Courtesy Jessica VanHusen(WATERFORD, Mich.) — After a vet tech’s 10-year-old dog lost both eyes to glaucoma, her two younger pets stepped up to act as guides to the injured animal.

Kiaya is an Akita who lives in Waterford, Michigan, with her owner, Jessica VanHusen.

“She’s my furry daughter,” VanHusen told ABC News Friday. “She’s amazing.”

When Kiaya was diagnosed with glaucoma — an eye condition that can cause blindness — she had to have both of her eyes removed, VanHusen said.

That’s when Kiaya’s “younger siblings” — 8-year-old Cass and 2-year-old Keller — jumped in to protect her.

“They were kind of bookends to her,” VanHusen said. “They’re not fiercely protective but they’re always touching her. They’re really respectful of her.”

“Cass definitely took the role upon himself to guide her around the yard which made me, of course, cry my eyes out,” she said. “It’s adorable.”

“It’s been wonderful. They’re my kids,” VanHusen added. “It’s nice to see them step up.”

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ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) — It’s the Florida endorsement Marco Rubio may secretly be vying for — that of hugely popular Cuban rapper Pitbull.

In a BuzzFeed profile of Rubio, an unnamed aide, trying to tout the senator’s cool factor, alluded to Rubio’s hip hop fluency, and citing that he’s on a first name basis with Pitbull.

Rubio has made mention of his favor for Pitbull, whose real is Armando Perez, in the past.

“Pitbull has become a friend and someone from Miami we’re very proud of,” Rubio said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in April.

But Rubio may not have the market cornered on cool. Pitbull has said that his mother and grandmother told him that “politics and religion” are the two things you don’t speak about, according to The Hill.

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iStock/Thinkstock(DUBLIN) — Ireland could become the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a referendum Friday.

Here are 10 things to know about the vote:

What is the vote for?

Since 2010, same-sex couples in Ireland can form a civil partnership. On Friday, however, voters will be asked whether the Constitution should be changed to extend civil marriage rights to same-sex couples. Referendums are needed when changes to the constitution are proposed. The amendment to Article 41 would be: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

Who can vote and when?

Irish citizens, over the age of 18, who are living in Ireland and registered can vote. Citizens of Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., cannot vote. Polls open at 2 p.m. ET and close at 5 p.m. ET. Results will be known on Saturday.

If members of the LGBT community already have civil partnerships, why legalize marriage?

Civil partners are recognized by law but they do not have constitutional protection. Legal protection can be amended or even revoked by a government. In addition, married couples are given rights specific to family, for issues such as taxation and social welfare.

Why is this vote a historic event?

Ireland isn’t the first country to submit this same-sex marriage to a referendum: Slovenia and Croatia both had referendums. The results in both countries, however, was “no.” It would be a historic event if Ireland voted “yes”, becoming the first country to do so. In addition, many in Ireland see this vote as an opportunity to show a different side to its Catholic conservative image.

Why now and who is behind this vote?

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Ireland in 1993, after gay rights activist and politician Dan Norris brought the case to the European Court of Human Rights. In recent months, a coalition of organizations called Yes Equality have been canvassing the country and launching campaigns, lobbying for a “yes” vote. The campaign was led by the people, and it’s been so inspiring to see how proactive everyone has been, Joe Carlin, a gay man from Northern Ireland who has been watching the campaign closely, told ABC News.

What are Irish citizens saying?

“It’s the topic on everyone’s lips,” Carlin said. “It’s a crazy emotional day,” he continued, adding that for members of the LGBT community it felt like “finally getting a voice.” Celebrities such as U2 frontman Bono and Colin Farrell are among many of those who have voiced their opinions.

Is it a religious issue?

Many Catholic groups and priests have been vocal about their opposition to same-sex marriage. One of them is Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who, in a column in the Irish Times, said he did not want to impose his views on others but believed marriage should be between a man and a woman.

“Marriage is about love, marriage is about commitment and marriage is about family. You cannot talk of family without talking about children,” Martin said.

