A Nurse’s Kindness Rescues

A Nurse’s Kindness Rescues

Nurse goes beyond duty and rescues a hospitalized patient’s dog from the shelter

By Jennifer Hauser / CNN

It was right after Thanksgiving that registered nurse Jennifer Smith got an early morning phone call from John Burley, one of her favorite patients. He was distraught about his beloved dog, Boomer.

“I came into work the Monday after Thanksgiving to the phone ringing at 7 a.m.,” Smith told CNN. “John was calling from his hospital room saying, ‘Boomer is in the pound!’ Boomer is in the pound!’ Boomer is John’s world.”

Smith, who has been a nurse for 12 years, said she could tell he was concerned and also scared about what would happen to Boomer.

“He took a breath and asked me, ‘Will you take care of Boomer?’ And I said, ‘Of course, John. I will find Boomer and take care of him for you,'” Smith told CNN. 

Smith had met Burley at the Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Rome, New York, through its adult day health care program, which is for patients requiring supervision, and which allows them to socialize with others while receiving medical care.

The 60-year-old still had his own apartment where he lived alone with his little mutt. Burley had adopted the 12-year-old dog in Arkansas when he was a puppy and later moved to New York. Most of his family still lives in Arkansas, so when he was hospitalized for pneumonia and lung problems, he had no one to take care of his dog. No one — except Smith.

Smith says that she formed a friendship with Burley in the adult daycare program and he would often talk about Boomer, showing off pictures of his furry companion. “I couldn’t separate the two of them. I just couldn’t.”

Burley didn’t know which shelter Boomer was in. Smith immediately looked up nearby animal shelters and when she called the Rome Humane Society, she discovered he’d been taken there.

“I was a little panicked because I didn’t know how long he had been in the shelter or if he had already been adopted to another family. It’s Christmas time and people get animals,” she said. “I told John I have a 13-year-old dog myself who I’ve had since a puppy, so I fully understand the panic. It made my heart sad for him and Boomer.”

She took an early lunch the next day and drove to the shelter where she found 18-pound Boomer in a large cage in the back. Smith said, “OK, where are the adoption papers? I’m going to take him home.”

Although he wasn’t quite ready to be released from the shelter, Smith immediately called Burley to let him know she’d found Boomer, he was OK and she would be bringing him home soon. A short while later, Boomer was set up at Smith’s home and making friends with her dog.

“It was one less worry that John has, and he needs to focus on getting better and taking care of himself and know Boomer is in good hands,” Smith said.

Burley is now temporarily living in the rehabilitation wing of the center. It’s uncertain where he’ll live after he is released. But while he is there, Smith is able to bring Boomer to work with her. She takes him up to Burley’s room a couple times a day. “It helps John with the healing process and gives him peace of mind,” Smith said. 

The other residents love Boomer, too. Smith says that Burley is proud to show off Boomer as he rides on his lap in the wheelchair. They smile and pet him. 

“There are just so many worries in the world right now. If I can take one worry away from John, that’s the least I can do,” she said. “I can’t cure diseases. I’m not a miracle worker … I made a promise to John to take care of Boomer. I will take care of him as long as he needs me to. John knows that. Right now the focus is on John getting better and taking it one day at a time.”

Smith’s kindness hasn’t gone unnoticed. Burley, who struggles a bit with speech, had an important thing to say: “I love Jennifer.”

“John seeing Boomer, that’s the only Christmas present I need right now,” said Smith, who, not surprisingly, said she pursued a career in nursing so she could help people.

be kind . be grace . be there for each other


Welcoming Refugees

Welcoming Refugees

Kenneth and Adi Martinez immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 2011, and when given the opportunity to help a family of four who recently fled Afghanistan, they jumped at the chance.

“We know exactly what it feels like to come to a brand new county with no family or anything,” Kenneth told Good Morning America. “We know it can be difficult, and in the case [of Afghan refugees], it’s very difficult.”

The government expects tens of thousands of Afghan refugees will come to the United States over the next year, and resettlement agencies are working with organizations and individuals like Kenneth and Adi to help the refugees find housing, jobs, schools, and medical care.

