Thursday, November 29, 2007

Michael's First Office Visit

That's the gorgeous Michael Patrick Murphy on his first visit to the SSR office. Have you ever seen more beautiful eyes?

He was mesmerized by the quilt so I had to turn him around quickly to get the photo of me holding him. It's hard to believe he's already 15 weeks old until you see how much he's grown (click on the label link below to check-out the previous photos).

Oh yeah, it was great to see Michael's mom, Sarah, too. All is well in the Murphy household. We'll be hoping for another visit soon!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Open Books

Shandy and I had a great visit yesterday with Erin Walter from Open Books. This new organization is building Chicago's first nonprofit used book store to support literacy.

Sounds exciting! We look forward to partnering with Open Books for some fun reading dog events. We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chicago Bears Visit Sit Stay Read

It was an exciting day for the kids and dog teams at Lowell School today when Chicago Bears rookie lineman, Joshua Beekman, visited the program.

That's Josh with Sit Stay Read dog, Lucy, as he gets ready to head into the school to read the book, "Corduroy" to the second graders. The kids loved hearing about how Josh's mom used to read him the book about a little stuffed bear who's missing a button on his overalls and is looking for a real home of his own.

Josh visited three classrooms and at the end of each visit the kids clamored for his autograph and didn't want to let him go.

We're grateful to Bears Care for their generosity in arranging for this very special visit and for their support, which makes Sit Stay Read programs possible. Josh is a wonderful role model and he did a great job of letting the students know the importance of reading and getting an education

Monday, November 12, 2007

Denali, Farewell to a Friend

We were very sad to learn today that Denali, Bandit's first best friend, died unexpectedly last week from an infection. She was only five years old.

They were just puppies in the photo of them playing together and Bandit is getting the better of her but as they grew, Richard would tell Bandit, "She's bigger, faster, and smarter, than you Bandit. You don't stand a chance." But Bandit didn't care. He loved playing with his friend, Denali.

The hardest part about loving a dog is knowing that one day they'll be gone. But how lucky we are to have them when we do.

Denali didn't get to be a Sit Stay Read dog but she contributes to all our programs. Her mom, Lee Rigby, was one of our first volunteers and, although Lee and her family moved to the east coast, we still use photos of Denali in our dog safety talk. The kids love to learn that the little puppy curled up asleep is the same big dog that's playing tug of war.

Thank you Lee and Graham for sharing Denali with us and all the kids in our programs.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

We've Been Blogged!

We're so excited! Beth and Hanni (BTW, rhymes with "Bonnie") wrote about our meeting on their blog. Be sure to check it out to read all about their book tour adventures.

To learn more about the organization that trained Hanni, go to The Seeing Eye. Their mission, as stated on their website, is "to enhance the independence, dignity, and self-confidence of blind people through the use of Seeing Eye dogs." After meeting Beth and Hanni, I have to say that they're doing a great job of achieving that mission.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Meeting a Dog Hero

That's Beth Finke and her Seeing Eye Dog, Hanni, at Barnes & Noble this afternoon. Beth is the author of a great new children's book, "Beth and Hanni, Safe and Sound". It's a wonderful story all about what it's like for Hanni to be a Seeing Eye dog. We're hoping that Beth and Hanni will be Guest Readers at a Sit Stay Read school and share their story with the kids.

After reading the book and hearing Beth speak, I'm convinced these very special Seeing Eye Dogs are true heroes. Check-out Beth's website and see what you think.

Although Shandy couldn't go with me today I'm sure she and Hanni would get along well. Who knows, the two working girls might have lots to talk about.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

SSR Volunteer Dinner

It was a fun time at Marcello's last night for the Annual Volunteer Dinner. Thanks to all the volunteers who attended and made it a great evening.

Here are a couple of photos. We'll post more when we get the CD from our fearless photographer, Margo.

NOTE: Click here to see all the photos.