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Pet Life at Seminary | The 'CURE' for your Vocation

Category: Pet Life at Seminary


Today we continue on our in depth look at relationships and how life is affected by being in seminary. A large portion of our students, both commuter and residential, have families. As such, people with spouses and children face a unique set of circumstances while studying to fulfill God’s call on their lives. I’m no expert on the subject, so I’ve asked two fellow class mates to share their perspectives – Jeff Courter and Ken Crews. Jeff and Ken are both second year students- I have asked them to share because they have had experiences living on and off campus, being full and part time, having a spouse also in school, etc. I feel like their two stories help to show what it’s really like for folks with families to study at McCormick.

First up is Jeff:

Living in the residential building with my wife and children has been interesting, to say the least, especially now that my wife is also going to school.  Five students in one family – someone please stop the madness!  Books and papers are everywhere.  We don’t have family meals – we graze, like sheep.  We have become a small band of hunter-gatherers, foraging in the refrigerator in search of nourishment to keep us alive, stopping at exotic stores like Aldi’s or Save-A-Lot to stock up on food to be consumed without having to be cooked.  We have acquired a taste for raw produce.

How does this lifestyle affect my seminary studies?  My apartment life has become a lab experiment in communal tribal living…this living arrangement is intentional and happenstance at the same time.  We live in a mixture of organization and chaos…It is not painless, and we have each seen more challenges in our lives than we have ever undergone until now.  Negotiating conflicting schedules, adjusting to using public transportation instead of driving in suburbia, now being connected more by school breaks on the calendar than by family events – this year has added new stresses to our family life.  Yet each one of us looks forward to a brighter future, each of us anticipating doing what we love to do in new careers.  After all, that’s the promise and premise of education – to enable and equip us to fully engage in a vocation, in the fullest sense John Calvin used that term.

For me personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed living with and among colleagues and peers.  I get to discuss things that most Americans avoid – spiritual issues!  It’s a little like being part of an underground culture, without the persecution and oppression (thank God for that!).  For me, the community of faith is essential.  It’s what we are called to build.  It’s the embodiment of the Kingdom of God in our world.  It’s why I came here, and what I long to help develop and create.

This has been an exciting time for me.  I have learned from women and men who have great learning, who have devoted much of their lives to research and are handing that experience down to us -  not only on subjects like theology, history and languages, but also essential knowledge about practicing spirituality and self-care, and understanding human relationships in pastoral ministry.  McCormick’s instructors are some of the most interesting and caring people I have ever met.

I have also met some of the most enthusiastic and committed men and women as fellow students.  My hope for both our denomination and the greater Christian Church has grown, due to seeing and hearing from my peers.  What excites me is being able to share my vision, and hear the vision of others, which are often similar to mine.  It’s like “we get it” together, seeing our responsibility to social justice, to the transforming good news of Jesus Christ, to our stewardship of God’s creation, and to a greater sharing of love and fellowship to the world.  These students are my partners in a Christian movement of transformation of our world, from what it is to what God wants it to be.  While our callings and paths may diverge after this time together, we are linked in this great endeavor, and will carry one another from this place in our hearts and memories.

This is a transitional time for all of us.  Many come to McCormick with new relationships – new families, new spouses, new children…many come here after relationships end.   We also establish new relationships while we are here!  But most of us will go forth from here to someplace else; our time together is temporary, and we understand this.

Even so, whether permanent or temporary, life is all about relationships.  People will come and go in our lives, some for longer periods of time than others, some affecting us more than others.  Some become relationships we call family, and some become our spiritual family.  McCormick is an institution devoted to helping us grow and develop our relationships with God and one another.  To me, this is the most important lesson we can ever learn.  Our relationships define us, and affect our families, our churches, our societies, and our world.  Even temporary relationships are important, and can change us permanently.  Relationships are like any other growing and living thing – they must be nourished and attended to in order to thrive.  We must be intentional in our interactions with one another, in order to make our relationships positive ones.

My family is changing, as all families do.  Two of my children are in college, and my youngest is applying for college.  My wife has returned to college. Seminary and college are each a preparatory and transitory phase in most of our lives.  My children are moving on with their lives.  My wife and I will move on from here as well when I am finished with my studies.  While this is not my last year, the day is coming when I will finish and leave McCormick.  I will likely grieve having to leave, because I love being here.  But this is a preparatory phase, not a final destination.  There is a larger objective for us outside McCormick.

I sometimes think of McCormick like a sort of cyclotron – a particle energizer which accelerates subatomic particles towards the speed of light.  The more I learn, the more I accelerate, and the more energy I absorb, it seems.  Sometimes I am anxious to burst forth and do what I came here to be equipped to do – ministry!  I love being here, but I am also ready to be sent forth, like the disciples of Jesus.  The day for me to go forth is coming quickly – life moves fast, as my family life has shown me.

