Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Principal For A Day

I was very excited to be Principal For A Day at National Teachers Academy today! Although Shandy couldn't participate (bummer), it was great to spend time at our partner school and learn more about the wonderful opportunities they create for the students.

It was obvious that a lot of thought and care went into today's program. Many thanks to (real) principal, Amy Rome, and Sarah Mayeda of NTA for a memorable experience. I especially enjoyed getting a tour of the school from eighth-graders, Natasha and Darryn. They were wonderful ambassadors for the school and I hope to see these bright stars again and hear which high schools they test into.

After spending the morning at their respective schools, all the PFAD's were invited to a luncheon at the Hilton Hotel. The photo here shows the ballroom dancers from Hamilton Elementary entertaining the crowd at the luncheon. If you look closely, on the right hand edge you can see Mayor Daley and celebrity PFAD, David Schwimmer.

Wish I had photos from the school to share but I was so caught up in the activities that I forgot to take pictures.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Shandy at School

Shandy and I were a sub dog team this week and had a wonderful time.

When Shandy sees her Sit Stay Read bandanna she knows it's time for school and she can't wait to get there.

She's always loved kids (that's why we got started in therapy dog work) but combine that with getting treats and she's in heaven. Here she's listening to a second-grader read Pizza For Sam. Shandy can totally relate because she loves cheese.

The second photo shows our great new classroom posters designed just for us by Jeff Carlson (who is happily owned by a French bulldog named Sammy Davis Jr. Jr.) Be sure to check-out more of Jeff's work on his website mandrawspicture.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Introducing Michael Patrick Murphy

It is my great pleasure to present the latest addition to the Sit Stay Read family, Michael Patrick Murphy. Mikey is the son of Sit Stay Read co-founder, Sarah Murphy and her husband, Tim.

This gorgeous guy was born on August 14th and is, of course, an absolute joy. Even Sammy (you can see him in the bottom corner of the second photo--click on it to see larger version) doesn't mind sharing his family with a new little brother.

If all goes well, Mikey will make his official debut at the SSR Volunteer Dinner on Nov 6th. Be sure to let Kottie know you'll be attending--you won't want to miss meeting Mikey!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lab Day at the Office

Baguette and Maggie stopped by the office today with board member, Rick Johnson. You may have seen Maggie in school programs with Lauren or Baguette with Rick in community programs.

Baguette's trying to use sheer willpower to get those treats to fall off the stool while Maggie's convinced a good down stay will do the trick (she was right).

These two bring smiles wherever they go.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Afternoon at the Cemetery in Forest Park

We took a trip back in time today at the Tale of the Tombstones walk by The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest.

Just like a lot of families at the turn of the century, we spent the day at the cemetery.

Unfortunately, dogs aren't allowed but other than that, it's a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

The Forest Home Cemetery has lots of interesting people buried there and the historical society has actors portray some of them--that's Emma Goldman pictured here.

It's a great way to get a glimpse into the past, learn some tidbits about the area and people. Did you know Billy Sunday (who couldn't shut down our toddlin' town) was a baseball player before getting born again?

Mark your calendar for next year's Tale of the Tombstone on October 19, 2008 and maybe we'll see you there!

Friday, October 19, 2007

High School Helpers

Shandy and I received a lovely surprise today in the form of a letter from two high school students (that's the letter with Shandy.)

Sean and Kelsey attend Marlboro High School in New York and they wrote to let us know that they are advocates for children's literacy rates. As part of their Transitions class they chose Sit Stay Read to be the beneficiary of their book drive. In addition to books these great kids will be collecting money and gift card donations to help our Sit Stay Read students improve their reading fluency.

Our hats are off to you, Sean and Kelsey. Thank you for honoring Sit Stay Read. We greatly appreciate your support!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dillon, Good-Bye to a Dear Friend

We just received the sad news from Jan that Dillon was put to rest yesterday. He was slipping away and the reality was that he wasn't going to get better. Jan sends her thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

For anyone who knew Dillon, I don't have to tell you how much he'll be missed in the programs. His gentle presence was a great comfort to young readers.

Many thanks to Dillon for his hours of work and to Jan for sharing this special dog with so many.

Ravensquare Neighborhood

Shandy and I call the Ravenswood/Lincoln Square neighborhood home and were excited to learn about a new website. Check-out Ravensquare for all kind of information about the area.

The site was put together by SSR volunteer, Anita Fontana's husband, Paco Aramburu. Kudos to Paco and thanks for including a link to Sit Stay Read!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Dillon Update

Jan reports that Dillon has not yet shown any signs of improvement and seems a bit more distant. He has an appointment with a neurologist on Friday and I know we'll all be hoping for some good news.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sit Stay Spa Success

Many thanks to all our guests, partners, and volunteers for making Monday's Sit Stay Spa benefit at Spa Soak a great success!

It was a people-only event but Shandy was excited to learn that the winner of the deluxe doggie raffle prize (valued at over $300) was her friend, Beenie Man's, aunt--Connie Stalf (pictured here with Beenie's mom, Teri Stalf).

Connie was hoping to win the fabulous pet stroller and dog goodies to give to Teri for Christmas but we think the cat's out of the bag, so to speak. Teri and Connie were both thrilled and immediately took the stroller for a test run.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Dillon Update

This is today's latest from Jan.

Dillon is home and I think he is happy about that. Eats well and seems comfortable. The Doctor said he is not in pain. We are still waiting for tests, but now it seems like his immune system is fighting itself. He has lots of pills and we wait to see if the infection can be stopped. He still doesn't have use of his back legs. We have an appointment in 2 weeks. It's rough right now. I will keep you posted on any progress.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Getting Ready for Sit Stay Spa Benefit

Shandy and I walked over to Central Bark today to pick-up their generous donation to the Sit Stay Spa raffle. Shandy loves to go visit Bonnie, Central Bark's owner. She's not even paying attention to the gift basket of doggie goodies next to her in the photo because she's too busy watching Bonnie (who always comes through with a treat).

If you haven't already made your reservations, call your girlfriends and plan to have a blast with us on Monday at Spa Soak. Questions? Just give us a call. 773 545 6629

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Dillon, Sit Stay Read Dog, Needs Your Prayers

As you can see, Dillon, one of Shandy's Sit Stay Read volunteer friends, is a beautiful Sheltie. He passed his SSR test in 2005 and has brought much joy to children in our school programs ever since.

Dillon and his owner, Jan Glure, were scheduled to start the program at Sumner this fall but early this week we learned that Dillon was suddenly unable to walk. Jan is keeping us posted and it now looks like it may be an infection in his spine. He's being treated and will go home from the vet's tomorrow.

Please include Dillon in your prayers and send good wishes his way. We'll post Jan's updates here so you'll know how he's doing and we hope to have good news for you soon.