The Local Family Adds a Member

March 31, 2009 at 9:00 am

Rob Gardner

I might seem all food all the time, but at least some know I’m a bit more varied.  I mean nothing gets me more animated than a good rant over the morning paper, and my moods surely ebbed and flowed all fall based on what Rassmussen, Silver and the rest had to say that day.  Then, there’s poker, especially computer poker to fill my hours.  Occasionally, I focus on my more real job performing business background investigations and asset searches.  What I’m getting at is, forgive today’s digression.  It has little to do with local food.  We spent the better part of yesterday getting a new dog.  Molly.

It’s been over two years since we owned a dog, or since we had a dachshund, I should say, we were owned by a dog.  Shatzi lived a long, long life, especially for a dog that just inched past your ankles.  The younger girls hardly knew Shatzi in his prime, when we could work him out by having him chase a ball down a flight of stairs.  For them, Shatzi was mostly a dog with vision clouded by cataracts, ears that never worked great in his best days, and bursitis that acted up when things got dank.  Shatzi fit into our locavore lifestyle.  We could leave him alone while we perused the markets.  It took only a few check-ins from a friend to leave Shatzi alone while we went to some place like Madison.  So, when everyone recovered from the loss of Shatzi, I held out, insisting a dog did not fit well into the way we lived.

We have decided though, this Spring Break, to adjust.  To make it work.  Having failed at getting that ideal Vegas package and resisting my wife’s urge to try Philadelphia, we had time on our hand.  On Friday we said yes to dog.  On Saturday we were checking out the animals at the Cicero shelter (as we had a friend who just got a dog there).   There, we found the prettiest, most unique looking dog, who very quickly took to us.  We would have taken her home that day.  What did we know from Catahoula Leopard dogs anyways.  Would not it be cool to have the only tree climbing dog in the hood?

Five minutes on Google took the wind out of that sail.  “Hunts feral pigs” and “best suited for rural environments” being the two phases that stuck in my craw.  Then, of all things, we ran into someone we knew, someone, probably the only other person in Oak Park with a Catahoula.  Oh, she loved hers even if loving meant an hour a night having it chase down a laser dot until she could not handle it anymore.  We’d try too.  Then, we went to the ‘net again.  “Best suited for rural areas…”  We’d try another shelter.

A lot of people at the Anti-Cruelty yesterday for the rescued pups.  We avoided the Miniature Pincher crowds, but that left only a few to choose.  We chose Bam, a Shepard, Chow, Pit, what-not that was probably as close, energy-wise to the Catahoula anyways.  The stability of a dachshund just did not seem in the cards for us.  We went through the very long process to get Bam only to be told at the end that Anti-Cruelty did not believe Bam would work well with Moe our cat.  Frankly, they feared Bam would eat Moe the cat.  We moved on to PAWS.

Long story short, we settled in soon on Molly, one parts lab, two parts hound dog, who, oddly enough, is also about as high energy as a dog can be.  10 months of puppy power in a rather large size already.  We did not turn back as we went through the awfully long process in takes PAWS to process you.  About 8:30 last night, the Bungalow welcomed a new member.  Although Moe is still a bit wary.



  1. Louisa Chu says:

    Congratulations on your new pup!! I’m so relieved too that you did not get the Catahoula. I hope she finds a home that understands her needs. Dogs and food are the two most important and defining forces in my life. Just yesterday I started researching which markets allow dogs. A couple I know you frequent do: Maxwell Street and Green City Market when it’s outdoors. You may also consider cooking for your dog or a local dog food now too. Can’t wait to meet the pup!

  2. REB says:

    Welcome Molly! We, too, find that our free time largely involves food and the pooch. Louisa’s tips are great. Nearly every Saturday last summer, we took our puppy to Green City, followed by a visit up Lake Shore Drive to the Montrose Dog Beach. Mint Creek Farms at Green City will happily sell you a big bag of lamb bones for the pooch to chew on. They’ve been nice and given us a bag for free. Another time, I think we paid $1. The puppy will happily stretch out in the yard in the sun chomping down on a lamb bone.

    We’ve also taken the pup to the Logan Square Farmers Market many times. The BBQ truck always has a bowl of fresh water available for the dogs.


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