2014 Chicago Reader Best of Survey

It is that time of the year again! The time to recognize your favorite services in Chicago! Please vote for Paws-N-Effect LLC as “Best Dog Walkers” ¬†under the Goods & Services section. Your continued support means the world to us!!


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Things Happen For A Reason

I am firm believer that things happen for a reason. What happened this week supports my thought:

Our 32″ TV, which was one of the very 1st flat screen/HD TVs ever on the market that I bought 8yrs ago when I got my apartment in Lincoln Sq, has recently started “flickering” while on….and even more annoyingly, just shuts off in the middle of a program. The issue w/that (aside from being annoying) is that it then won’t always turn back on right away – sometimes it takes just minutes…other times, hours. ūüė¶ So I have slowly been complaining to my partner that we need to invest in buying a new TV for the living room. I finally got her to agree, BUT couldn’t get her to agree on a size upgrade (I say go big or go home!) but she is much more practical. ūüôā (and in her defense, I do have a 50″ in the basement).

So I have been doing my research online….price shopping, etc – anyone that knows me, knows I am all about a bargain! ūüôā I finally find what I think is a good deal – a 32″ Smart TV (HD of course) for less than $300….1080p, etc – all the bells & whistles I have been looking for. I promptly buy it this week from a Big Box Retailer. I get it home, I start unpacking it from the box and take an inventory of what the literature says is included – everything is there EXCEPT the darn power cord! Kind of need that! I call around – NO Chicagoland stores have it in stock….NONE….Zero! I apparently got the last one. Ugh…so I return it with a heavy heart.

I decided to check Craigs List….ya just never know! I find what appears to be a brand new, never been opened, much better quality model being sold by someone that says they received it as a bday gift, but need to sell it to pay for a vet bill for her dog.

Turns out this woman is AMAZING! She runs a small rescue out of her home….only takes the “throw away” dogs…you know, the ones that are too old or too sick or too injured to be adopted out. She has connections with several local vets and gets them all of the medical care they need and and also has a deal w/a local trainer to do rehab work for free! She gets food donated, makes regular trips down to Animal Control to pull dogs from “death row”, has driven across the country to place dogs in good homes….she has just devoted her entire life to saving dogs and trying to make whatever time they have left better.

Back to my original thought in writing this….things happen for a reason. Had I NOT bought that original TV missing the power cord…had that model NOT been out of stock all over Chicagoland….had I NOT taken a chance and looked on Craigs List….I would NOT have met her…..things just happen for a reason….and I am again awed and thankful that they happened the way they did!

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Vote Paws-N-Effect as Best Dog Walkers!

Please vote Paws-N-Effect LLC as the “Best Dog Walker” in The Chicago Reader’s annual “Best Of” survey! ¬†The Best Dog Walker category is under the “goods & services” section. ¬†Thank you so much for your continued support!

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Valentine’s Day is about love……..and anyone that knows me, knows I LOVE animals!

Today has me thinking about all the animals that have impacted my life…..there have been many but a few special ones come to mind:

Rags – our family’s first pet. ¬†Rags was a rescue that was found in a box on the side of the road. ¬†Brought to us as puppy, she was one of the most loyal companions a grade-schooler could ask for. ¬†I have so many memories of she & I laying on the couch together watching Saturday morning cartoons……or running around the yard playing a game of chase……she was a soft and sweet soul & I love her.

Gaffney Рthe dog my parents & brother picked out from the local shelter and who was named by my brother (after a Harlem Globetrotter that he had just seen perform).  Gaff was full of life and such a protector.  I once bought her a cheap hot dog squeak toy for $1 Рit was her favorite toy Рshe walked around the house carrying it and if anyone picked it up to play, she would be so excited and full of joy trying to get it back from us.  She comforted my mother through a very difficult life transition and the joy and love she provided to not only my mom, but my entire family still overwhelms me when I think about it.  I love her.

Kailey – a purebred lady that couldn’t be shown at shows after a hip injury. ¬†The breeder decided it would be best if she were placed in a loving home – and that is where she ended up – with us! ūüôā ¬†She was so funny…..very much a princess……loved to lick (almost OCD!) and bark at anything she saw or heard outside. ¬†She was a bit older and set in her ways, but showed all of us a lot of love over the years. ¬†I love her.