Kenneth, Adi, and their two small children live in the Seattle area and offered their spare bedroom to the family from Afghanistan. Over the last month, they have been getting to know one another and their respective cultures, with the adults cooking and the kids playing together. Kenneth and Adi are helping the family get adjusted to life in the U.S. and bought them shoes and coats to prepare for the winter. 

“Even though we may think we don’t have a lot, we have an extra bedroom, we have the means and the resources and the ability to help,” Kenneth said. “We are happy that we can help

be kind . be compassionate . help one another .


Sharing a Batch of Kindness

Sharing a Batch of Kindness

At the start of the pandemic, Maryland teenager Elise Chang would bake cookies and drop them off at her friends’ houses along with a stuffed animal.  Her friends loved the gesture and sent her photos of themselves with the stuffed animals, keeping them all connected.  “That’s why I wanted to continue doing it, because of those small but really meaningful reactions,”  Chang said.

She decided to use this as an opportunity to spread joy in her own neighborhood and launched the ‘Tough Cookie Service Project’, in which she delivers cookies to 20 neighbors each month and leaves a note encouraging them to do something kind for someone else. The pandemic has helped Chang see just how resilient people are, and how even the smallest gesture can mean so much.

“I love random acts of kindness”, Elise said. “You can just make someone smile when they weren’t originally or they’ll just be thinking about you or what you’ve done and want to continue giving kindness to others, which is really important to me.

be kind . be grace . give to others


Inspiration – A Blind Quarterback who Never Gives Up

Inspiration – A Blind Quarterback who Never Gives Up

Inspiration Post:

When Jason Bracy lost his sight at age 7 to retinal cancer, he refused to give up on his dream of playing football.  Bracy, 15, started calling coaches in the area until the Modesto Raiders agreed to take him on.  He memorized every play and where each player was supposed to be, impressing his coach so much he was named the team’s starting quarterback.  With the help of his dad, who guides him from the sidelines with a walkie-talkie to a speaker in his helmet, Bracy recently led his team to a win over a team that had turned him down.

“It’s all memory.  It’s all about having trust in the players, the receiver, and the team,” Bracy said.  “I have to trust them 100 percent”.

Jason Bracy’s spirit and determination has showed his community that with the right support and a passion for the game, anyone can play football … and Jason has big dreams of one day making it to the NFL.  

be kind . be grace . support each other .


Students Help Save Thousands of Endangered Coho Salmon

Students Help Save Thousands of Endangered Coho Salmon

Students at Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, CA, have rescued some 4,000 endangered Coho Salmon from the state’s drought.  The school has an on-campus fish hatchery that students usually use to raise steelhead trout, but last month, when conditions at nearby Lake Sonoma deteriorated, wildlife officials moved some of the state’s last remaining coho into tanks at the school.  It’s given students a chance to get hands on experience in conservation.

“These are species that are going to give you an idea as to what the long term impact of our waterways are looking like,” said Dan Hubacker, a science teacher at Casa Grande and also director of the hatchery program. “If you have a species like a coho that is sensitive to environmental change and they’re struggling, that’s ultimately telling you what is happening in your watershed.”

According to Hubacker, the hope is for the salmon to return sometime this fall to the hatchery at Lake Sonoma. Their time at Casa Grande high School is a short-term solution, but with a lot of impact.

“I would argue this serves two purposes,” Hubacker said. “One, we are able to help out with the fish, but it also allows long term, looking at these young adults being able to step in, it gives them hope for the future, too.” 
The students all agree.  Kate Carlson, a senior at Casa Grande High School, says many of them now hope to continue conservation work in their future.  “Seeing we can really make a difference, it’s amazing,” Kate said. “It’s going to stay with us for the rest of our lives. 

To learn more about Casa Grande’s conservation program and actions –

click HERE.


be kind . be grace . help others . seek to do good



What's NEW, Fun Stuff

& Peace Posts

Whoohoooo! You've successfully subscribed!