It wasn’t all bad
▪Rich Nowakowski of Hartland, Wis., is a very friendly neighbor. Every day, the die-hard Green Bay Packers fan sits on his porch and cheers on the construction crew that is building an apartment complex across the street. Nowakowski was left with impaired speech following a 2012 stroke, but expresses his enthusiasm by saying “beautiful” and “good job” to passing workers. Eager to show their appreciation, the construction crew pooled its money and surprised Nowakowski and his wife, Patricia, with tickets for a Packers game and some team gear. “This just made the world for him,” says Patricia.
▪Polly the goat has a lot of troubles. The six-month-old is partially blind, has neurological issues, and suffers crippling anxiety attacks. But her caregivers at Goats of Anarchy, a New Jersey sanctuary for disabled goats, have found an unlikely cure for Polly’s panicking: a fluffy duck costume. Leanne Lauricella, who runs the center, says that when she puts the costume on Polly, the stressed-out kid instantly relaxes. Photos of the goat in her duck outfit have gone viral online, and Lauricella says she now regularly gets emails from people battling anxiety who take inspiration from Polly and say, “If these little goats can do it, I can do it.”
▪An orphaned Arizona boy who thought he would never be adopted has found a new home with his favorite schoolteacher. Orlando, 11, spent years in an orphanage in Mexico before winding up in foster care in Phoenix. Teacher Jodi Kacz took a shine to Orlando when he joined her reading intervention class in 2014. A heart problem had stopped Kacz, 45, from having her own children, but when she discovered that Orlando was a foster child, she asked if she and her husband could become his mom and dad. Last month, a judge made the adoption official. “It was truly the best day of my life,” says Orlando.