Meanwhile, I am trying to make the most of every minute, every learning experience, and every relationship I have while I am here.  The more energy I absorb, the more I will take with me.

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Last, but certainly not least, is Ken:

What was I thinking when I responded to God’s call to attend seminary? The reading assignments alone can be a full-time job (thanks Ken and Bob!), not to mention actually having to attend class, write papers, try to conjure up some creative idea for a PIF project, and make time for the occasional study break! Now add two children (Owen 9, Evelyn 5), a wife (Heather, you can ask her age!), a dog (the amazingly lazy, Sasha), a part-time job, and a commute to and from Indiana everyday to the mix and you have yourself quite the adventure. While all of this creates a rather demanding time schedule, I wouldn’t trade any of it for all the riches in this world. Why? Because, I am precisely where God wants me to be. I am able to engage in deep conversation with wonderful friends in a unique community, and at the end of the day be delighted when my daughter, Evelyn, finds it comical that she and dad are both learning their letters – English for her, and Greek for me!

Be assured, this adventure is only possible because of the support of many amazing family and friends. It has meant that my wife, Heather, had to return to full-time work outside of the home because I left a well paying job to follow God’s call. She never hesitated, and has always supported me in my journey. It has required many family and friends to sacrifice time to look after our children as I pursue my studies and Heather works full-time, and it has required that my children sacrifice time with mom and dad while we’re both away from the home more. Sometimes it has even required professors and EA’s to sacrifice classroom space when my kids had to sit through class with me (thanks Paula, Katie, and Sylvia!!!).

Although attending McCormick has required quite a bit of sacrifice, it has been so much more rewarding. My family and I have grown closer to one another because of all the change in our lives, and we have all grown closer to God as we move along this path together. We are always discovering new ways in which we come together as a family, and new ways in which God is working in our lives and providing for us as we move along the journey. Our journey through seminary as a family is proof that God uses many unique people in many unique ways to accomplish the work of divine love.

May God bless and keep you all, and your families (whatever shape they take!)….

So there we have it! If you have questions pertaining to your family, don’t be afraid to ask the friendly Admissions office workers, or even our dean of Students.

We’re not done with this series yet, so keep checking back for more students responding to what it’s been like for them and their relationships while in seminary!

Peace and Blessings,

Wes

Greetings friends! After a semi-restful reading week, CURE is back! We look a bit different now, and we hope you like it.

It’s that time of the month where I give up control of the blog to my trusty side kick/pet interviewer extraordinaire, Norae, to interview the pets of McCormick – this week, Mika the cat.

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Yeah – I look cuddly don’t I? It’s just a ploy to get you close… then I’ll eat you. Mwahahahaha

Norae: Tell us your name and breed?
Mika: My name Mika, my breed is street fighting cat.

N: Street fighter, huh? Who is your human?
M: I call her Big Food Monster. Her real name is Mo or something, I don’t know, I don’t really pay attention.

N: How did you get him/her?
M: I let her live with me while my dad’s away flying planes off a boat for the Navy.

N: That sounds awfully nice of Big Food Monster. What’s your favorite place in your apartment?
M: The window, or right under the food monsters feet.

Ah, yes. The window. Where I can view my next kill.

N: Where is your favorite place outside of your apartment?
M: I’ve yet to implement my escape plan.

N: Good luck with that. What are your favorite treats?
M: Flowers

Fresh cut flowers – I like to pretend they scream as I munch on their beautiful deliciousness.

N: How about in your daily sustenance: do you prefer wet or dry food?

M: I like fancy expensive food and when the food monster buys something else I show my anger with her in unspeakable ways.

N: Um. Well. Okay, then. How many toys do you have? Which ones are your favorite?
M: I have lots of toys. I like to put them in places that will make the food monster trip over them, I also like to drowned them in my water dish so she knows how deadly I am. My favorite is the laser pointer, I almost had it last time!

N: What is your favorite way to pass time when you aren’t drowning toys?
M: Sleeping while the food monster reads, sitting where it is most inconvenient for the food monster, not having a job, judging people from the window, having staring contest with the food monster. In that order.

I must eat my food at the table with the food monster’s best china. I sometimes allow others to join me, but never the food monster.

N: What is one thing you think everyone should know about you?
M: The only human I like is the one the food monster calls “Riegel”.

N: Any last words of wisdom you want to share with everyone about youself?
M: Be afraid.

Well, um, there you have it: Mika, the really scary cat. Join me next month when I interview a cat that doesn’t make me want to cry.

- Norae, pet blogger of awesomeness

Well hello friends,

Norae Pitts-Whittington here! Wes has allowed me temporary use of the CURE blog for my very own special interviews.

This year I’ll bring you a monthly look at some of the really amazing four-legged folks at McCormick. I am usually due for my monthly spotlight on the second Friday of the month, but this interview is so great I just couldn’t wait! I got to sit down with one of the coolest dogs at McCormick – Albus Labuschagne-Rhodes!

