It wasn't all bad
December 10, 2018

A California woman forced to abandon her dog in the Camp Fire came back almost a month later to find he had survived and was waiting for her the whole time.

Andrea Gaylord's two dogs, Madison and Miguel, were left behind when residents of Paradise received an evacuation order since she wasn't able to retrieve them as the fire spread; the K9 Paw Print Rescue group writes that she "hoped and prayed" they would be okay. A volunteer was able to find Miguel, and another left food and water out for Madison, CNN reports.

Gaylord was naturally anxious to return home, and when she was finally allowed to do so this week, she found Madison sitting right there on the property weeks later, even as the home had been completely destroyed, reports USA Today. "Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting," Gaylord said. "It was so emotional." Brendan Morrow

December 5, 2018

Ernie picked the right UPS truck to jump into one morning in October.

The pitbull-terrier mix had been living in the animal shelter in Buffalo, New York, for two months, and was on a walk with volunteer Cindy Grisanti. Suddenly, he made a beeline for Jason Coronado's UPS truck. Coronado was on his 10-minute break, and invited Ernie inside the vehicle. The dog didn't hesitate, jumping in and making himself comfortable, sidling up to Coronado. "After quite a few snuggles, I tried to get him out to continue our walk, but it definitely took some doing," Grisanti told The Dodo. "He wanted to stay in the truck with his new friend."

In the days after they parted ways, Coronado couldn't get the lovable pup out of his mind, and when he saw on social media last month that Ernie was still at the shelter, he had a talk with his family, and they decided to adopt him. Ernie now spends his day lounging around Coronado's house, and loves curling up on laps and eating treats. "He's very joyful," Coronado said. "I'm upset I didn't take him home earlier." Catherine Garcia

December 4, 2018

As soon as their eyes met, Robin Kohls knew the baby was going to be part of her life forever.

Her husband, Joshua Kohls, is an ER nurse at St. Bernardine Medical Center in San Bernardino, California. In 2016, a woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy at the hospital, then went outside to smoke a cigarette. She never came back. Joshua Kohls called his wife to tell her about what happened, and "it was heartbreaking," Robin Kohls said. "I couldn't sleep, I couldn't cope with it. ... It just sat on my heart."

The couple, already parents to two children, sent an email to the baby's social worker, and two days later, Logan was brought to their house. "I saw him and knew right then that he was going to be mine, and I was going to be part of his life," Robin Kohls said. "Every night from that moment on, I would take him to bed and tell him, 'I am so lucky to have you. I'm so lucky God put you in our life.'"

Last month, the Kohls officially adopted Logan through San Bernardino County Children and Family Services. "It means that he's forever going to be ours, and that even though he's been ours in our heart and in our love, it's our birthday with him," Robin Kohls said. Catherine Garcia

December 2, 2018

John Drennan and Daniella Anthony now have the perfect story to share at their wedding.

While visiting New York City from England, Drennan proposed to Anthony as they strolled through Central Park. The ring was a little loose, and as they walked through Times Square late Friday night, the bauble slipped from Anthony's finger, falling down a utility grate. They quickly asked a nearby New York City police officer for help, and he summoned the department's Emergency Service Unit. They opened the grate and searched for an hour, but the darkness prevented the officers from finding the ring.

Two more NYPD officers picked up the search on Saturday morning, and they discovered the ring. "It's like finding a needle in a haystack," Det. Joseph Bucchignano told the New York Daily News. "I've been on plenty of these searches where we've come up with nothing, unfortunately. Fortunately, this one has a good ending to it." They were then left with a new dilemma: How to reach the couple, who didn't leave their names or numbers.

The NYPD released surveillance footage of Anthony and Drennan in Times Square, and friends of the couple — who left New York on Saturday morning — let them know about it once they landed. Drennan wasn't on Twitter, but he made an account to thank the officers, promising them "a few cold beers when we come back to NYC." Catherine Garcia

November 30, 2018

Lisa Schumacher knew nothing about Pam Cassidy when she decided to donate a kidney to her.

