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WATCH: Not a Dry Eye in the House When Marine Surprises Family at Mall for Christmas Family Photo

“This went from the worst Christmas — because it was the first one we wouldn’t all be together — to the best Christmas.”

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One of the most difficult emotional challenges of military life for our men and women in uniform is passing the holidays across the country or overseas so far away from loved ones without being permitted holiday leave.

Which is why it is particularly joyful when a service member manages to make it home in time for Christmas…and it’s even better if they can surprise their family!

The Riddleberger family in Greensboro, North Carolina, was sadly expecting to be one child short as their son, Lachlan, a U.S. Marine, was denied leave for Christmas while serving at Camp Pendleton in California.

According to Liftable, Lachlan’s mom, Jodi, was committed to observing their family’s biggest Christmas tradition: getting a photo taken with Santa.

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Even though Lachlan couldn’t be home in North Carolina, Jodi says she made him promise to get a photo taken with Santa. “I told him that was the only Christmas present I wanted from him,” she said.

Lachlan agreed to her request, but left out one tiny little detail: at the last minute, his request for leave had been approved!

In order to pull off his sweet Christmas surprise for his family, Lachlan needed a man on the inside, so he let his big brother, Addison, in on the plan.

Addison picked Lachlan up from the airport and smuggled him back home, keeping his return under wraps until the next day, when the Riddlebergers had planned to visit the mall for their annual Santa photo.

When the family gathered for the photo, they got the biggest surprise they could ever ask for!

“This went from the worst Christmas — because it was the first one we wouldn’t all be together — to the best Christmas,” Jodi shared with Liftable. “Because Lachlan was home and we would get to celebrate the holiday together.”

“Lachlan’s home,” she said, “and now everything that we are doing is extra special — because we are all together.”

Uplifting

WATCH: Tiny Pup Protects 12 Year-Old Owner from Vicious Wild Animal

GOOD DOG!

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There are times in every dog owner’s life in which man looks down at beast and wonders just how peculiar and unique this relationship really is.

There are no companion animals more attuned to the human existence than our dogs.  (I’m sorry, horse-owners, but y’all come in a close second).

These are members of the family who feel a duty and nobility about doing the dirty, animalistic work of the group…no matter the size.

In Toronto this week, a young girl and her small dog made big news.

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An incredibly brave little Yorkie defended its owner, a 10-year-old girl, from a coyote that attacked the pair while out for a neighborhood walk in Toronto this week.

The Yorkshire terrier, who the family rescued six years ago, suffered “extremely serious tissue injuries to her spine and her leg,” Dorothy Kwan, 10-year-old Lily Kwan’s mother, wrote on a crowdfunding page to raise money for the veterinarian bills.

“You can see our dog putting herself between my daughter and the coyote,” Dorothy Kwan wrote. “Even after she was seriously injured, she continued to bark and chase the coyote away. She fought back.”

The entire scene was captured on video:

The underdog yorkie did spend some time in a canine ICU, but returned home after a few days with 40 stitches and one heck of a story.

 

There are times in every dog owner’s life in which man looks down at beast and wonders just how peculiar and unique this relationship really is. There are no companion animals more attuned to the human existence than our dogs.  (I’m sorry, horse-owners, but y’all come in a close second). These are members of the family who feel a duty and nobility about doing the dirty, animalistic work of the group…no matter the size. In Toronto this week, a young girl and her small dog made big news. An incredibly brave little Yorkie defended its owner, a 10-year-old girl, from a coyote that attacked the pair while out for a neighborhood walk in Toronto this week. The Yorkshire terrier, who the family rescued six years ago, suffered “extremely serious tissue injuries to her spine and her leg,” Dorothy Kwan, 10-year-old Lily Kwan’s mother, wrote on a crowdfunding page to raise money for the veterinarian bills. “You can see our dog putting herself between my daughter and the coyote,” Dorothy Kwan wrote. “Even after she was seriously injured, she continued to bark and chase the coyote away. She fought back.” The entire scene was captured on video: https://youtu.be/qTqXqoqMSWM The underdog yorkie did spend some time in a canine ICU, but returned home after a few days with 40 stitches and one heck of a story.  

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Joey Chestnut’s Gutsy Performance Breaks Another Hot Dog Eating Record

A feat unmatched for Chestnut, who is growing accustomed to the glory.

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One of the 4th of July’s most time-honored traditions may also be one of its zaniest, and this year was no exception.

Every Independence Day, the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest amazes spectators and onlookers alike, as the larger-than-life characters of the professional eating world take the stage for what is widely considered the ultimate test of their “sport”.

And no, this isn’t the rinky-dink affair that you might find at your local frankfurter spot.  The pageantry and fanfare are unparalleled, as evidenced by the introduction afforded to the world’s most prolific hot dog downer.

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And, if you thought for one second that Chestnut was going to phone it in in 2021, you’d be dead wrong.

Chowdown champ Joey “Jaws” Chestnut broke his own record to gulp to a 14th win in the men’s Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Sunday, while Michelle Lesco took the women’s title. Chestnut downed 76 franks and buns in 10 minutes. That’s one more than he did in setting the men’s record last year, when the contest unfolded without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic. “It just felt good,” Chestnut, of Westfield, Indiana, said in an ESPN interview after his win Sunday. “Even if I was uncomfortable, having everybody cheer me and push me, it made me feel good.” Lesco, of Tucson, Arizona, downed 30¾ dogs in 10 minutes and called her win “an amazing feeling.” Reigning women’s champ and record-holder Miki Sudo skipped this year because she’s expecting a baby in a few weeks with fellow competitive eater Nick Wehry.

 

 

One of the 4th of July’s most time-honored traditions may also be one of its zaniest, and this year was no exception. Every Independence Day, the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest amazes spectators and onlookers alike, as the larger-than-life characters of the professional eating world take the stage for what is widely considered the ultimate test of their “sport”. And no, this isn’t the rinky-dink affair that you might find at your local frankfurter spot.  The pageantry and fanfare are unparalleled, as evidenced by the introduction afforded to the world’s most prolific hot dog downer. https://twitter.com/espn/status/1411730424913616907?s=20 And, if you thought for one second that Chestnut was going to phone it in in 2021, you’d be dead wrong. Chowdown champ Joey “Jaws” Chestnut broke his own record to gulp to a 14th win in the men’s Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Sunday, while Michelle Lesco took the women’s title. Chestnut downed 76 franks and buns in 10 minutes. That’s one more than he did in setting the men’s record last year, when the contest unfolded without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic. “It just felt good,” Chestnut, of Westfield, Indiana, said in an ESPN interview after his win Sunday. “Even if I was uncomfortable, having everybody cheer me and push me, it made me feel good.” Lesco, of Tucson, Arizona, downed 30¾ dogs in 10 minutes and called her win “an amazing feeling.” Reigning women’s champ and record-holder Miki Sudo skipped this year because she’s expecting a baby in a few weeks with fellow competitive eater Nick Wehry. https://twitter.com/woodwardsports/status/1412118527214034945?s=20    

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