Albus hanging out at home, being awesome

Tell us your name and breed.
My name is Albus, which means “white” in Latin.  It would be a fitting name, since I’m a Havanese breed of Bichon and have white hair, but, actually, I’m named after the fictional wizard Albus Dumbledore (yeah, my owners are those kind of Harry Potter fans).
Who are your humans?
Dirk Labuschagne (A 2nd year M.Div student at McCormick) and Amy Rhodes.
How did you come to get them?
Dirk and Amy adopted me from the shelter PAWS in north Chicago.  My previous owners were an older couple who had to give me up for medical reasons, and Dirk and Amy played with me for less than two minutes before they decided I was theirs.  What can I say, I’m charming!
How do you like your living arrangements?
I pretty much have the run of the place.  Except for the couch.  And Dirk and Amy’s bed.  My paws make an awesome “pitter-patter” sound as I run on the hardwood floors, so I run around a lot.  Love it!
What’s your favorite place in your apartment?
You can usually find me in one of three places:
1. curled up in the corner where the couch meets the wall. Sounds kinda crazy, I know, but my brain power isn’t really up to explaining why I like that corner so much.
2. My bed next to Dirk’s desk.  It’s base when we’re playing tag, it hides my raw hides when I’m feeling especially ‘dog-like,’ and I can push it around with my nose. Great place.
3.  My crate.  It’s my den, it’s my dog cave, it’s pretty much amazing.  You can find me there, listening to NPR, when Dirk and Amy aren’t home.
Where is your favorite place outside of your apartment?
Anywhere there are other dogs.  Or Parker’s, where I get a bath, because they give me treats constantly.  Constantly.
What are your favorite treats?
Peanut butter and raw hides.  The best is when there’s peanut butter on a raw hide!
How many toys do you have? Which ones are your favorite?
I chew through basically everything, and in an impressively short amount of time, if I do say so myself.  Unfortunately, this means Dirk and Amy stopped trying to find toys that could withstand my powerful jaw and raw determination awhile ago.  Now they only trust me with two rope toys, and I can’t choose between them.
What is your favorite way to pass time?
I love to hang out with other dogs, I love to sit outside Starbucks with Amy while Dirk gets them coffee so I can listen to strangers talk about how cute I am, and I love to play hide and seek.  So far, I’m only good at seeking, but if the day comes when I figure out how to hide, watch out!  Otherwise, I sleep.  Sleep is so great.  Except when Dirk and Amy want to sleep late, then it’s not so great.
What is one thing you think everyone should know about you?
I love attention!  From dogs, from kids, from adults, from whatever – I love it.  I will be super sweet to you and shower you with kisses (whether you want them or not) when you show me attention!  If you don’t give me the attention I want, however, I will find your sock (or shoe) and carry it around it my mouth.  Just to let you know you’re not paying attention to me.  You’ve been warned.
Any words of wisdom you want to share with everyone?
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” J/k, I didn’t really say that, my namesake did!  But it’s pretty true, right?  So I’ll go with that.

So that’s Albus. Pretty cool, huh? Check back in another month to meet another McCormick Furry Friend. Wes will be back on Friday with more neat stuff!

Well, McReaders, this is the last blog you’ll get from me. Wes will be taking over soon, and I’ll be done with seminary after 3 glorious years.

Thinking about the past 3 years is a bit overwhelming. As I’m leaving seminary, I’m not one of those prefect Presbyterians who passed all her ordination exams in the first try; I’m not walking out of seminary with a job in hand, ready to become ordained; I’m not in the minority. I am, once again, in the majority. I’m walking out of seminary with debt, no job, very little idea of where I am going to live, and a car that requires prayer each time to drive it down the Dan Ryan (which, given the shape it’s in, I don’t go down the Dan Ryan with it if I can help it). It’s not that I don’t have skills, I have mad skills. It’s just, there really aren’t many jobs out there. Recently, several people have asked me, “So, if you had to do it over, would you do it all again the same?”

Yes. I’d do it all over again and I would not do it differently. Here are a few reasons why:

1. I met Megan, Alex, TC, Sylvia, Tracy, Jon, Joe, Holly, Kim, Jason, Bong, Lilit, Ching Boi, Tyler, Ken, Lora, Matt, Jenny, Hannah, Amber, Molly, Han Kook, Dave, Kristi, Meredith, Kristin, Robyn, Tina, Karl, Michele, Vimary, Abby, Nathy, Nancy, Jeanine, Sergio, Kristin, Deanna, Mo, Stephanie, Melva, Kathi, Wes, Liz, Albert, Mike, Monica, Daniel, Sarah, Sarah, Katie Jo, Kate, Kirk, Jamie, Matt, Allison, Casey, Phil, Jeff, JC, Honna, Jake, Kelly, Megan, Sarah, Melvina, Delores, Kay, Sheila, Chris, Brenda, Peter, Heather, Jamie… the list is endless. This only includes the people that I could think of in 5 minutes and doesn’t include staff, professors, students from other seminaries, people in the community… Need I say more?

