Hands of Hope Rescue: Giving Dogs Another Chance

I have always been a firm believer in the “Adopt, Don’t Shop” motto. The two family dogs we have had were both rescues: the first from the Kearney Area Animal Shelter and the second from Hands of Hope Rescue.

My family welcomed Bear, our second family dog, into our home on Halloween 2015. He is a lover who will never be capable of scaring away any intruder, and he befriends anyone and everyone he meets. I may be a little biased, but he’s also the cutest.

We found Bear through a non-profit organization called Hands of Hope Rescue, which is in Kansas. Instead of having a facility in which they keep their animals, Hands of Hope is based entirely off of foster families. Through their Facebook page, anyone can see the dogs that they rescue, which are oftentimes from high kill shelters. They also take in strays and surrendered dogs. After a dog has been in a foster home for a while, Hands of Hope can post a more personalized description of the dog, their personality, and what kind of home they would be most comfortable in, rather than having people choose their family pet just based off of breed and physical appearance.

This organizations saves many dogs, and they are in constant need of fosters and “furever” homes. People can fill out adoption forms right from the Facebook page, and while the adoption process can be long and demanding (usually including a home visit), it’s only to make sure that each dog is placed in a safe, loving home that will benefit the dog and family alike.

I follow this organization even though I won’t be able to adopt another dog any time soon. Hands of Hope, along with other similar organizations, can be a gentle reminder that there are so many animals out there that can use our help. Maybe we should consider addressing those animals before calling up the purebred breeder or stopping by the downtown pet store to look at puppies.

Children’s Screen Time: Where Do We Draw the Line?

The Washington Post article “Apple shareholders want the company to keep children away from screens. Good.” raises the question: how responsible is Apple (and other companies) for the amount of time children spend on smartphones, computers, iPads, etc.? Two shareholders, holding $2 billion worth of stock in Apple, brought in research about the detrimental effects on children that copious amounts of screen time might cause, and they called for change.

I’ve seen children, toddlers to teenagers, throw fits for not receiving their parent’s phone when they ask for it. Our culture is so immersed in technology that being denied that technology causes us discomfort in many cases. Even I struggle with leaving my phone at home, or even in the other room sometimes.

Today’s young ones, unlike myself, were born into this tech culture, where we carry the entire world in our pockets. Today’s ten year olds will never have to experience bag phones or the horrible dial-up internet. Having said that, I think many of these kids today don’t know how to exist without technology. Leading to more and more people spending top much time on their devices.

According to the article, research shows that excess screen time can lead to things such “decrease in the ability to focus on educational tasks, difficulty with social interactions, loss of empathy, links to stress, and higher risks of depression and suicide.” While technology is fantastic, and it holds so many possibilities for us, we need to be aware of the side effects.

So who is responsible for all this?  I’d like to argue that it’s the parents. While I want Apple and other corporations to be aware of what their products can do, they can’t control what happens in the home. Those companies can put together as many parental control options as they want, but none of that can be effective if parents aren’t aware and ready to set boundaries. Two shareholders have called for Apple to change, but I want to challenge us all to follow suit.

Local Twitter Pages to Follow

While I’ve had a Twitter account since my junior year of high school, I’ve never really used other than to follow friends and a few chosen celebrities. This week I spent more time on Twitter than I ever have, looking at the news my friends (and my dad) were looking at and where they were getting it from. Below I’ve linked 10 Twitter pages that are potentially worth checking out.

Adam Morfeld – I have many friends attending UNL, and Morfeld was continually popping up on my feed. He posts about local (and some national) news, but his page also holds a sense of humor.

Brad Dickson – Dickson works for the Omaha World-Herald. While he does share occasional news articles, his tweets are mostly a commentary on current popular topics (and even memes).

Cindy Lange-Kubick – Lange-Kubick is a columnist for Lincoln Journal Star. She posts a lot of relevant news, and I relate to her twitter bio.

Colleen Williams – I follow many members of the NTV crew. I’m from Minden, NE, so I grew up watching them on TV and seeing them around town. Williams posts regularly about news happening in our area.

Kara Eastman – Eastman is from Omaha and is currently campaigning to become the Democratic nominee for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. She shares (and discusses) many articles containing news pertinent to Nebraska.

Jeffrey Koterba – Koterba is a cartoonist for the Omaha World-Herald. Many of his tweets are him sharing some of his cartoons – definitely worth taking a look.

Kearney Hub – The Hub uses their Twitter platform simply to share their online articles.

Lincoln Journal Star – I was amazed at the variety of articles shared by this twitter in just the last few days alone.

Shelby Fenster – Fenster is a co-anchor of 10/11 this morning. She posts an array of things to her twitter feed: weather/news updates, events, sneak peeks to upcoming shows, etc.

University of Nebraska at Kearney – I’ve been here for four years, so I can’t leave UNK out. The campus’s twitter feed is great to catch up on campus events and other campus news.