Schumacher is a labor and delivery nurse at Edward Hospital in Naperville, Illinois. In February, she walked into a room where Dr. Brett Cassidy was talking to two nurses about his wife's kidney, which was failing. She was in desperate need of a transplant, he said, and then and there, Schumacher announced she'd be the person to help. "I wanted to do it," Schumacher told The Courier-News. "It was a time in my life to do something for somebody."

Cassidy has IgA nephropathy, an autoimmune disease that can cause end-stage kidney failure. She had a kidney transplant in 2012, but when that kidney began to fail, she had to go on dialysis, and another transplant became her only option. The transplant instantly bonded Schumacher and Cassidy, and they soon discovered how many things they have in common — both are about the same age and have teen children, and before Cassidy got married, she was also a labor and delivery nurse. Schumacher is "special," Cassidy said, and both feel if sharing their experience will "get one person to donate a kidney ... then it is worth it." Catherine Garcia

November 30, 2018

The guests dined on samples inside paper cups, while the bride wore Kirkland.

On Thursday morning, the Mission Valley Costco in San Diego doubled as a wedding chapel when Margot Schein and Julian Parris got married by the cash registers. They had their first date there exactly three years ago, Schein said, after meeting online. Parris mentioned his love for the store in his bio, which made Schein pay attention. "We have so much in common, but Costco is the first thing," she told NBC 7 San Diego.

The ceremony was attended by friends, family, and Costco employees, who gave the happy couple a bottle of champagne to celebrate. Schein and Parris also received Costco name tags, and once the ceremony was over and the sheet cake fresh from the bakery had been cut, they walked up and down the aisles, recreating their first date. Catherine Garcia

November 29, 2018

Laura Wooten worked her first Election Day in 1939, and hasn't missed one since.

The 97-year-old spent that day working as a challenger in her hometown of Princeton, New Jersey. "It was a little nerve-racking, but I think I managed the job decently," she told NBC News. "As a matter of fact, I liked it." She enjoyed being "close to this thing called democracy" and seeing people "express themselves" at the ballot box.

It's thought that Wooten is the country's longest continuously serving election worker, and over the last 79 years, she's been everything from a vote counter to a crowd manager. Her devotion to democracy has earned her recognition from the New Jersey League of Women Voters and Princeton University, where she still works part time.

"When you are a 97-year-old black woman, this is a topic where you have a lot to say," she said. "You've seen a lot. I've seen a lot. You know that elections matter. Voting matters. And God willing, I'll be right there at the the Lawrence Road firehouse in Lawrence Township, New Jersey, helping out at the polls in 2020." Wooten would love to see more people sign up to serve as election workers, but at the very least, she asks that everyone who can goes out and votes. "Democracy is just a beautiful, beautiful thing," she said. Catherine Garcia

November 29, 2018

For a few hours in 2006, they were inseparable.

Brianna Cry, now 19, and Heidi "Heii" Tran, now 18, met on a dinner cruise in Hawaii 12 years ago. "I don't think there were many kids our age on this particular dinner cruise, so we found each other and stuck together the whole time," Cry told Teen Vogue. Over Thanksgiving break, while looking at old photos, Cry found a picture with her vacation friend, and thought, "Let's see if Twitter can find her for me.'"

Cry tweeted the photo, explained how they met, and asked for helping finding her old friend. The photo was retweeted and liked thousands of times, and soon, a friend of Tran's saw the picture and told her about it. Tran quickly responded to Cry's tweet with a photo of her own from that night. "I was blown away by the response Bri had gotten," she said. "I didn't think so many people would be invested in a story like this."

They are both in school and don't live near each other, but the friends have spoken several times and hope to meet in person someday soon. "Until then, FaceTime and social media will have to do," Tran said. Catherine Garcia

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