The Marriage Bill 2015, which could be enacted, provides that priests will not be obliged to perform same-sex marriages. Justice Kevin Cross, chair of the Referendum Commission, told the Irish Times that this referendum was solely about marriage, not about religion: “This referendum is about marriage — who may marry, who may not marry. If it passed it would have the effect that I have described.” Cross refuted the arguments that same-sex marriage would have an effect on surrogacy and adoption, which are, he said, regulated and protected by law.

Is it a generational issue?

An Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI same-sex marriage referendum poll states that 71 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 24 who are registered intend to vote “yes” compared to only 34 percent of those who are 65 or older. Not everyone thinks there’s a generational divide however, and many believe there is more of a rural and urban divide in Ireland.

What are the polls predicting?

The IrishTimes/Ipsos MRBI poll shows that, excluding those who are undecided, 70 percent are in favor of a change, with 30 percent against. The Millward Brown poll for the Sunday Independent puts the yes at 69 percent, and the Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post puts the yes at 73 percent.

Could the polls get it wrong?

Voting results are often unpredictable, especially when it comes to referendums on social issues. Some voters may feel their views are not publicly acceptable and therefore not necessarily come forward during polling. Turnout will be influential in the result, as certain demographic groups are more likely to vote. The level of undecided is relatively low, at 13 percent.

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Czech TV show takes family back in time to live under Nazi control. (Czech TV)(NEW YORK) — A controversial new Czech TV series is asking a modern family to go back in time to live as they might have had to under Nazi rule, to show the brutality ordinary people had to endure during German occupation.

“Holiday in the Protectorate” asks one three-generation family to live as if it were 1939 to 1945. The family was selected from among 200 candidates after a “rigorous audition,” show officials said.

Their struggles will range from normal tasks, such as harvesting crops and milking cows, to specifically wartime demands — sewing blackout curtains, fortifying a basement air-raid shelter, and dealing with food rationing and frequent hunger. The family will also live through “simulated air-raids, intimidation by Nazi informants and interrogations by the Gestapo,” shows officials said.

Eight one hour-long episodes of “Holiday in the Protectorate” will air from May 23 to June 13.

While the horrors the family will face are only re-enactments of what confronted Czech citizens during World War II, their reward will be real: 1 million Czech Krunas, worth a bit more than $40,000, if they survive the two-month ordeal.

The show, produced by Czech Television, will surround the 20th century household with a realistic setting of old-fashioned furniture and period-accurate costumes, matched to those of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia — an ethnic Czech puppet state set up by Nazi Germany after it occupied and absorbed Czechoslovakia in March of 1939. Professional actors play German soldiers and Gestapo informers. There will be no running water, no refrigerator and even the rare old currency of the Nazi mini-state will be used.

The show was shot under the supervision of a “war cabinet” composed of two historians, two psychologists and an architect who saw that everything about the show seems authentic to historical reality.

“I was inspired by the horrific wartime stories of my maternal grandparents, who lived in a small town in the highlands of Bohemia. I wanted people to see what hardships ordinary people had to go through to survive Nazi occupation,” Zora Cejnkova, the show’s director, told ABC News from Prague. “It was interesting to see how people make decisions under such psychological pressure, in front of TV cameras.”

But Czech Television, the show’s producer, has drawn criticism, for trivializing the real tragedies of WWII. Critics wonder what audiences would be entertained by watching people being intimidated by Nazi soldiers and their informers.

“What are they going to do next? Big Brother Auschwitz?” wrote one critic.

“I tried to show that period with seriousness and with utter respect for its tragic character,” Cejnkova told ABC News.

“Of course we cannot completely recreate the real danger, but the aim is to show life as it was, and,” she said, “if people re-live those times, perhaps future conflicts can be prevented.”

“The point about the World War II period is that there was always a possibility of violent death for everyone, something that is impossible to replicate artificially,” said Jan Kral, a car designer. “Holiday in the Protectorate recreated some inconveniences of the Nazi occupation, but the real fear was death. The show replicates wartime living the way a Formula One computer game replicates being Michael Shumacher — you get everything except the risk.”

