Monday, January 30, 2012

Dog Park Danger

At the risk of turning into Naperville Critters Now, I'd like to share a quick one.

Our St. Louis daughter called to say she was on her way to the dog park with Oscar, their 1-year-old rescue. A madly energetic, sweet pup, Osky loves a good game of chase with his pals in the park near their home.

After 20 minutes of runningrunningrunningrunning with the joy that young dogs exhibit so well, a Pit Bull entered the scene.

Anna noticed this dog's barking/teeth baring/scary behavior toward the other dogs and asked her fiance, Greg, to stand by Oscar and clip his leash on. He did. Within seconds, the Pit bounded over and tried to take Oscar out, only not in the "Wheee This is Funnn!" sense of the word.

Greg has a bite mark to show for it (though he says it's just a scratch. Tough one, that Greg.)

Our daughter hurled a stream of invective toward the Pit's owners, who promptly put a muzzle on their dog.

If you own a muzzle for your dog and carry it in on your person, don't bring your to the dog park. It's irresponsible. What's more, it will end badly. (Thank heavens today wasn't that day.)

Oscar and his furious owners left to play ball in a tennis court far, far away.

The Pit's owners never said a word.

So this was the message exchange on my iPhone last night:

"Trauma victim"
(wrapped in a blanket because sometimes, fur is just not enough.)

"Worst patient ever"
 (Quote from St. Louis daughter regarding
fiance and injured digit. However, he managed to operate
 the remote with his other hand.)

"In recovery."
 (Long story for another time. But doesn't
Tip's coat look great?)
Distraught Mama.
(Calling attorneys.
Consoling Oscar.
In need of several cocktails.
Still furious.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just Hold the Cat (Updated)

The key to keeping a new job is to not make the same mistake twice.

Lesson One: don't let go of a really pissed-off cat.

Trust me on this.

Charlie wasn't available to do his usual brilliant photo styling for this post, so I apologize for the blurry above. I wanted you to get an idea of what can happen if you lose your grip.

Kitty survived our veterinary ministrations with a clean bill of health, no small thing for a feral cat. As you know, feral is Latin for a cat with anger issues. He prefers to bring down boar and wildebeest for dinner rather than submit to vaccines, a blood draw and a mani/pedi. He is liquid cunning and able to leap off vet techs at Mach 5.

I hadn't realized I had been wounded until my sleeve turned crimson. I don't think I cried excessively.

Lesson Two: don't leave home without Neosporin. And tuck in some latex-free bandages while you're at it. Shin guards from your field hockey days, yanked up your forearms, would be helpful. Followed by a cat-proof coat.

Also, it's a good idea to pay attention to the cat, not the needles, the diagnosis or the artwork in the hall. Because you have one job and one job only, which is to just hold the cat. 

(No cats were harmed in the making of this blog post, although I thought about it.)

With profound thanks to graphic genius Mike Haidley,
who created a PERFECT replica of the 4 pounds of
supercharged protoplasm that tried to kill me last week.
 Claws are a little small, but you get the idea.
Thanks, Mikey. You rock.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rocket Man

Rocketing into space, we have learned, requires a lot of money (from Mom's old Mall Madness game).

Sister tolerated, pretty much optional.

Further needs:

a few monkeys (following the lead of the Russian space program).

Followed by a countdown using numbers that are more or less out of sequence (NASA cutbacks are being felt everywhere.)

Blast off!

Rocket ship is a pretty neat game, Grandpa.

Thanks for letting me able to watch my orbit through these handy windows.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Pepper, the mother pup found wandering in a Tennessee parking lot just before Christmas, has found her forever home, as we say in the animal rescue biz.
and this car is only half of it.
Meet Megan, a friend of the dog's rescuers and now, Pepper's BFF.

my girl
(They make a very cute couple, don't you think?)

For those coming late to the game, here is the first post about Pepper's arrival in Naperville in search of a home (not to mention a place to spend Christmas). Following a less-than-successful meet-up with a herd of Chicago Chihuahuas, Pepper appeared again here.

A few adoption inquiries came in to Naperville Now. Phone calls and emails were sent. Prayers were offered up.

And then, along came Megan.

i match perfectly
Pepper, who complements Megan's decor, snuggled right into her new life. And then some.

She has toys, her own bed and babes from North Central College to take her on walks while her mistress is at work.

Pretty cushy.

quite literally

There are a few kinks to iron out yet. Afterall, Pepper (now known as Aussie) is barely 1 years old. And while she has been through more than most, this sweet and docile Staffy mix has managed to maintain her puppy ebullience and a certain dignity.

Naperville Now would like to check in with Aussie, from time to time, so down the road, I hope Megan will share a few snapshots and a story or two.

Happy beginnings, ladies. Thanks for sharing your story.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy Birthday

Dear AJ,

The fact that you texted me the other day, grousing about turning 25, set me on my heels a bit. I clearly remember your birth in Atlanta. I just don't do numbers very well. How could you be 25 when I'm 25 (in that parallel universe known as my head)?

Just think of all that you've accomplished at your quarter-century mark: Warhawk of the Week (okay, I may have reached back a little too far with that one), swim team captain, nursing school graduate (with honors), Intensive Care Unit nurse at a St. Louis hospital, cat and dog owner, home owner, affianced, splendidly busy and happy in ways I never dreamed for you.

Go, you.

I can remember the year we moved to Naperville because it was the year you were born. Your sister was just starting morning Kindergarten. Given your Dad's job and the way thing were in corporate America in the 1980s, I figured we'd be outta here in 18 months.

