Dog Runs Half Marathon

April Hamlin of Elkmont, Alabama, let her hound dog Ludivine out in the backyard. Ludivine snuck out of the yard and wandered around, which is not out of character for her. She wandered about a quarter-mile away where the Trackless Train Trek Half Marathon was about to begin and was petted by some of the runners, including Tim Horvath. When they took off, Ludivine ran with them. And she continued for the entire 13 miles! Ludivine stayed within sight of Horvath through most of the race.

“One time she went over and met another dog next to the course,” Horvath said. “Later on, she went into a field with some mules and cows. Then she’d come back and run around our legs. I wondered if she was going to get tired or go back to wherever her home was.”

But Ludivine kept running despite her distractions and eventually finished just behind Horvath who ran 1:32 for sixth place. Once Ludivine crossed the line, she slowed to a walk. Volunteers, apparently in awe of the spectacle, put a medal around her neck and started taking photos, Horvath said.

Friends called Hamlin to congratulate her, which was a surprise. Hamlin didn’t even realize Ludivine was gone from the backyard! Read the whole story of Ludivine the marathon dog at Runner’s World.

Santa Claus Pleads Guilty to Reckless Driving

Look who’s on the naughty list now. Police in Post Falls, Idaho, arrested a driver on DUI charges when he was spotted traveling in the wrong direction on Syringa Avenue Thursday night. The Washington driver is legally named Santa Claus. Officers smelled alcohol when Mr. Claus emerged from the vehicle. He admitted to having “three or four beers” at a local bar. When Santa Claus appeared in court on Friday, the charges were reduced to reckless driving. Claus pled guilty and paid a $700 fine. Maybe next time, he’ll leave the navigation to Rudolph.

Politician Tried to Campaign on Tinder

Greggor Ilagan is running for state senator in Hawaii. The 29-year-old politician understands how important it is to reach out to potential voters on social media, so he employed Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Tinder. Except Tinder is a dating app, so those who use it have very different expectations. Ilagan set up a profile and asked users to swipe right so they could talk about issues and “get to know each other.” And they did.

“At first, I put both genders — male and female,” he said. “But because it’s a dating site, there were actually a lot of guys that were hitting on me. I was always having to direct people back to the main focus.

“They asked me, ‘Oh, can I have a date?’ And I said, ‘Well, we can have a meeting and we can talk about government and maybe you can help out on the campaign,'” he said.

Ilagan learned why politicians don’t campaign on Tinder. He deleted his Tinder profile and continues to campaign on Instagram, LinekdIn, and Facebook.

Woman Wakes Up with Exotic Animal

An unnamed 99-year-old woman woke up in her home in Miami because an unidentified animal was caressing her face. It was curled up on her chest, but she had no idea what it was or why it had crawled in bed with her. The woman called her son-in-law, who rushed over to help. The docile animal was caged and taken to an exotic animal vet, who said it was a kinkajou, which is native to Central and South America. Publicity surrounding the incident led to the kinkajou’s owner coming forward. Ray Fernandez said he left his pet, named Banana, in the temporary care of relatives, from whom he’d escaped.

New York City Igloo Has a Vacancy

Brooklynite Patrick Horton saw an opportunity in the deep snow in his backyard. He built an igloo and listed it for rent on Airbnb at $200 a night! The igloo was framed in the ad as a romantic getaway. Well, it does have an air mattress, bedding, and lights. The website pulled the ad after a few hours on Sunday, citing its rules that the igloo did not meet its occupancy standards. They require accommodations to have “running water, electricity, and a roof that doesn’t melt.” But Horton has an alternate plan.

“I think we’ll try to put it on Craigslist. We might even offer a Tinder special. Maybe throw in some Usher (background music) and a bottle of wine,” he joked Monday.

The heart-melting hideaway includes two candles for ambience, puffy pillows, animal print blankets over a tarp and even some landscaping in the form of a small tree placed near the entrance, he told The News.

“Dripping with ingenuity and alt-lifestyle aura lays this Snowpocalypse’s most desirable getaway,” Horton wrote for the quickly yanked Airbnb ad.

“Built completely by hand all natural,” he said. “Come experience this chic dome-style bungalow with Bae."

Would anyone really consider paying $200 to sleep in a pile of snow in a back yard? Horton said five people inquired about the igloo before Airbnb pulled the ad.