2. The friendly folks at the Starbucks at 55th and Woodlawn know my name.

3. I now know that Joel is an actual book in the Bible.

4. Ted Hiebert taught me Hebrew and Sarah Tanzer taught me Greek.

5. Janaan Hashim and Bob Cathey answered all my ridiculous questions and never told me to shut up. Ever.

6. I got to be Lib Caldwell’s EA.

7. If you ask nice enough, Luis will put on his Dracula cape.

8. Christine Vogel lets me cry in her office and Frank Yamada lets me cry in the halls.

9. Dr. Daniels made singing “Welcome Table” my favorite communion tradition.

10. Deb Mullen helped me accept who I was on my first day of classes.

11. Joann Lindstrom has a puppy in her office.

12. Sam Evans talks in a French accent when he’s in the office.

13. David Crawford is my friend and I know how hard he works for the seminary and the people there.

14. My classmates are fabulous dog-sitters, bird watchers, fish sitters, and plant waterers.

15. Melody Knowles taught me how to write a better paper.

16. Ted Hiebert made me re-think how I read the Bible.

17. Jennifer Ayers made me appreciate food and be thankful that I have it.

18. Ken Sawyer.

19. Ken Sawyer’s Mustache.

20. David Esterline’s wife’s cookies.

21. Knowing that Priscilla Rodriguez is always laughing at my facebook posts and understands my existential angst and will always have a hug for me.

22. Christine Vogel has a constant and steady supply of chocolate in her office.

23. No one reads the Psalms quite like Nanette Banks.

24. Dr. Frank Thomas taught me how to preach like I was on fire and then he made us go play in the snow.

25. Joann Lindstrom has my back.

26. Deb Kapp is an awesome cook at Iron Chef.

27. Monica actually smiles, you just have to know how to make her do it.

28. Natasha thinks I’ve already graduated.

29. I sort of have teacher crushes on Bob Cathey, Ted Hiebert, Lib Caldwell, Melody Knowles, and Janaan Hashim.

30. Community meals are always better food than I have in my apartment.

31. David Crawford often confuses me and Abby Mohaupt.

32. Boundaries don’t actually exist at McCormick despite Joann Lindstrom’s attempts at educating us.

33. Kimchi and Chapchae are two of my new favorite foods.

34. After being her EA, Abby Mohaupt and I now know that Lib Caldwell drinks Diet Coke at break and her Starbucks order is a grande unsweetened passion fruit iced tea.

35. I learned more about YAV’s than I ever imagined was possible.

36. I learned that Frank Yamada used to be in a band.

37. Anna Case-Winters lets me call her A.C. Dub.

38. Ken Crews can eat ungodly amounts of fast food in one sitting.

39. Deacon retreats aren’t the same without Christine Vogel present.

And last but not least…

40. The University of Chicago has a library. Thank God, or none of my work would have ever gotten done.

Well, that’s it. There are other things I could have talked about on here, but this is all I had time for, I have to finish a project for Bob Cathey. Go figure. Graduation, here I come!

Peace – Shelley D.

Greetings again my fellow furry, and non-furry friends alike! Today I’m excited to introduce you to my upstairs neighbor, Maddie. She stopped on our porch for a chat through the back door and I caught up with her and how she’s doing.


Tell us your name and what breed are you?


My name is Madeline. You can call me Maddie (it’s shorter). I am mostly yellow lab with a little something else thrown in. Mom likes to say that I am part lab and part crazy. :-) Don’t let that fool you.  I just really love life and get excited about things easily!

Who are your humans?

I only have one human right now, Kellie Griffin. I would be happy to adopt more!

How did you come to get your humans?

Kellie adopted me from the Cedar Valley Humane Society in Cedar Rapids, IA in August 2010.  The family I was living with before just dumped me and wandered around for a long time.  I didn’t have to stay at the humane society for very long though since mom came to get me. :-)

How do you like the living arrangements?

I love the living arrangements. Our apartment is nice and roomy.  There is plenty of space for me to play with my toys.

What’s your favorite place in the apartment?

That’s a tough one. I have a few places that I really love. The first one is on mom’s bed.  I could easily take up the whole thing, but mom won’t let me. I also really like sleeping on mom’s old comforter when it is on top of my dog bed. I spread it out across the living, and it’s great! I can see just about everything without ever having to get up.  Those new chairs are pretty good too.

What are your favorite treats?

Anything with cheese is fantastic! I also like Milkbones, Greenies, Pupcorn, and peanut butter.

How many toys do you have in the apartment and which ones are your favorite?

