TIME animals

17 Dogs You Should Be Following on Instagram

Meet the canines who will bring you joy every time you check your phone

Some people think Instagram is just a place for brunch, sunsets and people’s feet on the beach. But really, Instagram is a place for dogs. It’s the perfect platform to get daily updates about a dog’s day and watch his journey from puppyhood into adulthood. With some skill, patience and a good eye for cuteness, you can curate a wonderful, diverse feed full of adorable pups with distinct personalities and aesthetics.

From the famous dogs with massive followings to the more obscure pooches flying under the radar, Instagram offers an endless supply of canine cuteness. We encourage you to go out and explore the wonderful world of Instagram dogs on your own and find some pups who really speak to you. (Seriously, there are so many worthwhile dog accounts out there.) But in the meantime, to get you started, here’s a selection of 17 dogs worth following.

TIME Family

Centenarian Couple Celebrates Their 75th Wedding Anniversary

Happily ever after

(CATONSVILLE, Md.) — Two centenarians are celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary at a Maryland retirement community.

Walter and Leslie Kimmel were married on Aug. 18, 1940. They are both 100 years old.

They’ll celebrate their anniversary Tuesday afternoon at Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville, Maryland, where they live. SugarBakers of Catonsville is providing a personalized cake for the couple.

The Kimmels met at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Baltimore when they were 22 years old. Leslie played the organ and Walter sang in the choir.

Walter was a longtime employee of Baltimore Gas & Electric. Leslie worked as a secretary. They have two sons, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

TIME Appreciation

Tennessee Town Helps Girl Celebrate Her Birthday After No Friends Show Up to Party

Happy birthday to Taliyah!

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, Spring Hill, Tennessee, is doing it right.

The town quickly sprang into action once they heard no one showed up to Taliyah Sassmannshausen’s birthday party at a local home, according to WKRN.

Over 30 friends had RSVPed to attend the little girl’s celebration, which included a water slide and cake, but by some sad coincidences, none of the invited guests turned up. An hour into the party, surrounded by just a few adult family members, Taliyah started asking where everyone was.

Determined to give her daughter the cheerful birthday bash she deserved, mom Lauren Sassmannshausen posted an open invitation to the party on the community’s “I Heart Spring Hill” Facebook page.

“Does anyone have any kids that want to come over and celebrate my daughter’s birthday with us? Not one person has shown up except a few adults and she keeps asking me where her friends are,” Laura posted on the closed group. “It is seriously breaking my heart, we have PLENTY of food and drinks. We don’t care about presents, she just wants friends.”

Word of Taliyah’s unsuitable birthday situation spread quickly. Ten minutes after Laura’s call for help, the first of a steady stream of new friends arrived. Over 75 caring Spring Hill residents ended up stopping by to celebrate Taliyah’s 5th birthday.

 

“NEVER in my life would I have thought we would have so many people care about a child they didn’t know. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart and I want to express my gratitude to you all for coming out and making my baby girl’s birthday so very special,” Laura wrote in a Facebook post following the event.

A party with a bleak beginning ended with a giant pink cake and dozens of new friends singing “Happy Birthday” to their little buddy Taliyah.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Appreciation

This Time-Lapse Video of Flowers Blooming Will Fix Everything That Is Stressing You

Take three minutes out of your crazy day and see this now

Spanish engineering student-turned-artist, David de los Santos Gil, who made waves with a stunning time-lapse video of flowers blooming in 2014, released a second video in the series this week that is equally as enchanting. The video, which is again scored by composer Roger Subirana with relaxing, uplifting music, features, among others, hyacinth, hibiscus, daisy, cactus, iris, almond blossom, amaryllis and gladiolus blooms.

In a blog post written after he released the first video, Gil wrote that he used basic camera equipment in his home to complete the time lapse, taking a total of 50,000 photos at intervals between one and ten minutes. (The second video required only 40,000.)

The process was not without its complications: “Over about every three photos I had to throw out two,” he wrote, saying the issues he encountered ranged from the classic changing light to the more unusual plague of insects.

