The week's good news: September 10, 2020

It wasn't all bad!

A dentist chair.
(Image credit: Sevaljevic/iStock)

1. Kismet, a toothless Chihuahua, provides comfort to patients who fear the dentist

Dentistry is a family affair for Kismet, a toothless Chihuahua, and her new owners. Dr. Cameron Garrett, a dentist, and his wife, Debra Garrett, a dental hygienist, adopted Kismet in August, and the 13-year-old is now serving as a dental therapy dog at their Northern California practice. Dr. Garrett told Today studies show people who "sit and pet animals have lower blood pressure, and that's what it's all about." The Garretts estimate that about 98 percent of patients ask to have Kismet on their laps, and kids especially enjoy easing their anxiety by petting Kismet during procedures. While Kismet is providing support to patients, "she's also getting comfort," Debra Garrett told Today. "It's hard for me to describe how nice it is for me to be looking at her, too, while I'm working. It's just a win-win all the way around."


2. Siblings send hundreds of thank-you cards to health-care workers

Through Cards 4 Covid Heroes, siblings Prabhleen Lamba, 15, and Mantej Lamba, 17, are letting health-care professionals know how much they appreciate their hard work taking care of coronavirus patients. The Fremont, California, residents told The Associated Press they started Cards 4 Covid Heroes this spring in the spirit of the Sikh principle "seva," or selfless service. They asked friends and family to write notes for the project, and as word spread, cards started arriving at their home from supporters around the country. Prabhleen and Mantej collected more than 250 cards, which were sent to four hospitals in California and Arizona. The recipients also found an extra surprise in their cards: a $10 Visa gift card. "We just wanted to try to shine some light on the fact that we do have true heroes working on the front lines who are trying their hardest to save people's lives," Mantej said.

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The Associated Press

3. Farmer plants millions of sunflowers, gives them to visitors

Usually, the fields at Scott Thompson's family farm in Bristol, Wisconsin, are only filled with strawberries, raspberries, or pumpkins, but this summer, he wanted to try something new to bring joy to visitors. Thompson planted more than two million sunflowers, with the cheerful blooms covering more than 22 acres on the farm. He told CNN his family has operated the farm for more than seven decades, but this is the first time flowers have been planted. "We just did it ... and we just kept building," Thompson said. The sunflowers dot more than 15 fields, so people have plenty of space and can safely social-distance as they take in the beauty of the flowers. The farm is still selling fruit, but visitors are also invited to take a dozen sunflowers home with them. "One of the things that's so cool about this is everyone is so happy," Thompson told CNN.


4. 12-year-old cook launches business after creating her own special wing sauces

A'Jzala Johnson, 12, has spent a lot of time in her kitchen over the last several months, and she has two flavorful concoctions to show for it. The Luling, Louisiana, resident enjoys cooking, and created two wing sauces during quarantine: BBQ & Tangy and Hot & Spicy. She decided to bottle her products under the name BabyJay's Wing Sauce, and on her first day in business, sold 40 five-ounce bottles to members of her community. Johnson is hard at work mixing spices and other ingredients together to make a third sauce, based off of Hot Cheetos. She told Good Morning America her goal is to one day own a food truck and see her bottles on store shelves. Her mother, Alicia Johnson, said she is proud of her daughter, and "as long as she does something to keep her busy, I'll keep buying bottles and we will keep selling sauces."

Good Morning America

5. Man transforms his driveway into a racetrack for 4-year-old neighbor

Using chalk and his imagination, Dave Palazzolo has turned his Salt Lake City driveway into a racetrack for his 4-year-old neighbor, Quinn. In June, Palazzolo began receiving nightly notifications from his security camera that someone was in his driveway. Every time he looked, Palazzo saw Quinn riding his bike up and around the cement. He finally decided that if Quinn was going to use his driveway as a racetrack, it might as well look like one. Palazzolo waited for it to get dark, then used chalk to create a simple track. When Quinn came back the next day, Palazzolo told CBS News, he could see the excitement on his face when the boy realized the racetrack was for him. Since then, Palazzolo has drawn several tracks, replacing those that are washed away by the elements. Palazzolo and Quinn's family didn't know each other before this, and bonding over the racetrack has been "amazing," Quinn's dad, Josh, said.

CBS News

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.