I have a bunch of toys (somewhere around here), but I can be pretty picky about my toys.  Only really play with about 4 of them.  My all-time favorite toy is a stuffed yellow ducky with a squeaker in his belly.  Squeaker toys are the very best!!! I can be kind of rough on the ducky though.  He’s got holes in his beak, belly, and feet.  I like taking out all his stuffing, but mom always puts it back in.   I think it’s about time for a new ducky! I also really like my Kong filled with peanut butter, my loofa dog (also missing his stuffing and full of holes), and my rope toy.

Favorite way to pass the time?

My favorite activities kind of depend on the time of year.  They all revolve around being outside though.  In the summer, I absolutely adore going swimming in Grandma & Grandpa’s pool.  Grandpa even built me a special ramp with floaties so I can get in and out more easily.  I could swim all day if they would let me! I always love going on walks, especially when there are squirrels out. I just love chasing squirrels.  In the winter, I like to play in the snow.  Last year when the blizzard came through Iowa, I had lots of fun pulling mom through the waist high snow banks.  I had a blast!!!

Any words of wisdom you want to share with everyone?

I am an incredibly friendly dog when it comes to being around humans.  However, I get pretty scared when I am around other dogs (of any size). I do best when I can just be people and not other pets.  I had kind of a rough life before I came to live with Kellie, and I am still trying to move past that.  Otherwise, I think I am a great pooch. I would love to meet all of you!!!

Well, there you have it. Another McCormick Pet, settling into her new home here in Chicago! Until next time!

Peace and PAWS!

Pigeon

Welcome back to Pigeon’s Corner everyone! Today, I’ve got some new neighbors I want you all to meet, Norae and Sunae. Norae reminds me of Falcor from the NeverEnding Story, except she’s not as shaggy and she doesn’t drool near as much as that flying dog has to! They’re cool dudettes, they take walks with me and D.D. when mom is out of town so we got to know them a little better and I had to feature them on here!

So, tell everyone your names and your breed?
Norae (노래) which means Sing in Korean. A karaoke bar is a “Norae bbang” in Korean, and I was named after that! (not by my mom and dad, but a silly Canadian at the shelter!). I’m a mixed breed, with maybe some chihuahua and corgi and other stuff all thrown together.

Norae, aka Falcor

Sunae (수내) which is an old Korean name, and I’ve been told it means shy. I’m a chihuahua mix.

Sunae


Who are your humans?
Wes Pitts and Liz Whittington


Where are you from?
N: Daejeon, South Korea. My family got me at a shelter just before it was shut down.

S: I’m from the same shelter, but I lived with another family first. They couldn’t take me back home to Hawaii, though, so I got to move in with my best friend (and possibly sister?!?), Norae.

Tell everyone a little more about yourself. What makes you so interesting?

N: Not many people have met a dog from another country, so that makes me pretty special. I also love most people that I meet, though I get shy sometimes – especially around kids. I love to give constant kisses. I don’t like feet – put yours near me and I’ll find myself another place to sit. I’m also not big on sitting in folk’s laps, I much prefer to sit next to you and rest my head on a pillow. I love chasing squirrels, deer, birds and anything else that looks fun to chase (including bikes and runners).

S: I’m really reserved when I meet new people. Norae will greet you and I just bark. I’m a tiny dog but I have a really big voice! It takes a little time for me to get to know new people, but once I do, you’ll find me to be really loving.


What’s the best part of your day?

N: Going on walks. I love to be outside in any weather except the rain. I can sit and watch people in the park for hours. If you walk me by the tennis courts at Nichol’s park I’m liable to want to watch and bark at the tennis balls flying all around. I love it when my mom and dad let me walk around with out my silly old leash, I prefer my own space.

S: I like sleeping and making lots of noise. My absolute favorite time to play is first thing in the morning when my mom and dad wake up.


Do you have a favorite toy?

N: I haven’t been big on toys ever since my sister came to our house – she ate all of them! Now I have her to play with. I do like the occasional tennis ball or stick, but I won’t bring it to you – it’s mine!

S: I have some stuffed animals that I like a whole bunch – there is a mouse and a bear and a duck. The mouse and bear make squeaky sounds, but I ate the squeaker right out of ducky. I also like playing with my sister. 

Do you have a favorite kind of treat?

N: Since I have a sensitive tummy I don’t get to eat just anything. When I’ve been a really good girl I get some of mom and dad’s food, but not too much. My favorite things that don’t hurt my belly are apples and baby carrots. If you have a food dehydrator and want to make me dehydrated sweet potatoes, I love those too!

S: Since Norae can’t eat all the good stuff, I don’t get it either. I don’t have a sensitive stomach, but I am really picky. I usually like carrots, but never apples. I’m weary of eating food from strangers or anything that may have my heart worm pill in it.

Where’s your favorite place to sleep in the apartment?