Like Gil’s flowers, however slow the process, the outcome is beautiful.

TIME Appreciation

This 5-Year-Old Girl Saved Her Mother and Baby Brother’s Lives After a Crash

A brave girl takes action

Several weeks after a serious car crash, 5-year-old Lexi Shymanski from British Columbia is being celebrated for saving the lives of her mother and baby brother.

Lexi’s mother, Angela Shymanski, lost control of her car on June 8 after falling asleep at the wheel on the way home from a family vacation near Calgary in Canada with Lexi and now 4-month old Peter. The car fell over a steep, 40-ft. embankment, knocking the mother unconscious, according to Metro News.

The little girl unclipped the five-point harness on her car seat and climbed barefoot up the embankment and flagged down a driver to help.

“It’s crazy,” Shymanski told Metro. “I only can remember one or two times where she got out of her five-point harness previously. She somehow got out, adrenaline or whatever, and barefoot hiked up the embankment.”

The mother suffered a broken back and the baby a serious brain bleed, but they are in recovery. The daughter is credited with saving their lives.

[Metro News]

TIME Appreciation

A Waitress’ Small Act of Kindness Brought Tears to This Firefighter’s Eyes

"I started tearing up and it made me feel good – us firefighters are wanted, people care about us"

After a long night on the job, the only thing a New Jersey firefighter expected when he stopped at Route 130 diner in Delran on Thursday was a good meal.

While enjoying his breakfast, firefighter Paul Hullings of the Hainesport Fire Department started talking to his waitress, Liz Woodward.

While she heard him speak about the details of his day – putting out a massive fire that broke out in a North Brunswick, New Jersey, warehouse Wednesday morning – she decided to pick up his $15 tab, according to WPVI-TV.

On the back of the check she wrote, “Your breakfast is on me today – Thank you for all that you do; for serving others & for running into the places everyone else runs away from. No matter your role, you are courageous, brave, and strong … Thank you for being bold and badass everyday! Fueled by fire and driven by courage – what an example you are. Get some rest.”

Hullings was taken aback by the kind act.

“I started tearing up and it made me feel good – us firefighters are wanted, people care about us,” he told the news outlet.

His colleague, Tim Young of the Mount Holly Fire Department, posted the note on Facebook. Before he knew it, it was being shared everywhere.

“I know it’s being remarked as this extraordinary act. It’s small. It’s a little gesture,” Woodward told WPVI.

Her simple but generous act inspired the firefighters to pay it forward.

After they learned that Woodward is trying to raise money for her quadriplegic father, who is in need of a wheelchair-accessible van, both Young and Hullings decided to help out.

“If we have to do a fundraiser, we’ll do whatever we can to help,” said Hullings.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Appreciation

Watch These Kids Deliver the Best Surprise to a Teacher Battling Breast Cancer

pss-22-chorus
Ilya S. Savenok—2013 Getty Images Members of the PS22 Chorus attend The Trevor Project's 2013 "TrevorLIVE" Event on June 17, 2013 in New York City.

They made her cry

The kids in the chorus at PS 22 have an annual tradition for their last practice: they perform a song with their director, Gregg Breinberg. But this year the Staten Island elementary school choir went for a tearjerker, singing Martina McBride’s cancer-anthem “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” to a teacher recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Teacher Adriana Lopez, who can be seen in the video watching the group of fifth-graders serenade her from a seat on the bleachers, was wise enough to bring a wad of tissues to the performance.

This isn’t the first time the PS 22 chorus has gone viral pulling on our heartstrings: their popular YouTube channel, which now has close to 70 million views, featured a tribute to the the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting back in 2012.

TIME Appreciation

Alabama Postal Worker Saves Man’s Life After Noticing He Hadn’t Picked Up His Mail

Tommy Hope had taken a bad fall 10 days earlier

A 66-year-old Alabama resident who spent 10 days stranded on the floor of his home after a bad fall is now safe and sound in a Montgomery hospital—and he has his local mail carrier to thank.

