The Late Movies: Dogs Welcoming Home Soldiers

I can't begin to imagine how hard it would be to leave my family for months at a time, especially if my destination were Iraq or Afghanistan. And I don't know how I could deal with my wife being deployed overseas. These reunion videos—for me, at least—shed a tiny beam of light on how emotionally draining being a military family can be. They'll also make you want a dog. To commemorate Veterans Day, here are some overjoyed dogs greeting returning soldiers.

In our first clip, Gracie welcomes her dad, who has returned from Afghanistan.

I'm not sure I've ever heard anything make a sound quite like this. How great are dogs?

We've posted this incredible clip before—dogs greeting a soldier after 14 months in Iraq. Worth watching again.

Basset hound Reggie welcomes his best friend home from Afghanistan.

Rocky gives his favorite soldier the welcome home he deserves.

From the YouTube description: "Soldier daddy comes home after a month of training, and the pups go ballistic!"

This boxer was cautious at first, but that caution was quickly replaced by excessive jubilation.

Dachshunds Franklin and Sally give a vocal welcome to their dad, a U.S. Navy man returning from an eight-month deployment to Kuwait. (According to the YouTube description, Franklin and Sally are both rescue dogs. If this video has put you in a dachshund-adopting mood, contact Southern States Dachshund Rescue at ssdr.org or Dachshund Rescue of North America at drna.org.)

This soldier is attacked (and nearly hurdled) by his pups.
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On this Veterans Day eve, here's hoping all our men and women serving overseas get to come home soon. And when they do, I hope they all get equally enthusiastic greetings—from dogs and cats, sons and daughters, significant others, parents, neighbors, friends, and grateful strangers.

Thank you for your service. Get home safe. Your puppies need you.

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Roadside Bear Statue in Wales is So Lifelike That Safety Officials Want It Removed
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Wooden bear statue.

There are no real bears in the British Isles for residents to worry about, but a statue of one in the small Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells has become a cause of concern. As The Telegraph reports, the statue is so convincing that it's scaring drivers, causing at least one motorist to crash her car. Now road safety officials are demanding it be removed.

The 10-foot wooden statue has been a fixture on the roadside for at least 15 years. It made headlines in May of 2018 when a woman driving her car saw the landmark and took it to be the real thing. She was so startled that she veered off the road and into a street sign.

After the incident, she complained about the bear to highways officials who agreed that it poses a safety threat and should be removed. But the small town isn't giving in to the Welsh government's demands so quickly.

The bear statue was originally erected on the site of a now-defunct wool mill. Even though the mill has since closed, locals still see the statue as an important landmark. Llanwrtyd Wells councilor Peter James called it an "iconic gateway of the town," according to The Telegraph.

Another town resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph that the woman who crashed her car had been a tourist from Canada where bears are common. Bear were hunted to extinction in Britain about 1000 years ago, so local drivers have no reason to look out for the real animals on the side of the road.

The statue remains in its old spot, but Welsh government officials plan to remove it themselves if the town doesn't cooperate. For now, temporary traffic lights have been set up around the site of the accident to prevent any similar incidents.

[h/t The Telegraph]

The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

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