margo Walsh that secures construction jobs for paroled prisoners. Ms. Walsh is a former recruiter for Goldman Sachs and a recovering alcoholic. She has replaced her addiction with a sense of purpose and so have her clients. Her business is thriving. MaineWorks’s revenue last year was $250,000.

I found the news stories quoted above in a paper copy of the newspaper I treated myself to on September 4th. I read every section thoroughly. Real paper and the smell of newsprint and business and real estate and art and opinion. When I read electronically, I skim, dear reader, what about you? I settle on what seems most important and interesting, and move on. But turning the cumbersome paper pages forced me to slow down, so I noticed life-affirming stories buried in the morass of troublesome news. I discussed this phenomena with my husband and we decided to change our subscription to a Sundays-only home delivery for the duration of the election season. And though the Sunday paper is loaded with useless paper advertisements—more than ever, it seems—and is, therefore, environmentally incorrect, he agreed that we should do it.

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