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3 TX rescue dogs—a dad and 2 pup sons—reunited in NYC by chance

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3 TX rescue dogs—a dad and 2 pup sons—reunited in NYC by chance

It’s a hell of a tail.

Jason Hellerstein was walking Marvin, the dog that he and girlfriend Mattie Kahn had recently adopted, near their Upper West Side home in January when Marvin stopped to check out another pooch.

“Marvin was definitely friendlier than he would otherwise be with a dog he didn’t know,” said Kahn.

The other dog’s owner, Tara Derington, noticed the connection, too.

“They recognized each other. My dog, Leo, was still pretty new to the city and apprehensive about almost everything, and he greeted Marvin like he knew him. They were very excited, very affectionate,” Derington, who works in digital strategy, told The Post.

She asked Hellerstein what kind of dog Marvin is. But he didn’t know, as Marvin had been adopted from a Texas rescue only weeks before.

“I was freaking out,” said Derington, 30. “My brain was connecting the dots: This was Leo’s dad.”

She knew that Leo’s dad had been adopted by someone in New York City, because she had originally tried to claim that dog herself before adopting Leo in December.

Even crazier, Derington’s friend Anne Sachs had adopted Leo’s brother Murray — also Marvin’s son. The three dogs from Texas all now live within a mile of each other in New York City.

It all started when Kahn, 29 and the culture director at Glamour, and Hellerstein, 27, began looking for a dog in August. “Demand was so high in New York,” said Kahn. “So many people were getting pandemic dogs. Adopting right now is like trying to get a child into an elite prep school.”

The couple checked Petfinder.com, a site that sources rescues from across the country, “more than 100 times a day,” according to Kahn. That’s how they came across Dr. Dolittle’s Rescue Ranch in McAllen, Texas. The organization has been transporting dogs to New York weekly, especially “little scruffy fluffies, because they’re the perfect apartment dog,” said director Tammy Vergel de Dios.

“We fell in love with Marvin [in his photo] in an instant,” said Kahn.

According to Vergel de Dios, Marvin and Leo were surrendered together when their former owner exceeded the limit of dogs allowed by her apartment building. The two were transported in the same van from Texas to the Upper West Side in December. (Murray was surrendered to Dr. Dolittle’s  later.)

“We didn’t know that much,” Kahn said of Marvin. “Certainly not that he was a father of two.” As Marvin was just 10 months old when the puppies were conceived, “We joke that he’s a teenage father,” Derington added. (According to a DNA test, Leo and Murray’s mom is a Bichon Frise/poodle mix. Marvin is part Chihuahua and poodle.)

After meeting Hellerstein and exchanging phone numbers, Derington called her friend Sachs, a media-company chief content officer, who had adopted Murray a week before.
Dad and sons finally reunited last month at the dog run near the Museum of Natural History. “All three love to run around the dog park and chase each other, and I firmly believe that Marvin, as a parent, would never have a favorite,” said Kahn.

They were very excited, very affectionate.

Tara Derington on her dog recognizing his father on the street

Now father and sons hang together in their neighborhood and plan to attend the same day care. Marvin will be a guest at his boys’ first birthday party in June. The humans have benefited, too. All are first-time pup owners and share advice on a group text.

“There have been so many strokes of bad fortune over the past year, but this was a happy coincidence,” said Kahn. As she tweeted: “Is this not the most Upper West Side narrative you’ve ever heard? Marvin is basically a Nora Ephron character.”

Sachs said the dogs know they’re special, too. “They walk glued to each other, suctioned side by side. They’re sweet little pals. They were meant to be family, no matter how far they go.”

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School raising funds for beloved service dog’s surgeries

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School raising funds for beloved service dog's surgeries

A Maine elementary school is rallying to give a beloved service dog a new leash on life.

Ory, a 16-month-old professional pup who works in the Willard School’s special education department, was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, degenerative hips, and torn ACLs in both knees, according to WMTW.

Ory works with special needs students at the school, helping to calm them during moments of emotional turmoil.

Now the Sanford community is pitching in to help fund the three surgeries that are needed to get her back in the classroom.

“Ory has had a rough go of it as she has already had ectopic ureter surgery in the fall and has recovered well from it,” a GoFundMe page aiming to raise $20,000 for the dog reads.