Thanks to all that is holy, we were able to stay in one place, raise our family, plant bulbs in the garden and put down roots in a community that has sustained all of us. (And Naperville Now is an awesome and alliterative blog name, so the Internet had to have had a hand in it.)

And here we still are.

Wish you were, too.

Have an awesome birthday, my girl, with cake and candles and all our love (and a card that the postal guy says may get there Saturday. I hate that when that happens. Glad I had the foresight to send you back after Christmas with birthday gifts, which I know you have saved until tomorrow to open. You did save them, right?)

Love and happy birthday,


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Conflicted Part IV

"How you holding up?"

"Okay, I guess. It's kind of warm. And blue."

"Winter seems to have kept its pants on."

"I like seeing the recess kids. Their energy -- it makes me feel a little less sad."

"By the way, it looks like your dream almost came true."

"Which dream?"

"The one where the squirrels are relocated in a stiff wind. Their nest has definitely shifted south."

"Clearly they skipped Proper Nest Construction 101."

"December's winds were pretty intense."

"Oh, well. Everyone deserves a home, even if their habits are not as sanitary as they could be."

"The little guys seem to be hanging in there."

"Yes, they do. And they're very quiet. A nice quality in a treehouseguest... I have to ask, are we just about there? I'm missing my leaves."

"About 69 days and 3 hours away. No time at all."

"Doable, if the sun continues to shine. You ready to sleep?"

"I think I'll watch this last inning of kickball."

"Good night."

The Conflicted series began here, continued here and last showed up here. I probably should have said that at the beginning.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Out There

Stay where I can see your hands, lady.
Not to be going too crazy with the weather posts, but it was warm enough today to squeeze two sets of anal glands outdoors. This is unusual for January because Chicago is in a perpetual state of holy-crap-it's-freezing-out-there until May 15.

On this lovely day, however, my boss and I were outside doing necessary glandular things. (In truth, Lisa McIntyre, DVM, does the gland expressing while I hold the dogs. She is, of course, the brains of the operation. I am the Sherpa, paw holder, admin, owner consoler, feral cat coraller, occasional saline-drawer-into-the-shot-thingy, driver and scheduler.)

After 10 sedentary years, it feels great to be liberated from a computer and the unholy glow of fluorescent light. These days, I am in and out of a car with the Doc, weather be damned, making house calls on cats and dogs.

It's been a lot of fun, I must confess. (And because the boss reads Naperville Now, I am not just blowing smoke up her blood centrifuge.) It not only feels great to be moving physically again, but by and large, pet owners are great. Devoted to their animals. Kind-hearted. Big-hearted. I've met some really great people and creatures through the practice, which operates out of the Doc's car.

Every veterinary practice needs a Journalism major on staff because hey, we have mad skills.

And I've only been bitten twice, so it's all good.

Our Bandit was the Doc's first patient this morning.

Having someone manipulate your rear end is no way to start the week, so apologies, old boy. 

I may share a few pet stories down the road (have to look into the HIPPA thing first). Maybe I'll write a book. Or an e-book. Or a movie script.

I think all of this sunlight is making me giddy. And ambitious.

It feels great.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day Is Done

We live in Chicago, a town Mother Nature hates. She pours down snow and frigid air during a winter that lasts for month after horrible month. There's a small break in July, and then she resumes her evil ways.

Today, however, was 55 degrees. There was abundant sunshine and gentle breezes. Coats were forgotten. People and pets were outdoors and grinning like mad. Pick-up games broke out across the neighborhood.

It was the kind of day that makes it possible to survive the unholy season of winter.

Charlie was strolling the trails this evening and snapped this send-off. A day gift-wrapped in pinks and yellows and blues. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back At Ya!

I think this is a great idea! And one I might have hatched myself had I not
1.) been working two jobs just before Christmas
2.) been trying to breathe through this head cold
3.) been so focused on the laundry, the grandkids, the upcoming wedding, le stuff in general.

I give ole Oswald's credit for marketing Naperville-centric stuff. I think it's great fun to walk into a store to buy emergency TP and end up with great stocking stuffers (and 355 days early, no less.)

AND, may I add, this photograph was taken by an iPhone. My iPhone.

In the interest of keeping my new job (and not making my employer hysterical with  my every garbled attempt to type emails with my kumquat-sized index finger), Santa felt it best to keep Naperville Now au courant with the latest technology outside of work so that she could become proficient and wise in the ways of the 21st century. (Very Shaolin monk-ish, no?)

And yes, it's a 4S. Haven't had time to meet Siri, but I did use the camera to shoot the magnet picture.

And my son-in-law is stomping me in Words With Friends, a Scrabble-like app.

And while I waited for my doctor to examine my sinus cavities, I caught up on all my email and a few other things besides.

There is just no end to the fun.

But I still wish I had thought of these magnets. Simplicity is beguiling.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pepper Update

Turns out, the chihuahuas were in a state of Pepper-induced panic and hid under the couch.

Pepper just sat on the floor, calm as always. Puzzled. Not worried.

So that means, my friends, we need to find her a home.

Here is her backstory.

Everyone who has met her has fallen in love with her (except the four chihuahuas, that is).

She is living in Naperville and currently on the Humane Society wait list.

I think we can place her, don't you?

I am happy to arrange a meet and wag, so email me at suejohnpeter(at)gmail(dot)com.

Let's do lunch.

Or, at least, snacks.