The mail carrier, Cissy Cartwright of Hope Hull, Ala., is being hailed as a hero after she rescued the injured Tommy Hope from his secluded rural home last week when she noticed he hadn’t checked his mail in an uncharacteristically long time, NBC News reports. After making her way up Hope’s long driveway and noticing that his front door was wide open, Cartwright found Hope, who has a history of back problems, lying dehydrated with broken broken bones. He’d been trapped since July 4.

Hope Hull Post Master Sherry Hughes told NBC that Hope had survived primarily by “[scooting] on his back to his front door to catch rain water.”

Hope has reportedly called the post office daily with an update on his recovery, grateful for Cartwright.

[NBC News]

TIME Appreciation

Australian Game Show Winner Pledges to Use Prize Money to Buy Shoes for Students

She got a hint from the host

An Australian teacher has vowed to use her winnings on a game show to buy her students shoes.

Bri Dredge, 32, appeared on Aussie series Millionaire Hot Seat, where she ended up winning after a hint from host Eddie McGuire, who urged her to “have another think” after she submitted an incorrect answer. (The question asked Dredge to complete the title of a T. S. Eliot book beginning “Old Possum’s Book of Practical”; the correct answer is “Cats.”)

Dredge had said she intended to buy a pair for each of the students at Yuille Park Community College: 200 in all. Her $20,000 winnings in Australian dollars amount to roughly $14,800 in U.S. dollars. As for the hint she received, host McGuire told Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper that he had been rooting for her to win: “It was her act of kindness. I couldn’t help but get swept up in it.”

TIME

Teenager Completes Bucket List by Sacrificing Her Life to Save a Friend

Rebecca Townsend pushed a friend out of the way of a car

Kiss in the rain. Fly to Spain. Save a life.

Those were the items Rebecca Townsend put on her bucket list for a high school assignment in December 2012.

Over the next two-and-a-half years, she checked the first two off her list.

And on July 2, the 17-year-old from Connecticut fulfilled the final item by pushing her friend, Ben Arne, out of the way of an oncoming car.

But it came at a terrible price – her own life.

Police say the two friends were struck by a car while crossing a street near the campus of Western Connecticut State University, according to WTIC. Rebecca died and Ben, 17, was seriously injured.

When he was released from the hospital, Ben visited Rebecca’s family and told them about her heroic act.

“He said, ‘The last thing I remember is Rebecca pushing me and telling me to hurry up,’ ” Rebecca’s sister, Victoria, said.

After Rebecca’s death, her sisters and cousins said they were sitting in her bedroom sharing stories when they found a note lying on her bed, “as if laid out” for them.

It read simply: “For Future Rebecca Townsend,” according to the eulogy they posted on a Facebook page they created.

“Apparently, this was a high school assignment that was returned to the kids at the end of their senior year so that the students could remember who they were at the beginning of their high school days,” her sisters Monica and Victoria said in their eulogy.

They read the letter at her funeral and posted the eulogy online. The note also included her dreams of attending Fordham or Boston College, even though she was going to be a freshman at the University of Notre Dame this fall.

The sisters referred to the bucket list in their eulogy.

“To my parents, thank you for taking her to Spain,” they said. “To Niko, thank you for being the cute boyfriend she could kiss in the rain. And to Ben, thank you for letting her save a life.”

The sisters also encouraged others to share an act of kindness in Rebecca’s memory on the “Remembering Rebecca” Facebook page and Instagram account.

Printable cards were made to distribute and remind friends and strangers alike to do a good deed, as well.

“Rebecca was passionate about service work and charities, constantly working to better the lives of others,” the online post said.

“Whether paying a meal, volunteering time, or donating to a cause, we all have the opportunity to pay it forward everyday, just as Rebecca strived to do.”

Police say a 23-year-old woman from Brookfield, Connecticut, was driving the car that hit the teenagers, according to Fox8. No charges have been announced, and the accident remains under investigation.

This article originally appeared on People.com

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