“The [hip] surgery] will ensure Ory [lives] a long, healthy and fulfilling life free from pain,” Jess Jones, an Ed Tech at the Willard School, wrote.

By Thursday night, more than three quarters of the funds had been raised, and a paw-fect ending was in sight.

“Ory will be meeting with her surgeon on Monday for a consultation,” an update from the grateful organizer read.

“She’s only 16 months and she deserves that opportunity to have a great life. The vet said her life will be amazing once this is done and dealt with,” Christen Suratt, a teacher who works with Ory, told the local station.

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Study finds that blocking seats on planes reduces virus risk

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Study finds that blocking seats on planes reduces virus risk

A new study says leaving middle seats open could give airline passengers more protection from the virus that causes COVID-19.

Researchers said the risk of passengers being exposed to the virus from an infected person on the plane could be reduced by 23 percent to 57 percent if middle seats are empty, compared with a full flight.

The study released Wednesday supports the response of airlines that limited seating early in the pandemic. However, all US airlines except Delta now sell every seat they can and Delta will stop blocking middle seats on May 1.

The airlines argue that filters and air-flow systems on most planes make them safe when passengers wear face masks, as they are now required to do by federal regulation.

Researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kansas State University estimated how far airborne virus particles travel inside a plane. They used mannequins that emitted aerosol to measure the flow of virus particles through airline cabin mock-ups.

The study, however, did not take into account the wearing of face masks because it was based on a previous study done in 2017, before the pandemic.

Nor did it consider whether passengers are vaccinated against COVID-19. The CDC says vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves, although the agency still recommends against nonessential travel.

Airlines for America, a trade group for the largest US carriers, said airlines use several layers of measures to prevent the spread of the virus on planes, including face masks, asking passengers about their health and stepped-up cleaning of cabins. The group cited a Harvard University report funded by the airline industry as showing that the risk of transmitting the coronavirus on planes is very low.

Airlines were divided last year over filling middle seats. While Delta, Southwest, Alaska and JetBlue limited seating on planes, United Airlines never did and American Airlines only blocked seats for a short time. It was mostly an academic question, because relatively few flights last year were crowded. That is changing.

More than 1 million travelers have gone through US airports each day for the past month. While that is still down more than one-third from the same period in 2019, more flights now are crowded. Around Easter weekend, Delta temporarily filled middle seats to accommodate passengers whose original flights were canceled because of staffing shortages.

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Millennials can now afford homeownership, causing a shortage

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Millennials can now afford homeownership, causing a shortage

So close, and yet so far. 

As various factors finally make homeownership attainable for frequently maligned millennials, a new hurdle has appeared: Not enough houses to go around. 

According to recent findings by investment bank Jefferies, younger millennials between ages 25 and 29 are increasingly buying their first pads, and 30- to 34-year-olds are doing so at even higher rates, Insider reported. 

The only problem is there aren’t enough starter homes available, an issue that’s existed since before the coronavirus pandemic and is a result of profit-seeking real-estate investors buying the pads, increasingly expensive construction costs and more restrictive zoning rules. 

Despite being much less economically well-off than previous generations were at their age, millennials in fact led home-buying in 2020, significantly motivated by the pandemic. According to an Apartment List’s Homeownership report, 40 percent of the age group now own homes, while a Clever Real Estate survey notes that 30 percent started house-hunting earlier than planned due to COVID-19. 

But unless contractors can somehow quickly construct 2.5 million homes — the amount America is short on, according to Jefferies — in the next year, millennials may be left holding yet another form of unfortunate financial cards. 

In another recent real estate boom significantly inspired by the pandemic, sales of homes built more than 100 years ago rose by 16 percent in 2020 in the tri-state area compared to last year, with a median sale price of $236,000, The Post reported earlier this month. 

Not booming during that same period, however, were New York City pads, which saw a 6 percent overall sales decline. That trend has a few notable exceptions, however, including Brooklyn townhouses — for which demand is relatively sky-high.

“I have seen more demand for brownstones, too, especially in Brooklyn, where the market seems to be on fire. There is more demand for properties with outdoor space, and bigger apartments where buyers can carve out home office space as well,” Melissa Cohn, an executive mortgage banker at William Raveis Mortgage, told The Post this month.

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