Cubby – a dog I met as a dog walker/pet sitter and who became an honorary family member – his mom, who I am honored to call a friend,¬†traveled¬†a great deal for work and I would stay with Cubby while she was away. ¬†That included several holidays….which meant Cubby had lots of time with my family – he fit right in! ¬†Cubby had the kindest soul of any dog I have ever known…..his eyes spoke to me…..I find my own eyes filling with tears as I type this just thinking about him……he brought so much love to my life over the years……I love him dearly.

Alley – the male cat that stole my heart 13yrs ago. ¬†Found as a kitten in the alley behind the house, he chose ME – literally. ¬†I tried to make him the cat of “the kids” – he wasn’t having it – he always wanted to be near me – and he got his way. ūüôā ¬†He has been by my side through most of the life changing events of my life: relationships, break ups, moves, jobs, illness & surgeries…..and no matter what my mood or¬†attitude¬† he has always loved me & remained loyal. ¬†I love him with all of my heart……and I am so fortunate to still have this beloved boy in my life.

Sure, there are many humans I love and could recognize today as well……but everyone does that. ¬†It is the silent, four legged, furry companions that remain loyal and show us what unconditional love is that I am really thinking about today…..they have contributed to who I am as a person…..and I love them all.

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Paws-N-Effect LLC South Loop Expansion

I am very excited to announce that Paws-N-Effect LLC (www.pawsneffect.net) has signed a deal to purchase the dog walking clients of Red Rover LLC expanding our already strong presence in The South Loop.  We are very excited about meeting all of our newest furry friends & send a warm welcome to our new PNE family members!

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Soul Mates

The Man In My Life

The cat pictured above is Alley….the man in my life. ūüôā¬† I like to say I found him as a kitten, but the truth is, he found & chose me.¬† He knew, at only weeks old, the void I had in my life, the way he could fill it & that even though I had this “block” in my heart, that he could break it down.¬† Ok, maybe he was just really hungry. ūüôā

Alley & I have been together now for about 12 years…..the longest relationship outside of blood related family that I have ever had.¬† He has shared in all the highest moments of my adult years & also in the lowest.¬† He has stuck by my side during my crabby days, my heart broken days, my living paycheck to paycheck days and also through my sick & injured days.¬† He has been my constant…..the one living creature that no matter what, would love me, rely on me and in some instances, console me.

People talk about soul mates……I have come to believe that not only can a person have more than a single soul mate in their lifetime, but that soul mates can also include animals.

Alley KNOWS me…..he knows, just by looking at me, if I am in a crabby mood & adjusts his actions accordingly.¬† He also knows when I am in a great mood & by the twinkle in his eyes & his abundance of purring, he shares in my good mood & successes.¬† He knows when I am not feeling well & will simply just be near me to offer comfort.

Alley is, without a doubt, one of my soul mates.

When I travel, I ALWAYS have a picture of him w/me (not always a hard copy, but a pic of him on my phone, iPod or digital camera).¬† When I arrive home from work, if he is not by the front door waiting for me, I worry & go looking for him.¬† When 10:30am rolls around, I know to expect him at my feet rubbing & purring & using his good looks to try & convince me that it’s “12pm somewhere” & that I should feed him his lunch early.¬† And without fail, every night as I lay my head down on my pillow, Alley is curled up right next to my head…..and I fall asleep to his rhythmic & soothing purrrr.

Alley is, without a doubt, one of my soul mates.

I have a certain “voice” I use with Alley when I speak to or about him.¬† When I make plans of any kind (simple day trips or extensive), I always consider his well being first.¬† When money has been tight, I have survived on bare minimums, but Alley’s favorite kibble & soft food were NEVER jeopardized.¬† The very thought of loosing him or harm in any way finding it’s way to him will immediately cause my eyes to swell with tears.

Alley is, without a doubt, one of my soul mates.

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A Tribute To Unconditional Love


I have been told for years to put together a compilation of my transition from Corporate America to the owner of a successful dog walking service in Chicago.  This blog is my attempt at remembering old friends, appreciating current friends, learning from my journey and more importantly, acknowledging that our four-legged family members are wiser than any human I will ever know.

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