Thursday, September 27, 2007

Full Moon Fire Twirling

Hope you enjoyed the gorgeous full moon last night.

Though Shandy didn't seem to notice, I'm sure, like most animals, she's much more aware of the phases of the moon than we mere humans.

We went to the lakefront to watch the moon rise over the water while listening to drumming and enjoying fire twirlers, like the one pictured here. If you haven't experienced the celebration, it's worth putting on your calendar. You can find more info at Check it out.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Visiting Woodstock

Took a drive to Woodstock, IL yesterday for a book party. Craig Pierce, an admirer of Shandy and a favorite Guest Reader for our school programs, was launching his new book at the Woodstock Opera House.

It was a great time and the new book by Craig and illustrator, Tony Santiago, is lots of fun. It's called "Sit. Stay. Work. Play. All Dogs Have Their Day". Here's a link to their new Blue Collar Pups website.

I highly recommend a visit to see the lovely town of Woodstock. It's where they filmed the movie, Groundhog Day and they have the Dick Tracy Museum (see photo).

Coincidentally, Rick Kogan wrote about the town in today's Chicago Tribune. He does a much better job of singing the virtues of Woodstock so check-out his Sidewalks column in the magazine section or read it online. Then go see it for yourself. In a couple of weeks the trees will be changing color, an added incentive to take a drive in the country.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Columbus Park Photos

Here are the photos from yesterday's tour of the Columbus Park refectory (Did you know that a refectory is a dining hall, usually in a monastery? Me neither.)

If we can persuade the powers that be, the dogs would be in the outdoor pavilion area and the hall would be for lunch and the school program Reading Rewards presentation. It would be great to have such a nice place for the kids to celebrate. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Walk in the Park

Hope you're enjoying this wonderful weather. Shandy and I went to Columbus Park today and enjoyed a lovely walk down their nature trail.

I went for a tour to see if the refectory there might be good for our first all-school Reading Rewards celebration and Shandy went along for the ride. It's a gorgeous place and I'm hoping it will work for us. I must admit, I didn't realize how much room we'd need to host all 250 of our school program kids. Wow. It will be a lot of work but it's going to be such fun.

Tomorrow I'll post some pix of the facility.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Dog Teams

Shandy lent moral support to the four dog teams at last night's test at Central Bark and all the teams passed!

From left to right, that's Marilyn Taylor with Bear-Bear, Margo McFarland with Lucky, Carley Jurishica with Calvin, and Mary Lu Johnston with Luke.

Congratulations to our newest dog teams! Look for them in a program soon.

Our Famous Dogs

Exciting news! Look for Shandy in the Sep/Oct issue of Bark magazine. The online version isn't posted yet so, if you're not a subscriber, you'll have to go to the newsstand. This is a great magazine and I'm thrilled that they included my girl in their story on reading assistance dogs.

SSR volunteer, Betsy Lane, had a nice surprise when her gorgeous German Shepard Dog, Biscuit, was featured in a mailing from photographer, David Sutton (voted "Best Pet Photographer in America" by Forbes FYI). You can see Biscuit on the Sutton Studio website.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wine Dogs

After a week vacation, it's back to work for both Shandy and me tomorrow. While I relaxed in the gorgeous Sonoma and Napa valleys (for more photos, click here) Shandy and Bandit were lucky enough to spend the week at home with their friend Judit.

Found a wonderful book at one of the wineries. It's called "Wine Dogs" and, though it doesn't do it justice, you can check out the website at The photographs are fabulous and we saw one of the featured dogs at the Benziger Winery. The book will be in the Sit Stay Read office so take a look next time you visit.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Lee and Gavin Visit Shandy

That's Lee Rigby and her son, Gavin, reading a book in the SSR office. And that's Shandy sneaking a taste of Gavin's soy milk. Every time he put his cup down she was into it. But Gavin didn't mind--he's good at sharing.

Lee was one of the very first SSR volunteers and is still a big supporter of the programs. She now lives in New Hampshire with her husband, Graham, another SSR fan.

Thanks so much for visiting, Lee! Oh, and that's Gavin reading about the SSR values. Just kidding. He's actually pointing out the O's in every word. Pretty impressive for being 20 months old!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Holiday Pix

Shandy had a wonderful holiday. She spent more time than usual on the deck, enjoying the great weather and we took several nice walks through the park.

The sunflowers at the Botanic Garden are glorious right now and worth a trip. Although Shandy can only go to the garden for the December Reindog Parade (look for the SSR booth), we go quite regularly while she relaxes at home.