N: I love to sleep any place soft. During the day mom and dad keep me locked up in their room, but I have a bed that I always sleep on. When they are home, I sleep on the sofa. You’ll find a lot of my hair there even when I’m not, because I shed a lot! At night I get to sleep with mom and dad!

S: I typically sleep under the couch or I find clean laundry to sleep on.


How are you liking being a “seminary pet”?

N: I really like the people I’ve met so far. Some of the other pets are okay (I really like Molly!), but mostly I like the people. We get more visitors than we used to. I’ll like it more if you come and play with me!

S: I’m starting to get used to it. It takes me a while to get used to anything new, but I am starting to make some friends. I like Molly, too, and even let some of the humans touch me.


Any social commentary that you want to share with the community?

N: I’ve enjoyed getting all of this new attention and making so many new friends. Thanks for making me feel welcome!

S: As much as I don’t want to admit it, I like the new folks I’ve met too! And even if I haven’t warmed up to you yet, give me time, I will!

Well folks, there you have it. I hope you enjoy and be on the lookout for next week’s blog. I’m not sure what Shelley has planned for it, but it’s sure to be a good one!

Peace and PAWS,

Pigeon

Greetings from the dog bed of me, Pigeon. Well, the birds are here too and DiDi is sniffing around somewhere in the house, but that’s besides the point. I’ve got another new four-legged friend that I need you all to meet. her name is Pearl. She’s the newest owner of Megan and Alex, two of our students living here in Hyde Park. We got together over a bowl of water and hung out for a chat. Here’s what she had to say:

Tell us your name and what breed you are.

Sup dudes, I’m Pearl.  I’m a 75lb. Akita mix.

The Pearl of Chicago

Who are your humans?

Megan (I’m bigger than her) and Alex (I’m smaller than him).

How did you come to get your humans?

I was in this weird, loud place with lots of other dogs for a stupidly long time.  The place was actually not too shabby; it was called Paws Chicago or something of the sort.  My peeps picked me up from there.  It was love and belly rubs at first sight.

How do you like the living arrangements?

Our place is pretty sweet, minus the hardwood floors. Slide city.

Favorite place in the apartment?

I really dig the couch.  You can usually find the whole fam on there cuddling it up and when they’re gone I definitely sneak up for some zzzz’s.

Favorite treats?

Well, I have this weird stomach thing, so my humans make me sweet potatoes and carrots a lot of the time.  But then, sometimes I get these really rad peanut butter treats. To die for!

What do you think about being future preachers pets?

I’m stoked on it.  I like time to myself on Sunday mornings.

How many toys do you have in the apartment and which ones are your favorite?

I have quite a few, I like to keep them all organized on my bed.  There is this one, in particular, we call it Lovebug, it’s a stuffed VW Beetle, I just gnaw on it.

Favorite way to pass the time?

I am a total cuddle monster.  If I could spend all of my time cuddling with my fam I would, but when they’re not down for that, I like to spend some time with Lovebug or do perimeter checks to make sure we’re all safe.  I also enjoy taking walks to the 1400 building porch and occasionally eating rocks or a Korean bbq bone, DELISH!

Any words of wisdom you want to share with everyone?

Nah Dawg.

Well, that’s Pearl. Check back next week and you’ll be meeting two little dogs who came all the way from South Korea by way of Atlanta to get here. Talk about well traveled.

Until next time. Paws and peace,

Pigeon

More pets!

We recently interviewed a few new dogs, Jamie Wasowski’s to be exact. They were pretty great to interview. So here they are!

Names?

Gordon Fergus

Liberty Belle


Humans?

Jamie and Bob
Tell us a little about yourself and what makes you so interesting?

GF:  I am a Golden Retriever, but I get mistaken for a Irish Setter on a regular basis because of my Reddish Coloring.  I love to lick my feet, but sometimes I am very itchy because of my allergies. My parents sometimes get angry because they say I smell like Corn Chips.  I have tried everything to smell better, even changed my diet, oh well!

LB:  I love everyone and feel like a princess, but sometimes I get scared if I am somewhere new.  I am really afraid of the big scary monster that my parents pull out of the kitchen closet every now and then. When they plug it in and turn it on, I run into the bedroom and jump into bed and hide until it’s all over.
What’s the best part of your day?

GF: I love sleeping on my very own bed. It is so comfy and I can sprawl out and still fit. I also love when my parents get home because then I can go to the bathroom!

LB:  I love when my parents are home the best, because they spend a lot of time with me and let me cuddle with them.
Favorite toy?

GF:  My favorite toy is my cheeseburger squeaky toy, but recently I have really liked playing with my “Mr. Bill” toy…he says “Oh, Noooooooooo” an awful lot!

LB: My favorite toy is usually whatever Gordon has, but I love my Chew Rope!
Favorite treat?

