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Awws and paws

Kids, critters made news in 2019

Finn Blumenthal visits his friends at the Falmouth Post Office in Fredericksburg, VA, last year at Christmastime.

You won’t hear anyone on the Link team utter the old showbiz adage, “Never work with children or animals.”

We love stories about kids and critters — and so do our readers. The past year brought several opportunities to highlight how both bring out the best in all of us.

In Kenosha, WI, a 12-year-old boy with autism enjoys receiving mail so much that he surprised Letter Carrier Michelle Badham with a Lego LLV he made himself.

“I know how much he likes his Legos,” Badham said. “When I got home that night, I cried.”

The boy, Mitchell Hoepner, later surprised Badham again as a guest at a Post Office recognition ceremony for her.

Springfield, PA, Letter Carrier Bette Stewart also formed a special bond with an autistic customer on her route, 11-year-old Michael Brady.

“He makes my day,” Stewart said. “He’s such a sweet guy.”

Employees in Fredericksburg, VA, were thrilled to have a holiday season visit a year ago from Finn Blumenthal, a 4-year-old USPS fan who became a regular customer in between surgeries he’s had to treat his congenital heart disease.

The tale of Lynn Ackerson, a Wichita, KS, vehicle maintenance facility clerk, and her 11-year-old granddaughter, Gracie, illustrated the impact of a Combined Federal Campaign charity in their state that aids those seeking foster care, guardianship and adoption assistance.

In animal news, Letter Carrier Laura Domnick made a big difference for a tiny dog she found clinging to life on a Wilmington, DE, roadside.

Skippy, the 6-year-old Pomeranian mix, rebounded after Domnick rushed him to a shelter, and he later settled into a new home with loving owners who hailed her as a “godsend” for her rescue efforts.

Sully, former President George H.W. Bush’s devoted service dog, was in the spotlight again this year, after capturing hearts worldwide when he was photographed lying beside Bush’s casket.

The 3-year-old yellow Labrador became a military working dog at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.

“He has one of the biggest hearts of any dog I’ve ever met,” said former Navy hospital corpsman and Bush aide Evan Sisley, who predicted Sully would bring “a lot of love and joy” to the center’s patients, family and staff.

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