And that, Kral said, “is essential.”

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Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — YouTube wants to change the way people buy items and is harnessing the power of its videos to help connect consumers and retailers.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s senior vice president of advertisements and commerce, announced what could be a revenue-boosting plan for the video sharing website Thursday during his keynote at Ad:Tech in San Francisco.

Google is adding products to its TrueView advertisements — the spots that users can skip after watching for a certain amount of time. The hope here is that instead of looking away while the ad rolls, users will click on a product and be taken to the retailer’s website to complete their transaction.

“In a world where people want things right away, this is the ultimate expression of a full-purchase journey within an ad,” Ramaswamy said. “For the first time, viewers will be able to not only learn about products through video — they’ll be able to shop for them as well — seeing product listings within the video itself.”

Ramaswamy said Wayfair, a furniture retailer, used the system for shopping advertisements. When compared to other video campaigns, he said they saw their revenue triple per view, along with a 20 percent increase in their view through rate, the number of people who stick with the ad until it ends.

YouTube also announced Thursday an early preview of 60 frame per second live streaming video. While the new frame rate is still in early preview, it could help YouTube make a play for gamers who broadcast their adventures on Amazon-owned competitor Twitch.

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Phototreat/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Iraqi troop pull-out of Ramadi last weekend that allowed the city to fall into ISIS hands may have been the result of a misunderstanding by the senior Iraqi commander in the city, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

U.S. officials now believe the senior Iraqi military commander ordered his troops to withdraw because he mistakenly believed that a sandstorm would prevent coalition aircraft from launching airstrikes to support his troops.

That information is one of the reasons why on Wednesday, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that Iraqi troops “drove out” of Ramadi and were not “driven out” out of the city by ISIS.

Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters on Thursday that last weekend’s sandstorm had not affected the coalition’s ability to launch airstrikes in Ramadi, though “weather was a factor on the ground early on.”

It appears Iraqi forces believed that because of the deteriorating weather conditions “they would not be able to receive air power support,” Warren said.

“We are now of the opinion that this was one of the factors that contributed to their decision to reposition out of Ramadi,” he said.

“This appears to have been a unilateral decision by the commander on the ground in Ramadi based on his assessment of the situation that it was time to withdraw,” said Warren.

He said it was unclear if that decision was communicated to the joint operations center in Baghdad where U.S. military teams are embedded with Iraqi commanders. Iraqi military commanders can forward requests for airstrikes to the joint operations center where the U.S. military sends the request to the coalition’s air command center.

ISIS had been fighting for control of Ramadi since January 2014, seizing half of the city since then.

In recent weeks, they had seized additional territory inside the city and late last week launched a new offensive that targeted the city’s government center by using more than 30 car bombs over a four day span.

A senior State Department official briefed reporters on Wednesday that 10 of those bombs leveled various city blocks in Ramadi and were as powerful as the one used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

To counter ISIS’s growing use of car bombs, the U.S. has expedited the delivery of 1,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets that will be shipped to Iraq beginning next week, Warren said.

He described the weapon as ideal for targeting potential suicide car bombers because unlike the precise small arms fire needed to disable a rushing vehicle, the shoulder-fired weapon is easy to use and can destroy an approaching vehicle from a distance.

The Iraqi military forces that had been in Ramadi have now repositioned to Habbaniyah, where the Iraqi government has also sent 3,000 Shiite militia fighters to assist with the fight against ISIS in Anbar Province.

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Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — The defensive tackle of the Buffalo Bills, Marcell Dareus, has been suspended for the first game of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Dareus’ suspension comes from a May 2014 arrest after a traffic stop in Alabama, where he was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, and later entered a pretrial intervention program that allows the charges to be dropped, ESPN reports.

Dareus’ attorney, Rod Giddens, told ESPN on Thursday that Dareus is still on track to complete the intervention program and hasn’t faced any setbacks in the process.

