Uplifting news for a new year

Here at Good News Stories we like to bring the latest good news from around the World, here is a selection of uplifting news stories that we have come across in the last month. With help from Reddit’s Uplifting News.

DOG FINDS NEW HOME

A dog that was overlooked by 14,000 potential owners has found a home in County Durham, the Dogs Trust has said.

Jed, a seven-year-old lurcher, had been with the trust in Sadberge, Darlington, on-and-off since he was four months old.

After they saw an appeal on the BBC website, Jed was given a new home by Ian Woodcock and Elizabeth Marsh.

The couple said he was settling in “really well” with the family and they “absolutely adore him”.

The trust said he had been taken in by several families in the past but in each case, due to their circumstances changing, he had to be returned.

Jed now enjoys long walks on the moors, snoozing by the fire and helping Mr Woodcock with the gardening.

ANOTHER DOGGIE STORY FROM SEATTLE 

A black Labrador named Eclipse just wants to get to the dog park. So if her owner takes too long finishing his cigarette, and their bus arrives, she climbs aboard solo and rides to her stop – to the delight of fellow Seattle bus passengers.

KOMO-TV reports that local radio host Miles Montgomery was amazed to see the pooch get off the bus, without an owner, at a dog park last week.

The dog and her owner, Jeff Young, live right near a bus stop.

In Young’s words, “She’s a bus-riding, sidewalk-walking dog.” Young says his dog sometimes gets on the bus without him, and he catches up with her at the dog park three or four stops away.

Bus riders report she hops onto seats next to strangers, and watches out the window for her stop. Says commuter Tiona Rainwater, “All the bus drivers know her … she makes everybody happy.”

A Metro Transit spokesman says the agency loves that a dog appreciates public transit.

HARRY POTTER FANS HELP WITH CHILD SLAVERY FIGHT

Right before Christmas, Warner Bros. quietly gave “Harry Potter” fans what was, for some of them, a long-wished-for gift. In a letter to Andrew Slack, the founder of the Harry Potter Alliance, Joshua Berger, the company’s president for Harry Potter Global Franchise Development, announced, “By the end of 2015, and sooner when possible, all Harry Potter chocolate products sold at Warner Bros. outlets and through our licensed partners will be 100-percent UTZ or Fair Trade certified.”

It’s the sort of victory that, in the past, might have been the result of a pressure campaign by trade advocates or union groups, employing the language of globalization and living wages. But Warner Bros.’ commitment to new standards for cocoa production grew out of pressure from and dialogue with “Harry Potter” devotees who wanted to see the franchise live up to the ideals their fictional hero fought for. The win comes after four years of organizing. And it’s a fascinating symbol of what activism might look like when it’s animated by fiction rather than political parties and when fans form coalitions with devoted advocates.

When Slack and his co-creators founded the Harry Potter Alliance in 2005, they were animated by the idea that J.K. Rowling’s novels, inspired both by her own experiences with poverty and her work at Amnesty International, could be a powerful source of moral precepts and ideas about how to build a more just world. They made videos about Walmart, comparing the corporation to Voldemort, the “Harry Potter” novels’ totalitarian villain, and started a large book drive. But over time their ambitions grew, applying a similar approach to Suzanne Collins’s dystopian exploration of inequality, “The Hunger Games,” and considering how alliance members might be convinced to move from what Slack refers to as “charity and acts of service” to more direct advocacy.

“It’s all well and good to send the silver parachutes,” Slack told me in an interview last week, referring to the care packages that “Hunger Games” characters can send participants during televised fights to the death, “But the Games are still the Games.”

ARRESTED TEEN HELPS POLICE

Teenager Jamal Rutledge was being booked after his arrest when the officer processing him collapsed and clenched his chest in pain. Apparently, there were no hard feelings on Rutledge’s part, because he immediately did all he could to alert officers nearby.

He kicked the facility’s security fence to make noise and yelled out for help. Officers quickly responded by cutting off officer Franklin Foulks’ vest, performing CPR and using a defibrilator to stimulate Foulks’ heart.

Rutldege’s actions, back in September, helped save Foulks’ life. Now the Fort Lauderdale Police Department is honoring him and the other officers for their actions.