Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bandit Visits the Office

Bandit usually spends his days at home with Richard but last week he dropped into the office for a visit.

He's used to several long walks and at least one play session with his dog friends, so lazing around the office wasn't really his cup of tea. He kept crawling under my desk to try to get Shandy to play, but she's used to her nap time and wasn't having any of it. They were both happy when Richard returned to take Bandit home.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Poem of the Month in Honor of Autumn

Another wonderful poem courtesy of American Life in Poetry. This one by Washington, D.C. poet, Judith Harris, is so good you can almost hear the crunching of leaves.

For your own autumn experience, the Chicago Botanic Garden, pictured here from a few years ago, puts on a lovely show of colors.

Gathering Leaves in Grade School

They were smooth ovals,
and some the shade of potatoes--
some had been moth-eaten
or spotted, the maples
were starched, and crackled
like campfire.

We put them under tracing paper
and rubbed our crayons
over them, X-raying
the spread of their bones
and black, veined catacombs.

We colored them green and brown
and orange, and
cut them out along the edges,
labeling them deciduous
or evergreen.

All day, in the stuffy air of the classroom, with its cockeyed globe, and nautical maps of ocean floors, I watched those leaves

lost in their own worlds
flap on the pins of the bulletin boards:
without branches or roots,
or even a sky to hold on to.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Good Thoughts for Laverne

I am sad to report that our sweet Laverne (pictured here at "her" school with Bears player Josh Beekman) was viciously attacked by a dog outside her front door last week.

The good news is that both she and Jenifer are slowly recovering. We won't know for a while though if Laverne will be up for working with her kids at Lowell next month. Jenifer is hoping that we can ease her into it and that it will help her on the road to recovery, both physically and emotionally.

As you can imagine, this was a terrifying ordeal and I know your good thoughts and positive energy would be appreciated. You can leave a comment here or go to Laverne's page on the Sit Stay Read website and send her an email.

If all goes well, Jenifer will bring Laverne by the office next week to visit Shandy. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shandy & Lucy Welcome New Volunteers

Folks were meeting and greeting at last night's volunteer orientation.

Shandy and Italian Spinone Lucy (shown with her owner Barbara) were on hand to welcome everyone and demonstrate what our Sit Stay Read dogs do.

Many thanks to our friends at The Anti-Cruelty Society for the use of the auditorium.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shandy Surveys Chicago Flooding

Flooding rains rocked Chicago this weekend and our north side neighborhood was hit especially hard. As I write I still hear news helicopters flying overhead.

Shandy and I took a walk when the rain stopped a short while ago--here's what we saw (click on photos to enlarge).

The dam on the river at Argyle St. is roaring--there's usually an 8-10 foot drop but, as you can see, it's almost even with the river now. That's Shandy with a new friend, Mugsy, checking out the situation. The final photo shows our girl turning around when she found our path blocked by water. The red circle indicates a "no swimming" sign that is usually about 5 feet above the water.

Mother Nature is very impressive. Hope you're safe and dry.

Shandy and Friends at Home

Nothing nicer than sitting on the deck on a fine September evening and sharing it with friends. Of course, the photo here is from Thursday night, well ahead of the torrential rains we've been getting.

That's (from the foreground) Butkus, Tish, and Bandit all waiting for a treat, with Shandy getting edged out a bit. Aren't they a handsome group?!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Shandy's Newest Trainee

Shandy was very excited to welcome a new addition to the Sit Stay Read office this week. Elizabeth Siegel joined the SSR family as Volunteer Manager.

We're thrilled to have Elizabeth's non-profit experience and joyful personality in the office. She has a lot to contribute to the organization and she's fitting right in.

You won't be surprised to learn that Shandy's been busy training Elizabeth on all the appropriate treat opportunities (if you look carefully, you can just make out a treat in Elizabeth's hand in the photo). These two are well on the way to becoming fast friends.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our Football Friends--The Chicago Bears!

Was there a lot of hooting and hollering at your house last night for that great Bears game? We were so excited to see offensive lineman Josh Beekman again.

Josh was the favorite Sit Stay Read Guest Reader at Lowell School last year. That's Josh having a heart to heart with SSR dog, Oscar, a greyhound. (Click on the Chicago Bears label below to see more photos from Josh's classroom visit.)

Go Bears! Go Josh! Looking forward to a great season.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Poem of the Month--August

A bit late but worth the wait.


By Mary Oliver

When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.

Shandy's Own Walk of Fame

Well, some new concrete was poured for the sidewalk outside the Sit Stay Read office and I guess you can see what happened.

That's Shandy inspecting her handiwork the day after "the incident". I must admit I do like seeing her paw prints right outside our door. Let's think of it as a welcome mat for canines. Come visit us!