GF: Did somebody say rawhides?  Those are my absolute favorites! I also love whenever my parents give me table scraps, but that doesn’t seem to happen very often.

LB:  I love rawhides too!  I usually will hide them around the house or stash them outside…sometimes I will steal them from Gordon because he doesn’t always finish them.

Favorite place to sleep?

GF: My Orthopedic Dog Bed!  It’s the best! What can I say…my parents spoil me!

LB: I love sleeping with my parents! They have the biggest Doggie bed and I love it!
How do you feel about the snow?

GF: I love the snow, especially making snow dog angels! But I hate the Dog booties my Mom makes me wear. They feel so awkward!

LB: I love playing in snow and my Mom always makes sure that I am bundled up in my snow suit so I stay extra warm. It’s lot’s of fun especially when I find a bone that I left outside in the snow!

Any social commentary of the day you want to share?

GF: Well this more affects me and Liberty, but I would really like our new house better if my brothers were here with us. I really miss our feline siblings, Little Guy and Mew Mew.  They weren’t allowed to come with, but I am hoping my parents might be able to figure out a way for us all to be a family again.  It just doesn’t seem fair. (insert sad puppy face here)

LB:  I think everyone should love everyone, but especially me because I want to be a princess.

How do you feel being labeled a “seminary pet?”

GF: I think it’s fine. I would love to meet some of the other seminary pets sometime. When my Mom was a student she lived off campus and never brought me to school. It think it would be great to have a dog party at the seminary sometime.

LB: Do I get to be princess over the other seminary pets? If not it’s ok…I like getting lots of attention!

Thanks for the interview guys! Catch us back here on Monday morning with more interesting stuff!

Peace~Shelley D.

Confessions of the Most Interesting Cat in the World

Good morning all you McBloggers! Today we have something extra special. You won’t find this interview with other seminaries. In fact, I’m pretty sure we have been the only ones ever to snag an interview with this cat. I give you “The Most Interesting cat in the World.” You’ve met plenty of our other animals from the McCormick Community; today, I want to introduce you to Jake, the furry, grey, George Clooney of the McCormick community. He roams the halls of Recruitment Director Rev. J.C. Cadwallader’s apartment, making sure the food bowl has fresh food and nothing is out of order. If it is… well, you don’t want to be around for that. Jake takes no prisoners.

Name?

Jake

Who is your human?

JC…she’s been my human for 8.5 years now.

So Jake, tell us a little about yourself and what it is that makes you so interesting?

Well, I had a bit of a rough start to my life.  I was a stray for a couple of years…got into some fights but I’m pretty tough so it was no big whoop to me.  Then, I was lucky enough to find my way to the Humane Society in Boone, North Carolina.  JC came in one day and spent a bit of time meeting all the other cats in the room.  I was asleep on the top of the tower the whole time.  She was just about to walk out of the room when she spotted my sleepy self on top of the tower and she woke me up.  I opened my eyes a bit, got up and she lifted me down off the tower and we sat down on the chair.  Moments later, I hopped down and walked over to meet her friend who was with her and then settled in the middle of the room to take a moment to really wake up.  She patted her lap, said “come here little buddy” and I scampered over…I knew she was talking to me.  She took me home the next day.

We’ve lived in several different places over the years and I think I’m pretty well-traveled for a cat.  She used to take me on long road-trips mostly for holidays…from North Carolina to Tennessee to Chicago and back and forth all over the place.  But, thankfully, she doesn’t take me in the car very often for long road-trips like she used to.  Those don’t make my belly feel very good.

My interests are pastoral care giving, eating, sometimes playing with toys and/or hunting bugs in the house.  I am not needy but I’m pretty snuggly and I’m always told how dang cute I am.  I totally understand English and if I had the capability to speak it, I would.  But, most people understand my meows so communication is not typically a problem for me.

On a regular basis, what would you say is the best part of your day?

I would say the best part of my day is waking up.  The morning sun shines through the living room windows and I like to stretch and sunbathe.

Do you have a favorite toy?

I know I used the word “toy” but I’m not sure if that’s what I would call them.  Most of the time, they are simply things to lay on.  But, every now and again, I do like to toss around the mouse, or the turtle or the snake.  They have cat nip in them…

Do you have a favorite thing to eat?

If I had my druthers about it, I would drink milk all day.  However, it makes my tummy upset so I’ll just stick with the delicious Purina One Hairball and Weight Control/For Mature Cats +7 mixture that is my daily diet.

Out of the entire apartment, where is your favorite place to sleep?

This is a tough one…I have a rotation of favorite places.  There is an old, foam egg crate that is under that futon in the guest room in which I bury myself…that’s a nice place.  But, I also love to sleep on JC’s pillow (but only when she’s sleeping there too though…I think it’s funny!), or on the brown blanket on the couch.

Overall, how do you feel about your living conditions?