“Last year, I made a mistake involving possession of a banned substance,” Dareus said in a statement obtained by ESPN. “The NFL’s discipline for this conduct is part of the drug policy, and I apologize to my family, my teammates, the entire Bills organization and Bills fans that I will miss one game as a result of my mistake. I will work intensely that week and will be extremely happy to contribute to a win in week two for the Bills.”

This will be the second consecutive season that a Bills defensive starter will miss the opener for disciplinary reasons.

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Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images via ABC(NEW YORK) — Celine Dion has a positive update on how her husband Rene Angelil is doing in his battle with throat cancer.

“Rene’s doing really well. We know the path that he’s going, the treatments,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I knew he was amazing. He’s such a champ. He’s working hard on that.”

Dion, 47, took almost a year off to be with her husband, 73, of more than 20 years and said being with him and the family was “not hard.”

“It’s hard because life imposes things on you,” she added. “Sickness and you have no choice but to deal with them. I’ve been with him all my life and he’s showed me the way many times.”

She said she will be back on stage in August.

“He wants me back. He wants me strong and this is what we’re doing together,” she said.

Back in March, Dion was candid about how tough her husband’s cancer had been.

“He can’t eat so I feed him,” Dion told ABC News. “He’s got a feeding tube. I have to feed him three times a day.”

Angélil, who stepped down as Dion’s manager in June because of his health, has been battling throat cancer for 15 years. Dion said it was in December 2013, just as she was about to appear on national television, that she found out her husband’s cancer had returned.

“I went back in my dressing room and I saw him looking pretty devastated, in shock, and I was like, ‘What’s going on,’” Dion recalled. “He said, ‘I have cancer again. The doctor just called me and I have cancer again.’

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KABC-TV(SAN BERNADINO, Calif) — An 86-year-old man with Alzheimer’s disease told rescuers he was “doing pretty good” after spending nearly three days wandering in the Mojave Desert.

Rollande Towne had been spending a vacation with his family when he went missing, wandering away from his family’s campsite early Monday morning, according to his grandson, Jared Weigand.

Weigand told ABC News that Towne didn’t remember much about his ordeal outdoors. Soon after he was rescued Wednesday, Towne told ABC News Los Angeles station KABC-TV that he felt fine.

“Well, I’m doing pretty good,” Towne told KABC-TV. “I’ve got a few marks here and there, pretty decent actually.”

According to officials, Towne’s family saw him outside of their tent before he went missing.

“They woke up, they seen their grandpa outside picking up brass from spent casings, and then they went back inside, they fell back to sleep, they woke back up at 6:30 and noticed that he was gone,” San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Tommy Dickey told KABC-TV.

Towne, who also has diabetes, was evacuated via helicopter after being given some oxygen and bottled water.

“As I was walking up to him I called his name, ‘Ronny,’ and he sat up,” Steve Depue, a search-and-rescue team member with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department told KABC-TV. “It was kind of a, ‘Wow! We got to get this guy some help now,'”

Towne not only survived plummeting temperatures, but wildlife as well. Officials said they saw seven dangerous rattlesnakes during their search.

Weigand said his grandfather remained hospitalized but was doing well.

“Everybody’s doing OK,” said Weigand. “It’s looking good. He’s got a couple health issues.”

Dr. Alan Lerner, the director for the Brain Health & Memory Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said it’s extremely common for elderly people with dementia to wander away from their families.

“We’ve seen some cases … where the person is visiting out-of-state or friends or family … [and] they’ve wandered off or become missing,” said Lerner, who said a low percentage — about 5 percent — of missing seniors are found deceased.

Lerner said sometimes an elderly person with dementia will feel uncomfortable and try to leave a situation. In other cases, they are trying to go their former homes, not recalling that they are being cared for elsewhere.

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ABC News(HAVANA) — When Elian Gonzalez was found floating on an inner tube 60 miles off the coast of Miami 15 years ago, the fisherman who helped rescue him said finding the 6-year-old boy in the water was a “one in a billion” chance.

