The Good News is Back: A Dose of Dopamine, Round 7

It’s been about a month since my last dose of dopamine, and in that time our president has ranged his tweets from lambasting a television host to flirting with nuclear war. Things aren’t going great, but don’t fret—ahead lies another dose to cope with this Onionized world we seem to be living in.

First up: Dogs. (Of course!) In Queensland, Australia, a German Shepherd named Gavel was fired from his new job on the police force for being “too friendly.” Rather than help arrest suspects or jump over fences to tackle them, Gavel was more of a “roll over and let them scratch my belly” sort of pup, leading to the unfortunate termination of his services. However, the governor of Queensland sought to remedy the injustice and hired Gavel to become an official greeter, with the stately title of “Vice-Regal Dog.” Gavel will now greet state visitors in ceremonial garments and attend official functions with the governor.

Gavel isn’t the only dog to have had a great week. A stray dog had the best seat in the house during the Vienna Chamber Orchestra performance in Ephesus, Turkey, during the International Izmir Festival. The stray pup wandered on stage nonchalantly during the the strings ensemble, catching the eye of a gleeful conductor before lying down next to a violin player while the audience clapped appreciatively. The video is heartwarming and I sincerely hope the dog has been adopted.

Across the pond, we celebrated July 4th in the United States and learned that ninety-one years ago we received a birthday card from Poland to mark our 150th anniversary. Unlike your typical card from grandma, this one featured signatures and platitudes from five-and-a-half-million Polish friends, about one sixth of the population. The gift spanned 111 volumes, filling 30,000 pages from the newly established nation, who wished to express their gratitude to the US following their own independence post-World War I. How thoughtful!

Gifts can be both massive in size and scale like our Polish birthday card  or they can be small and packed with meaning. Case in point: an adorable moment unfolded at a Texas high school graduation last month when eighteen-year-old Dylan Olivo tweeted a photo of him with his father. What made the image so special is that the graduate’s father wore a tie emblazoned with a Pikachu that his son had given him eleven years ago and had never been worn. Olivo told Teen Vogue that he believed his father would wear the tie all along, but was “shocked” when he finally saw his dad in it.

Compton’s own Dr. Dre pledged to donate ten million dollars for a performing arts center at Compton High School, an institution that has produced legendary artists such as Dre; Eazy-E; Nadine Conner; Tyler, The Creator; and The Game. The new space will feature state-of-the-art equipment for budding artists and will be considered one of the “greatest performing arts centers in the country” according to Satra Zurita, president of Compton Unified School District’s governing board of trustees.

Tragically, 712 children have died unnecessarily in the past nineteen years due to heatstroke from being left in hot cars. Bishop Curry, a ten-year-old entrepreneur set out to solve this problem with an ingenious device that not only blows cool air on a child left in a car, but also has an antenna that alerts authorities, parents, and emergency services. Young Bishop has patented his idea and a plethora of manufacturers want to help build his creation, named “Oasis.” While Bishop’s entrepreneurship should be applauded, there still remains absolutely no excuse to leave your child in a hot car.

So despite a president who flirts with nuclear war on twitter, makes fun of women’s appearance, and lashes out at our free press, know that there are good people (and dogs) around the world doing good deeds to help humanity.