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Love dogs? Watch how one pooch went above and beyond for his owner.

The incredible story of how this dog helped his human heal.

Love dogs? Watch how one pooch went above and beyond for his owner.
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Pedigree - Learn From Dogs

Veteran Dan Lasko returned home from Afghanistan after an explosion led to the loss of one of his legs. But the injuries that weren't visible were the hardest for him to face.

Watch Dan's story, or keep scrolling to read about it.

Dan was deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 for Operation Enduring Freedom, where he was injured in an explosion and eventually had to have his left leg amputated. When he returned home, he — like many others — experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


It’s not unusual for soldiers like Dan to experience anxiety and PTSD — to feel socially isolated and constantly on edge.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 11-20% of those who served in Operation Enduring Freedom have PTSD, and about 8 million people suffer from it in any given year. For Dan, PTSD meant that he didn't want to leave his house, he was always looking over his shoulder, and he avoided crowds.

Enter man’s best friend.

Through the help of Vet Dogs, Dan got Wally, a black lab whose energy and spirit lifted Dan’s.

Service dogs provide more than just sloppy kisses and happy tails (although those are great, too). All images via Pedigree/YouTube.

A 2015 report by the Society for Military Psychology showed service dogs can help veterans cope with PTSD symptoms such as hypervigilance, nightmares, and impaired memory. These dogs are trained to perform tasks including patrolling the perimeter of a room so the veteran feels safer upon entering, turning on the lights to interrupt a nightmare, and blocking a person who is coming too close to the veteran — amazing, right?

The report also says that interactions with dogs can increase oxytocin, a stress-reducing hormone. The increase in oxytocin helps counteract paranoia, improves trust, and has an overall positive effect on sociability.

Wally and Dan go everywhere together.

Wally became the support and motivation Dan needed.

Dogs naturally arouse a nurturing response — think baby talk and belly rubs — from people when they play with them. As a result, veterans with PTSD are in turn nurturing their own ability to once again connect with people.

One study also found that people with disabilities found it easier to make new friends after being paired with their service dogs. Dogs, service or not, can help initiate impromptu conversations with strangers, and for vets this helps enhance their social skills by turning outings into a more positive experience.

"I was always looking over my shoulder thinking that something is gonna happen. Having him around has really helped with the healing process," Dan says in the video. "He’s taught me patience, loyalty; he taught me how to be myself again."

Dan, along with his wife, Jessica, and their kids, have since adopted a rescue dog, Maggie, as a way of paying it forward for all the good Wally has done for them.

"Wally took care of me when I needed it, and I just wanted to pay it back to another animal. [Maggie's] a rescue and she's been through tough times, but hey, I have, too. I have a good support system here; you're with us and we're here to take care of you."

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.