By The Editors of

Guardian Angel
Angel the dog isn’t just a boy’s best friend. It’s his guardian. Austin Forman, an 11-year-old British Columbia boy, noticed Angel the golden retriever acting strangely as he was gathering firewood in his backyard on Jan. 2. The dog, apparently sensing danger, stayed close to Austin as he moved through the yard. Then, Angel bolted from his side and directly into the path of a charging cougar that had been stalking the boy and gave the 11-year-old time to get away. “I knew at that moment that I would have to go get help, otherwise [Angel] wouldn’t have any hope,” Austin said. Mounties arrived soon enough to shoot the cougar and save Angel’s life.

Shoe deal
A counterfeiter’s blunder has turned into a boon for the homeless in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Police Department’s anti-piracy unit confiscated an estimated 10,000 pairs of knockoff Adidas, Nikes, and other counterfeits. And instead of destroying the fakes, the LAPD said it plans on distributing the knockoff shoes to local homeless shelters so long as the trademark holders do not object. “It [was] a very timely Christmas present,” said Andy Bales of the Union Rescue Mission in downtown Los Angeles. “Shoes and socks are one of the biggest concerns for people who are experiencing homelessness.”

“Cells” sale
If Brian Klug had a purchase limit on his credit card, he certainly exceeded it. While browsing through merchandise from independent sellers on, the California man stumbled upon a copy of a Discovery Channel CD-ROM called “Cells” accidentally priced at nearly $3 billion. Klug said it was curiosity that led him to impulsively click the “buy it now” button on the site. Klug made the $2,904,980,000 purchase on his card, which one website commenter noted would have earned him $87 million in credit card rewards. That is, if the bank hadn’t declined his purchase.

Lost and found
Nine years after she had given up hope and 12 years after they had been separated, Gayl O’Donnell has finally been reunited with an old friend: a cat that ran away in 1997. O’Donnell first fell in love with Sonny, an orange tabby she took in as a kitten, in the 1990s. The Lake Wylie, S.C., resident said that after the cat ran away she spent three years calling animal shelters and putting up fliers before losing hope. Then, out of the blue on Dec. 12, she got a call from her vet that Sonny, who had an identification microchip, had been discovered at an animal shelter in Asheville, N.C., more than two hours away. O’Donnell was there to claim her kitty the next morning: “I cried myself to sleep many nights, and throughout the years always wondered what happened to Sonny. Where is he? It was such a mystery.”

Stuck in the pub
There could be worse places to be stranded New Year’s Day. That’s how patrons at the Tan Hill Inn in Northern England looked at it when a heavy snow stranded nearly 30 New Year’s Eve revelers at the pub for three days. After a night of revelry at England’s highest-elevation bar, patrons realized all their cars had been snowed in. It took snow plows three days to free the guests, who passed the time drinking, eating pub cuisine, and participating in bar quizzes. “We’ve kept our spirits up,” pub DJ Peter Richardson told the BBC. “It’s actually been quite heartwarming.”