“You know, that day my cousin told me, ‘we are not going fishing,’” Donato Dalrymple told ABC News. “The marine advisory said it would be a horrible day for small boats to be out there. We were on a 25-foot fishing vessel, not like we were out in the middle of the ocean with a big fishing boat. And there was nobody out there, completely nobody.”

Dalrymple said a school of dolphins swimming close by drew their attention to the small boy.

“I tell you, I believe it was my destiny,” he said. “My journey that day, as a missionary, a person of faith, just persisting with my cousin that we ran right into that inner tube. We went directly to it.”

Elian was dehydrated and unconscious when he was pulled from the water, and was taken to Miami. Now 21 years old, Elian said he is thankful to the fishermen who saved him.

“Those are moments that no matter how hard I try to put them aside, they will always leave a mark on me,” Elian told ABC News in an exclusive interview.

As would the next several months of his young life.

When he was just 6 years old, Elian said his mother and her boyfriend had given him sleeping pills before they got onto a small 16-foot fishing boat in the middle of the night to head for the United States. He remembers the boat capsizing during the crossing, and falling into the water, but there were inner tubes tied to the back of the boat and Elian said his mother loaded him onto one. He survived, but his mother was lost at sea. Her body has never been found.

After his rescue in 2000, Elian was placed in the care of his Miami relatives, who fought to keep him in the U.S. against the will of his father Juan Miguel back in Cuba.

“There were so many emotions and all at the same time when I was with my uncles,” Elian recalled. “Everyone staring at me, thinking about me, the media, everyone staring at me. They didn’t allow me that time to cry for my mother. To sit down and realize what had happened. I was simply a kid, and to me everything was a game.”

The media circled the family’s Old Havana, Florida, home where Elian stayed, as his relatives proudly displayed him as a victory over Communism.

“In the beginning it was difficult because I tried to get the support of someone,” Elian said. “I had lost my mother, I didn’t understand what was going on.”

At the time, Elian said he turned to his cousin Marisleysis. “I saw her as a mother,” he said. “And I tried to consider her like that.”

“[My relatives] did try to give me a better life but they made a mistake, I believe,” Elian continued. “Because they were against their own nephew. And I had to be with my father.”

ABC News reached out to Marisleysis about Elian’s offer at reconciliation and she said she was not interested in speaking on camera or even in hearing any recorded message ABC News had taped from Elian.

But his uncle, Delfin, did agree to speak to ABC News. We played a message from Elian for him, in which Elian comments on his Miami family and asked for an apology before he agrees to see them again. After watching the message, Delfin said Elian had been manipulated.

“It is not the boy’s fault,” he said. “That is where you see the manipulation of that ******* system. They destroy everything. They have destroyed that boy, they have him like a robot. Doing what he doesn’t feel but everything he is saying is a lie. That is the reward we get for doing good. Taking care of him when he was defenseless and he didn’t have anyone to take care of him and his own damn father said to take care of him until he could come get him. That is the reward that a poor family gets, that gave him love. I don’t see why we should say sorry.”

But in fact, after Elian arrived in Miami, his relatives kept the boy for weeks after his father went to the U.S. to get him, which led to the raid inside their home.

The Cuban government was not at the interview with Elian and did not attempt to censor ABC News’ reports.

While the family may not be willing to move forward, the fisherman who rescued Elian all those years ago would. Dalrymple is the man holding young Elian in that iconic raid photo where he and the little boy are faced with a federal agent’s rifle.

“Juan Miguel is a good man, he loves his son,” Dalrymple said. “I couldn’t imagine him, regardless of where he lives on this planet, being without his son.”

“I do apologize,” he continued. “Because I would love to see [Elian] again and just hug his neck and his father because this was a beautiful thing. What happened down there. It was never meant for me to try to aid and abet and hold him against his father regardless but it seemed like that’s what it was at that time.”

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