In a chaotic and uncertain world, it helps to remember that good things are happening around us all the time. We think it’s important to pay attention to the good stuff. Here’s a roundup of uplifting stories to cheer your heart.

There is a puppy who has been trained to respond to Harry Potter spells

This is an incredibly important scientific breakthrough, people. We have learned of the existence of Remus the Doxie, who responds to Harry Potter spell commands, and frankly, it’s magical. (See what we did there?) Among other things, Remus will play dead if you yell, “AVADA KEDAVRA!” He will eat upon hearing “Engorgio,” and will turn on the light if you say “Lumos.” There is no word yet on whether or not he has received his Hogwarts letter.

Gym-goer offers helping hand to woman mocked by other patrons

It’s the beginning of a new year, which means lots of people have renewed their commitment to fitness and are crowding the gyms, trying to take off those extra holiday pounds. It can be extremely intimidating to put yourself in that environment, particularly if you’ve never done it before and don’t know where to to start. One gym member noticed some rather fit workout buffs laughing and at a newcomer who was clearly overweight and unsure of herself. Reddit user JohnSnow1982 noticed what was going on, saw that the woman was near tears, and decided to take action by reporting the  behavior of the bullies to management and then showing the woman how to use the equipment. In a post about the incident, JohnSnow1982 wrote: “The point of this is simple. I know we all get frustrated when the gym is busier at the beginning of the year, but it’s hard to really understand how much of an impact we can have on other people’s journeys. I have no doubt that this woman would not have returned to the gym if her only experience had been being made fun of. Please, PLEASE help others to feel welcome.” The woman happily finished her workout and the members who mocked her (and filmed her without her consent) were banned from the gym, according to the post.

Ultimate comeback: sports announcer wakes up after being taken off life-support

Former Creighton University basketball play-by-play announcer T. Scott Marr of Omaha, Nebraska suffered what was thought to be a serious stroke on December 12. Though he was rushed to the hospital after family members found him unresponsive at home, he was not expected to recover. He had significant brain swelling and was unable to breath on his own. After consulting with the medical team and learning the heartbreaking prognosis, Marr’s family made the excruciating decision to remove his breathing tubes. The next morning, the family were scheduled to meet with a funeral home regarding arrangements, but they weren’t quite ready to do that. Instead, they decided to go to the hospital one last time. On the way there, they got a call from one of the nurses informing them that Marr had started to respond. When Marr’s daughter, Preston, greeted him in the hospital room, he smiled, with his eyes closed! She asked him to squeeze her hands, and though Marr was not yet able, he did wiggle his thumb. He was later diagnosed with posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, or PRES. After undergoing therapy, Marr was discharged from the hospital on January 3.

Hotel staff goes the extra mile for British boy who left his stuffed toys in Hawaii

Anna Pickard and her family had been vacationing at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa in Hawaii over the holidays. It wasn’t until they returned home to Britain that they discovered her son had left his beloved stuffed teddy bear and seal back in Hawaii. She emailed the hotel to ask if they’d found the toys and received the most delightful answer.

Not only had the toys been found, the hotel staff sent a series of heartwarming pictures of the teddy bear and seal enjoying their unexpectedly extended stay and being treated to the legendary Hawaiian hospitality that locals call “the aloha spirit.” Pickard’s son Doozer was enthralled by the photos, which she shared on Twitter. One bit of advice from Pickard: “Tip your housekeeping staff every day.”

There is a retirement home for sloths in Wales

If you’re ever feeling down, just think about the fact that there is a home for elderly sloths in a zoo in Wales. In the wild, sloths live about 20 years, but in captivity, they can live much longer – up to 50 years in some cases. As they age, these older sloths may need accommodations like boiled vegetables (for softness) and dietary supplements, and Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire has stepped up to provide shelter for captive sloths who deserve a rest and is now home to Tuppee and Lightcap, aged 24 and 34 respectively.

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