I’m quite content with my living conditions.  I know all the nooks and crannies of this place now so I know if there’s an intruder, like a centipede or something, that I can eat.  Our last place had carpet but I’ve gotten used to the hard-wood floors in this one so it’s easier for me to run around (and I use the term “run” loosely). It’s a little lonely sometimes, I’m not going to lie, but it’s a nice place.

Do you have any social commentary that you feel is relevant to the world today that you would like to share with everyone?

There is a lot of sadness in the world these days.  It’s important to remember to think of others first.  It not only helps you to get out of your own head but it’s helpful to others to know there’s someone that cares.

I have to know, how on earth do you deal with the title of “handsome” so often? That must get to a cat.

I’m a big believer in truth…so, I deal with it.

Do you have a favorite TV show? I know JC really likes Law & Order: SVU a lot.

The Vicar of Dibley…that Alice is hilarious!

So, do you think Jesus had a pet cat?

I think Jesus was a cat.

What’s the best part about being a cat?

I don’t have to do any chores around the house.  She asks me all the time but, I don’t have any thumbs.  I can’t really take the garbage out, do the dishes or go to work for her.

Do you have any questions for us?

Anyone need someone to listen?  I have hours available.

Thanks Jake, for the wonderful interview! You clearly are the most handsome cat…

Well readers, there you have it. An interview with the most interesting (and in my opinion, the most handsome cat) in the world. We’ll see you all again on Monday!

Peace~ Shelley D.

Confessions of Seminary Pets: the one after the third…

Well, McBlog readers, we’re back. We had to take a bit of a break this week with the insane snowstorm that blew though! But we’re back!

A while back, you all met Abby Mohaupt, one of our representatives on the Student Session here at McCormick. Abby is also the proud mother to three wonderful kitties. They aren’t just kitties, they are something more. I’m not sure what, but I’ll let you know as soon as I find an appropriate word for it. It’s a good thing, but still my vocabulary needs to be expanded before I can find the right word for them. But there is a lot of lovin’ to go around with these three ladies. Enjoy!

Names?

We have really long names because our humans are weird. These are what are on our papers, though:

Mamacita,

Pandamonium,

and Eve.

We also have a fish named Food who we’re not allowed to play with. He mostly swims around in circles, and he’s boring.

Humans:

Abby Mohaupt and Nathan Fleming

So guys, tell us a little about yourself and what makes you so interesting?

Mama: I was a stray cat who was really pregnant and gave birth to my six babies in Abby and Nathan’s basement. Before I was found, I kept my babies alive and I almost died. But then I was found and I discovered that I love people. I love to give kisses and sleep on Abby’s lap.
Panda: My Mama is the best Mama in the whole world. I like to play with her. Sometimes Abby chases me and I do not like that. But sometimes I can’t find Mama and Abby helps me find her, so I guess she’s ok.
Eve: I’M TWO! I like sleeping under a blanket and jumping onto the counter and hiding under the bed and jumping on Panda. I also like to yawn with my eyes open and I can say “no.”

You must have ever entertaining lives; what’s the best part of your day?

Mama: When Abby comes home so I can cuddle with her.
Panda: Cuddling with Mama.
Eve: Tackling Panda from above.

Do any of you happen to have a favorite toy?

Mama: This really old sock with catnip inside of it. It is the best.
Panda: The weird red light that nathan sometimes makes appear out of nowhere!
Eve: People! I especially like people who will pet me without picking me up (I’m a little afraid of being picked up).

Favorite treat?

Mama: Sunchips….yum.
Panda: MAMA!!
Eve: Drinking water out of Abby’s glass.

Favorite place to sleep?
Mama: In the papasan chair.
Panda: On top of mama!!
Eve:  On my Nathy’s legs.

How do you feel about the snow?

Mama: It’s ok…

Panda: What does Mama think?

Eve:  SNOW? What’s that? I think I like snow!!! Can I play in it?

Any social commentary of the day you want to share?

Mama: Its ok…                                                                                                                                Panda: What does mama think?                                                                                             Mama: The comic strip “Mutts” is an excellent source for common sense pet news. Its where I get all my information. Its particularly correct on its stance on puppy farms and shelters. We need more cutting edge legislation on how we treat animals, and people need to recognize that we’re important members of their families. Now, where is my Abby?
Panda: Everybody should love everybody. And everybody should take a nap.
Eve: Can we eat during social commentary? I choose the nearest electronic cord. HAUMPF.

How do you feel being labeled a “seminary pet?”

Mama: Abby is the best seminarian in the whole world so I’m okay with the label.
Panda: Is mama a seminary pet? Yes? Then so am I!!!
Eve: Seminary?! What’s that? Does Nathan go there? Can I play in it?

Well, thank ladies for your time! We really appreciate it. Stay tuned for more to come all you McCormick Bloggers!

Peace ~ Shelley D.

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